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Dr Jonny Williams joins DECC in Royal Society pairing scheme

Dr Jonny Williams

Dr Jonny Williams

13 January 2012

In February, Barbara Garnier-Schofield from the UK government's Department for Energy and Climate Change will be visiting Dr Jonny Williams in our department as part of a unique 'pairing' scheme run by the Royal Society - the UK national academy of science.

In February, Barbara Garnier-Schofield from the UK government's Department for Energy and Climate Change will be visiting Dr Jonny Williams in our department as part of a unique 'pairing' scheme run by the Royal Society - the UK national academy of science.

During her visit, Barbara will tour the department's laboratories, meet with key scientists working across the physical and human research themes of the department and give a departmental seminar, focussing on her own work on the implementation of wave and tidal power in the UK. Since Jonny and Barbara have both previously worked at the Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, their interests in climate change research are shared and so this scheme is a great way of forging links between the climate research community and the applied, legislative work of the government.

Jonny has already spent a week in the Houses of Parliament and at the head office of DECC in Whitehall as part of the pairing scheme's 'Westminster Week'. This provided a 'behind the scenes' insight into how science policy is formed as well as an understanding of the working life of civil servants and MPs involved in scientific issues.

The Royal Society pairing scheme aims to build bridges between parliamentarians and some of the best scientists in the UK. It is an opportunity for MPs and civil servants to become better informed about science issues and for scientists to understand how they can influence science policy. Over 180 scientists have taken part in the scheme since it was launched in 2001.

Previous participants include Rt Hon John Denham MP, Nick Clegg MP, Julia Goldsworthy MP, Ed Vaizey MP and Anne Snelgrove MP as well as civil servants from across government and scientists from universities and research centres across the UK.

Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society said: 
"We live in a world facing increasing challenges that can only be addressed with a clear understanding of science. From climate change to influenza outbreaks, GM food to nuclear power, our government has to make decisions about complex issues that will affect the lives of all those in the UK and, in many cases, more widely throughout the world. This means that the government and scientists have a responsibility to engage with each other to get the best possible scientific advice into public policy making."'