From lobbying to the laboratory – Julia Goldsworthy
MP was scientist for a day
Falmouth and Camborne MP Julia Goldsworthy had a taste of
academic life at the Tremough Campus in Penryn on Friday,
22 December. Julia spent the day touring the University of
Exeter's Biosciences department at Tremough, including
Cornwall's only molecular genetics laboratory.
Julia tried her hand at counting the number of sperm that
fruit flies produce when they are infected with bacteria,
and learnt how the same technology that the police use to
catch criminals is being used to study populations of endangered
As part of the Royal Society MP-Scientist Pairing Scheme,
Julia has been partnered with Dr Tom Tregenza, University
of Exeter biologist based at Tremough. While Julia is taking
time out from lobbying to experience life in the laboratory,
Dr Tregenza has been hanging up his lab coat and heading off
to the House of Commons.
Julia Goldsworthy says: "Having spent a week with
Dr Tregenza, showing him what life is like in Parliament,
I was very much looking forward to working as a scientist
for the day! It's been many years since I have studied science
so I am sure that I will learn a lot. It is also interesting
to see the new facilities at the campus from the point of
view of the staff and students who use them."
Dr Tom Tregenza says: "I hope Julia found her visit
to Tremough as enlightening as I found my introduction into
the world of politics. This scheme is just the beginning -
I'm keen for Julia to be involved in the developments
at Tremough as we become a world-class centre for research
into ecology and conservation. I also think it's important
for scientists to be aware of what's going on in the
political arena, both locally and nationally."
Originally from Penzance and now living in Falmouth, Dr Tom
Tregenza is a Royal Society Research Fellow. He researches
evolution, genetics, sexual behaviour in animals and the emergence
of new species.
The Biosciences team at Tremough focuses its research into
animal behaviour, ecology and conservation and evolutionary
biology and its facilities include Cornwall's only molecular
genetics laboratory. Recent research projects have focused
on tracking endangered marine turtles, 'de-coding'
the genes that colour butterflies' wings and monitoring
basking sharks off the south-west tip of Cornwall. During
2007, the department will expand again and hopes to make several
The £100 million Tremough campus is a Combined Universities
in Cornwall initiative of which the University of Exeter and
University College Falmouth are two of the founding partners.
It is funded mainly by the European Union (Objective One),
the South West Regional Development Agency, and the Higher
Education Funding Council for England, with support from Cornwall
County Council. Set in 70 acres of countryside, but close
to the waterside towns of Penryn and Falmouth, the campus
offers a lively student community. The University of Exeter
is expanding its courses available to include Politics, Law
and History to existing degrees in Mining Engineering, Geology,
Biology, Geography, English and Renewable Energy.
For further information contact Sarah Hoyle of the University
of Exeter on 01392 262062 or email S.Hoyle@exeter.ac.uk.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities
in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through
the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European
Social Fund (ESF). The University of Exeter is a partner of
The Royal Society is the UK national academy of science.
This year marks the sixth year of the Royal Society MP Scientist
Pairing Scheme, which has seen over 100 scientists and MPs
take part. The scheme seeks to build bridges between parliamentarians
and some of the best science research workers in the UK. The
scheme aims to:
||Give MPs the opportunity to forge more direct links
with the scientific community so that they can familiarise
themselves with the process of scientific understanding
and be better informed of current science issues and to
learn about the issues affecting scientists and universities
||Help research scientists from across the UK become aware
of the potential methods and structures through which
they can influence the science policy process
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