By Dr Sarah King
Last Tuesday was Posters in Parliament, a day organised by the British Conference of Undergraduate Research, to allow students to visit Westminster and present their research to Members of Parliament. Robert Tempelaar, who spent the summer working in my lab (as a junior research associate funded by the Alzheimer’s Society), was presenting our work on testing genetic methods to alter APOE4, a risk gene for Alzheimer’s disease. There was lots of interest in Robert’s poster, including Caroline Lucas, our local MP, who I think got the gist of it!
As well as being a fantastic opportunity to show off our work to a new audience, it was really interesting to see others at work. We watched the first parliamentary session of the day from the viewing balcony. First, the Ministers from the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy fielded questions from both sides of the House as to how they are planning to support British research and industry after Brexit. Then, the House began to fill in readiness for Theresa May’s statement on the European Council. Coming the day after the Brexit bill was passed through Government, this was fascinating. She said her bit and then was pummeled by questions, again from both sides of the House (I was both surprised and pleased by the number of politicians I recognised). Good deals, bad deals, no deals… Brexit may mean Brexit, but what does Brexit mean? It was an interesting to get to see parliament in action, but I think I’ll stick with my day job!