Bexley scientist to quiz MPs about gender inequality

PUBLISHED: 14:48 02 March 2015 | UPDATED: 14:48 02 March 2015

Kelly Chaplin

Kelly Chaplin


Biology student will question Science Minister at the House of Commons

A SCIENTIST from Bexley has been chosen to visit the House of Commons and quiz MPs about science policy.

Biology student Kelly Chaplin, 22, will head to Westminster on Wednesday for the Society of Biology’s Voice of the Future event.

Young scientists and engineers will question the Science Minister, the Shadow Science Minister, the Government’s chief scientific advisor and members of the House of Commons science and technology select committee about scientific issues that matter to them.

Ms Chaplin was chosen for her question: “Innovation in science and technology is constantly evolving, however, there seems to be a never-ending gender imbalance in these areas - what practical steps can be taken to increase the number of women working in these fields?”

Dr Stephen Benn, the Society of Biology’s director of parliamentary affairs, said: “The Voice of the Future is a unique event – in no other part of Parliament is the normal select committee format completely reversed so that MPs, the Minister and the Shadow Minister have to answer questions rather than ask them.

“It is important that policymakers use reliable evidence in their decisions, and today’s young scientists and engineers will be a vital part of this in the future.”

Ms Chaplin, who is studying for her A-levels through distance learning, said: “It is an honour to have been chosen to represent the Society of Biology at the Voice of the Future event.

“There are many campaigns to increase the number of women working in STEM industries, but progress is slow.”

The event will be broadcast on Parliament TV, which broadcasts live webcasts of proceedings in Parliament.

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