Science informs almost every area of public policy. The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) is the body responsible for bringing issues related to science and technology to the attention of MPs to inform parliamentary debate.
They go about doing this in various ways, from producing special briefings, called POSTnotes, to supporting and organising discussions. Yesterday, POST organised one such event: an interactive exhibition for parliamentarians and guests to experience some of the work funded in the UK by the leading research public sector bodies.
The AHRC was represented by the Science and Heritage programme. As one of the PhD students in this programme, I was invited, together with two others, to present our work on colour photographs (me), tapestries (Philippa Duffus), and limestone buildings (Rachel Walker).
As it was a hands-on exhibition, I wanted to take something which people can see and touch themselves. I went there with my NIR spectrophotometer and a couple of photographs, to show people how dating colour photographs can be carried out using a portable piece of equipment.
This was my first time attending such an event. The experience of interacting with so many people, many of which seemed genuinely interested in the research, was highly invigorating. I also enjoyed the fact that the people there varied from professors of chemistry, to people with no science background. It was a challenge, but one I relished, trying to pitch the individual presentations at the right level.
I left the place highly enthused about what I am doing. Would I do it again? Definitely! Thanks to the AHRC and to the Science and Heritage programme for giving me the opportunity!