Last Friday we were thrilled to welcome the SNP MP for Glasgow North West, Carol Monaghan to Glasgow Polyomics. She was visiting as part of a Royal Society Pairing Scheme with one of our associates, Isabel Vincent. Scientists are paired with parliamentarians to gain insight in how scientists can inform policy. You can read about Isabel’s experiences at Westminster here https://sciencegrrlglasgow.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/a-week-in-westminster/.
MP Monaghan used to be head of science at the local school Hyndland Secondary, and now sits on the Commons Select Committee for Science and Technology. The Science and Technology Committee exists to ensure that Government policy and decision-making are based on good scientific and engineering advice and evidence.
Carol Monaghan, MP, Dr. Karl Burgess and Dr. Isabel Vincent in the Polyomics mass spectrometry laboratory.
Upon arrival, Isabel presented what it is like to be a post-doc, and all the different projects she contributes to, which include looking for new drugs to treat sleeping sickness, and helping analyse polyomics data sets. We then discussed Polyomics public engagement programme, particularly our Ginomics events. Finally there was a tour of the facility, where our head of Metabolomics, Dr. Karl Burgess, explained about our different mass spectrometers and some of the interesting projects we have ongoing, including our search for biomarkers and Robbie Burns forgeries.
Isabel and Carol then headed to the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology on the main campus to see how Isabel grows up parasites for her experiments.
This visit was a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our science to a policymaker, and has given us an important contact for the future. Carol was extremely interested and engaged and due to her physics background she seemed quite at home here! We are hoping she will be able to attend our next public engagement event, Whiskyomics at the Strathern Science Festival in February.