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Why should scientists bother getting involved in public affairs?

Tuesday 16 December 2008, 1400-1500
Lecture Theatre 1, Management School Building

Dr Peter Cotgreave Dr Peter Cotgreave

The invited speaker for our 2008 conference is Peter Cotgreave, Director of Public Affairs, The Royal Society.

Why should scientists bother getting involved in public affairs? What influence can they have collectively or individually? How can we overcome the cultural differences between science and policy-making and the timescales on which they operate? How can scientists change the terms of debates that they have an interest in? How important is indirect influence, such as working through the media, relative to direct influence on policy-makers and politicians? What opportunities exist to get involved?

Good recent case studies that illustrate some of the answers to these questions are the stem cell legislation that is going through Parliament at the moment, and the funding furore over STFC that blew up earlier this year.

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