STEM for BRITAIN 2018 was founded by Dr Eric Wharton in 1997, with the aim to raise the profile of science among Parliamentarians. The event is designed to encourage support and promote Britain's early-stage and early-career research scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians, who are an essential part of continuing progress in and development of UK research and development, via an exhibition of research posters and competition. Following Dr Wharton’s death, a number of learned societies have worked together with the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee to continue the competition.
The Nutrition Society was invited to participate by the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee in this years STEM for BRITAIN.
The Chairman of the STEM for BRITAIN organising group of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, Dr Stephen Metcalfe MP, sponsored the event in the Attlee Suite Portcullis House, House of Commons, during the British Science Week, on 12 March 2018.
The day-long event is a series of poster presentations and was well received with participants eager to showcase their work and research prowess. Participants were visited by parliamentary MP’s and supporters throughout the event to discuss their research in more detail. This is one of the key benefits of STEM for BRITAIN, which, due to the location of the event, allows parliamentary MP’s to easily and conveniently attend and support delegates and reinforce the importance of the promotion and development of Science in the UK. The biological sciences poster presentations showcased great breadth of topics, including agriculture, drug delivery and cognition, to name just a few.
After an afternoon of Biological poster presentations, the awards, including a cash prize, for Biological Sciences were announced by Dr Stephen Benn MP and Stephen Metcalfe MP. Alastair Watson, University of Southampton, was the recipient of the Bronze award for his research entitled ‘Development of synthetic surfactant proteins A and D to prevent lung disease in babies’. James Larkin, University of Oxford, was awarded the Silver medal for his work on ‘Brain tumour diagnosis using through urine metabolic alignment’. The final award, the Gold medal, was awarded to Maria Karabova, Kings College London, for her research entitled ‘Early life exercises produces enduring benefits on Hippocampal-dependent memory in ageing’ showcasing the potential for exercise to have long term benefit of maintaining cognitive health.'
The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee commissioned a special Westminster medal in honour of Dr Eric Wharton, and this was awarded to Helen Parker, University of Edinburgh for her work in Physics, entitled ‘Lighting up the lung: multispectral imaging of lung disease in intensive care’.
Details about STEM for BRITAIN 2019 will be announced soon. Application deadline to present a poster is predicted to close in December 2018. The Society will inform all members when the applications are open in the Autumn.