Team Science wants YOU

AldesAt the last general election, support for the Liberal Democrats was buoyed by more than just Cleggmania: the party enjoyed particularly strong support from scientists and science commentators. Much of this was on the strength of Evan Harris’s foregrounding of evidence-based policy and support for reform of the outdated libel laws that saw author Simon Singh sued by the British Chiropractic Association. In the run up to the election, the party was endorsed by Richard Dawkins, and polls by Nature and Chemistry World revealed a majority of their readers saw our party as those most likely to table science-friendly policies.

Mark Henderson (author of The Geek Manifesto), wrote:

The Lib Dems have so far made the strongest case for the science vote. The extra detail that Clegg has now provided reinforces the view that they have most to offer.

As we approach May 2015, the Association for Lib Dem Engineers and Scientists (Aldes) is setting out to put science and engineering centre-stage through our Team Science campaign.

As an association, we’ve already been approached by several PPCs with strong science credentials to ask if we can lend any resources to their individual election campaigns. We have decided to take advantage of this opportunity and run a selection process for six ‘Strategic Seats’ as the first step in our general election campaign.

To be considered for one of the six seats, PPCs should to send the following to [email protected]:

  • Name and constituency
  • A photograph
  • A brief bio (up to 200 words) outlining your scientific credentials
  • One pro-science policy that you would fight for if (re)elected
  • One example of poor science policy (from the UK or abroad) that illustrates the policies you would seek to fight against if (re)elected

The Aldes committee will select our slate of 6 candidates and build additional support through:

  • Directing donations and volunteers towards their campaigns
  • Direct donations from Aldes
  • Seeking media coverage for the Team Science campaign
  • Driving engagement with the science and engineering community

Any PPCs who wish to be considered should submit an entry as soon as possible. The chosen candidates will be announced on 1 November.

We are proud of our party’s record in protecting investment in science and engineering during an austerity government and are pleased that there was mention of longer-term thinking on the science budget in the Pre-Manifesto Document (though would like stronger commitments). With your help, we’d like to make sure that we are able to make a clear case to scientists and engineers in research and industry that the Lib Dems have a distinctive and progressive offering in this area. Anyone interested in helping out with the campaign can drop us an email at [email protected].

 

* Ed Long is the chair of the Association of Lib Dem Engineers and Scientists and a local member of Tower Hamlets Lib Dems

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4 Comments

  • Michael Mullaney 29th Sep '14 - 10:41pm

    Surely must include Bosworth where we are trying to get rid of the anti-science doctors shouldn’t operate on full moons David Tredinnick! He’s on the Science Select Committee bizarrely and is pushing the most anti science agenda.

  • Great initiative! So happy when we passed our Science Policy (was that 2 years ago now). Science is one area where Britain excels – and we can, and should do so much more, indeed it is a critical area for our future in this globally competitive ! We need to ensure that science and innovation feature strongly in our manifesto. On a good note for Britain, but sadly for us as Lib Dems, George Osbourne did a decent job on this yesterday in his speech!

    On a slightly more sour note, what was then “Cleggmania” has now morphed (or should I say evolved, or is it degenerated?) into “Cleggphobia”, and is almost certainly a drag on our electoral outcome in 2015. Just imagine where Labour might be if they had a popular leader who could actually tap into the hearts and desires of the electorate. Such a situation, combined with the current UKIP insurgency , would be a slaughter-house for the Tories in marginals (of which there are many).

  • I find the under representation of Scientifically trained MPs in parliament a matter of serious concern. Evidence based policy is the crux of good government; there is not enough of it about.

  • Bring back the old O levels and allow pupils to take them early. Those who were good at maths, could take the O Level at 14 .This meant the ablest children were learning calculus at 14. Allowing children to sit maths O Level at least a year early meant that it was possible to start Physics and Chemistry A level having already obtained Additional Maths O level.Consequently, the ablest had the maths skill to learn quantitative aspects of physics and chemistry very quickly. The result was that the ablest graduates from the best universities often did not need to take masters and degrees could be completed in 3 and not 4 years.

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