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From the psychology lab to the backbench

City, University of London scientist visits politicians in Westminster

by George Wigmore (Senior Communications Officer)

Dr Andreas Kappes from City, University of London will be swapping his experimental lab rooms for legislation when he visits Wendy Middleton, Senior Private Secretary to the BEIS Chief Scientific Advisor Professor John Loughhead, at the House of Commons for a week in Westminster.

The week, which runs between the 4th and 7th December, is part of a unique pairing scheme run by the Royal Society – the UK’s national academy of science, with support from the Government Science & Engineering (GSE) profession.

During his visit Dr Kappes will shadow Wendy Middleton and learn about her work. As well as attending seminars and panel discussions about how evidence is used in policy making, Dr Kappes will also attend a mock Select Committee.

The visit will provide Dr Kappes with a behind the scenes insight into how policy is formed and how his research can be used to make evidence-based decisions. It will also give Wendy Middleton the opportunity to investigate the science behind her decisions and improve their access to scientific evidence.

Dr Andreas Kappes said:

“In my research, I look how people learn and make decisions under risk and uncertainty, especially social decisions that have consequences for other people. Obviously, an improved understanding and management of risk and uncertainty has wide-reaching policy ramifications. By spending the week at Westminster, I want to better understand how the policymaking process works, from fundamental research, through to engaging with parliamentarians and civil servants.”

The Royal Society’s pairing scheme, which started in 2001, aims to build bridges between parliamentarians, civil servants and some of the best scientists in the UK.

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