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Neuroscientist takes her science to Parliament

Cara Louise Croft, a PhD student at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), attended Parliament this week to present her science to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of SET for Britain on Monday 9 March.

Cara’s research on modelling Alzheimer’s disease in a culture system was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to appear in Parliament. She described it as an ‘amazing opportunity’ and said: ‘I hope that my work will highlight the importance of funding further dementia research in the UK.’

Andrew Miller MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, said: ‘This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers.  

‘These early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future and SET for Britain is politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.’

Philip Wright, CEO of The Physiological Society, said: ‘The UK has an excellent biomedical research base that is underpinned by our strength in physiology. SET for Britain provides a unique opportunity for our representatives in parliament to see the fruits of the UK’s research spend first hand, and the enthusiasm and drive of these up-coming scientists.’

Dr Mark Downs, chief executive of the Society of Biology, said: ‘Scientists and politicians both have major roles in addressing some of society’s biggest challenges, from climate change to food security. SET for Britain is a rare opportunity for politicians to meet some of our most promising young scientists and understand their work. 

‘It is important that MPs make policy decisions informed by evidence, and a greater mutual understanding between MPs and scientists will improve this. This is a message that is even more important just ahead of a General Election. The next Government needs to ensure the UK continues to lead the world in biological research where we have enormous strength.’

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee run the event in collaboration with the Society of Biology, the Council for the Mathematical Sciences, the Institute of Physics, The Physiological Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Society of Chemical Industry, with financial support from INEOS, Institute of Biomedical Science, Wiley, BP, Essar, WMG, Clay Mathematics Institute, and the Bank of England.  

Cara’s work was made possible by funding from the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs).

Notes to editors

For further media information please contact Jack Stonebridge, Press Officer, Institute of  Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London on or 020 7848 5377. 

For further information about SET for Britain, visit their website.