Scientists swap the lab bench for the green bench

Scientists traded lab coats for legislation when they met with parliamentarians and civil servants in Westminster between 23-26 November. The week was part of a unique pairing scheme run by the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, with support from the Government Office for Science.


  1. The scheme pairs scientists with parliamentarians and civil servants so that they can learn about each other’s worlds and explore how research findings can inform policy making. 32 scientists took part in this year's scheme, each shadowing a civil servant or parliamentarian to learn about their work. The scientists also attended seminars and panel discussions about how evidence is used in policy making and took part in a mock Select Committee session.
  2. Enthusiasm was running high and Royal Society pairs were ready to kick-off the week. First, a chance to get to know each other via #scienceinWestminster15 before a welcome dinner in London.
  3. A tour of Westminster on day one and photos of the Houses of Parliament.
  4. Meanwhile, some scientists had signed up to use Twitter just for their week in Westminster, and people were keen to share their experiences via #scienceinWestminster15.
  5. It's not all about sightseeing. There was science and policy with a bit of history too.