Scientist spends week in corridors of power

John McGeehan
John McGeehan
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A RESEARCH scientist has swapped his lab coat for legislation as he spends a week with Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond at the House of Commons.

University of Portsmouth molecular biologist Dr John McGeehan is shadowing Mrs Drummond as part of a pairing scheme run by the Royal Society.

Dr McGeehan said he hoped to convey to Mrs Drummond the importance of the university’s research during the visit.

He said: ‘This fantastic opportunity coincides with the announcement of the spending review this week.

‘Our research at the university on the development of new enzymes to turn waste material into biofuels has real potential to inform government policy on sustainable energy and how we fund and train our best scientists and students.’

The visit is designed to give Dr McGeehan a behind-the-scenes insight into how policy is formed, and give Mrs Drummond the chance to learn about the science behind her decisions.

Dr McGeehan is spending the week going to seminars and panel discussions about how evidence is used in policy-making as well as a mock select committee meeting.

Royal Society executive director Dr Julie Maxton said: ‘Our world faces challenges that can only be addressed with a solid understanding of science.’