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Newcastle University scientists take their research to Parliament

Published on: 3 March 2023

Three Newcastle University scientists are attending Parliament to present their biosciences research, as part of STEM for BRITAIN.

Posters by Dr Kezia Sasitharan, Sarah Dickson and Thomas Reed will be judged against dozens of other scientists’ research in the only national competition of its kind on Monday 6March.

Sarah is presenting her research into innovative monitoring of dolphins and porpoise at offshore renewable energy developments using a novel underwater acoustic system. Thomas will showcase his work around the development of a biological carbon capture system using Escherichia coli. Kezia poster is on research about Coordination polymer nanowires for high performing hybrid solar cells.

The researchers are from Newcastle University’s School of Natural and Environmental Sciences and were shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to appear in Parliament.

Sarah said: “I applied for this year’s competition because I’m passionate about science communication and it was a great opportunity to discuss my research with MPs and learn more about other STEM projects taking place across the UK.”

Thomas added: “This is a fantastic opportunity to meet with MPs and policymakers and discuss with them the exciting research that I’m conducting. Whilst at the event I hope to have meaningful discussions with the attendees regarding the policies surrounding my research and inform them of the outcomes of my research as a result of the funding.”

Kezia, a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the School for Natural and Environment Sciences, said: “STEM for Britain is such a unique and prestigious event for a young scientist like myself to participate and I am thrilled to be one of the finalists in Chemistry. It will give me a chance to present and promote my contribution to the UK renewable energy research whilst networking with the MPs, leading academics and professionals in attendance. I believe it is going to be a significant learning experience for me and I am very much looking forward to presenting my work.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, said:

“This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers.

“These early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future and STEM for BRITAIN is politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.”

Sarah’s and Thomas’ research has been entered into the biosciences session of the competition, which will end in a gold, silver and bronze prize-giving ceremony.

Judged by leading academics, each winner will receive a cash prize with a medal for the gold recipient.

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee runs the event in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Biology, The Physiological Society, the Nutrition Society and the Council for the Mathematical Sciences, with sponsorship from Dyson Ltd, Clay Mathematics Institute, United Kingdom Research and Innovation, Warwick Manufacturing Group, AWE, British In Vitro Diagnostics Association, the Society of Chemical Industry, Institute of Biomedical Science, the Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research, and the Biochemical Society.

Press release adapted with thanks from the Royal Society of Biology.

An image of the Houses of Parliament

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