Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee

Select Committee Press Release

 Media enquiries: Tel. No. 020 7219 5693 Email:

5 March 2009

Pupils shine spotlight on MPs as part of Big Bang science and engineering fair

Members of the Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee yesterday (4 March) had the tables turned on them as pupils grilled the MPs on science issues in a select committee-style meeting.

Pupils aged between 11 and 13 from Park View Academy’s science club quizzed the Committee Chairman, Phil Willis, and committee members Tim Boswell, Dr Brian Iddon, and Dr Evan Harris. Questions were about the future of science funding, the use of human embryonic stem cells, and obesity. Images from the session are available here:

The event was part of the Big Bang Fair which is running this week (4-6 March) and which aims to promote science and engineering, and to inspire students.

Phil Willis MP, Chairman of the Committee, said:

“We were delighted to take part in this mock committee session and to engage directly with school children about some really important issues. The pupils were enthusiastic and assertive, and did not shy away from tackling controversial and complex subjects.

“If the UK is to remain a big-hitter in innovation and technology, then it is vital that pupils view science and engineering as an exciting and accessible career path. Park View Academy is setting an excellent example with its science club, but this type of club should be the norm in all schools, rather than the exception.”