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Geology and the 2015 General Election

Following the dissolution of Parliament on 30 March, the 2015 General Election campaign is now officially underway.  This page lists some resources which Fellows and members of the public alike may find useful when raising issues relating to the economic and societal importance of geology (and science more widely) with parliamentary candidates, or when discussing these matters with friends and colleagues.  

CaSE 

Campaign for Science and Engineering

The Geological Society is a member of the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), which works to raise the political profile of science and engineering, and campaigns on issues including research funding, education and science in government.  

The CaSE website details its work to promote science and engineering during the election campaign and in the new parliament.  CaSE has written to the leaders of the main political parties inviting them to set out their policies regarding science and engineering, and their responses are published on the CaSE website, along with briefing documents on key issues and a list of ten actions CaSE is asking the next government to take to champion science and engineering.  CaSE will also be publishing blog posts by over 100 parliamentary candidates from seven political parties in the run-up to polling day.  It also provides advice on how to get involved by contacting your local candidates.

The Geological Society

Geology for Society coverDuring the last Parliament, the Society worked to highlight the many ways in which geology underpins society, supporting economic growth, delivering resources and services to the population, and helping to tackle the challenges of living sustainably on our planet.  Many of these topics are addressed in our flagship 2014 report ‘Geology for Society’.  The report is accompanied by a Geology for Society web portal, which contains a wealth of further information and links to resources on aspects of our science which are vital to society.

The Society also responded to a large number of consultations and parliamentary inquiries during the course of the Parliament.  Below is a selection of recent responses and policy statements that are most relevant to the upcoming General Election.

See the full list of Geological Society responses to consultations and inquiries

British Science Association

The British Science Association have also produced a series of short interviews with six science spokespeople from some of the UK's major political parties entitled SCIENCE Matters. To watch interviews with representatives from the Conservative Party, Green Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party see the BSA You Tube page or watch below.


Events

  • Voice of the Future

Voice of the Future 15

Voice of the Future is an annual event hosted by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee and organised by the Society of Biology on behalf of a number of Learned Societies including the Geological Society.  This year, young scientists and engineers were invited to the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 4 March to question Ministers, MPs and officials about the issues that matter to them.  The Geological Society was represented by three researchers from the Universities of Bristol, Leeds and Plymouth.

You can read more about the event on the Society of Biology website and watch footage from the event on BBC iplayer (UK Only).  

 

  • Science and the General Election

Portcullis HouseAs part of the run up to May’s general election, the Society of Biology, on behalf of a number of Learned Societies including the Geological Society, organised a debate between the science spokespeople for six of the parties.  The debate ‘Science and the General Election’ was held on 11 March at Portcullis House.  Members of the panel taking part in the debate were:

  • Greg Clark MP, Conservative Minister for Universities, Science and Cities
  • Julian Huppert MP, Liberal Democrat spokesman on science
  • Liam Byrne MP, Labour Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills     
  • Alasdair Allan MSP, Scottish National Party, Scottish Government Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages
  • Julia Reid MEP, UKIP MEP for South West England
  • Hywel Williams MP, Plaid Cymru spokesman on education, health, international development, work and pensions
Topics covered included immigration, tuition fees, research funding, innovation policy and what each party would change in the event of being elected to government. Read more about the event on the Society of Biology website.



*Slideshow image (polling station sign) by secretlondon123 from the Londonist Flickr pool.