MP and scientist learn about each other’s job

MP and scientist learn about each other’s job

A city MP will today (Thursday, October 6) gain an insight into the work of a developmental biologist.

Aberdeen South MP Dame Anne Begg is spending the day at the University of Aberdeen’s Institute of Medical Sciences to find out more about Dr Neil Vargesson and his research.

Later this month Dr Vargesson will shadow Dame Anne at her constituency and then visit her at Westminster for firsthand experience of life as an MP. 

The reciprocal visits are part of the Royal Society's annual MP-Scientist Pairing scheme which aims to increase understanding between parliamentarians and the science community.

Dr Vargesson’s areas of research include studying the controversial drug thalidomide – two years ago he published a paper which explained how the drug once used to treat morning sickness targeted and triggered limb defects.

“I’m really looking forward to welcoming Dame Anne and discussing our research,” said Dr Vargesson, a lecturer in developmental biology.

“I am also delighted to be gaining a better understanding of how scientists and MPs can work more closely which could help increase public awareness of important research.”

Dame Anne added: “This is the fifthyear I have participated in the Royal Society pairing scheme and have found the experience very enlightening and have gained real insights into the valuable work our scientists do. 

"It also gives us the chance to exchange views so we can better understand the work we both do and how we can be mutually supportive."