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Young scientists and engineers quiz key political figures at the Houses of Parliament about the science policy issues that matter to them.

 

What is Voice of the Future?

This event offers young scientists and engineers the chance to put their burning science policy questions to key political figures, through a unique opportunity in Westminster. Organised by the Royal Society of Biology on behalf of the science and engineering community, the annual event reverses the format of a Parliamentary Select Committee, giving a panel of early career scientists the opportunity to question senior figures from Parliament and Government on issues that matter to them.

What makes it special?

Dr Stephen Benn, the Society's director of parliamentary affairs, describes its importance:
"This is a unique event – in no other part of Parliament is the normal select committee format completely reversed so that MPs have to answer questions rather than ask them. It is important that policy makers use reliable evidence in their decisions, and today's young scientists and engineers will be vital for this in the future."

Voice of the Future 2017

The 2017 edition of Voice of the Future was held on Wednesday 15th March.

VOF2017-web

Voice of the Future is held in the Boothroyd Room, which has heard prime ministers as well as eminent scientists and experts give evidence. As the tables are turned participants will emerge with a better understanding of how Parliament and Government functions.

Programme

Panel 1: Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister (Industrial Strategy, Science and Innovation)
Panel 2: Sir Mark Walport, Government Chief Scientific Adviser
Panel 3: Jo Johnson MP, (Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation)
Panel 4: Stephen Metcalfe MP and Select Committee on Science and Technology colleagues

Event coverage

Watch a recording of the event on Parliament TV, read our news story and Storify.

Contact

If you have any questions about this event contact Karen Patel.


Voice of the Future 2016

VOFcropWhole panel STC

The 2016 edition of Voice of the Future was held in Parliament on Tuesday 1st March.

Programme

Welcome by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP
Panel 1: Professor Sir Mark Walport, Government Chief Scientific Adviser
Panel 2: Members of Parliament on the Science & Technology Select Committee
Video message from Tim Peake aboard the International Space Station
Panel 3: Jo Johnson MP, (Minister of State for Universities and Science)
Panel 4: Yvonne Fovargue MP, Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)

Event coverage

Watch a recording of the event on Parliament TV, see Tim Peake's message to Parliament or read the news story.
See a social media summary on our Storify.
Royal Society of Biology blog.
Royal Society blog.
RSE Young Academy of Scotland news.
Biochemical Society blog.
Royal Astronomical Society news.


Voice of the Future 2015

BBC VOF2015 snapshot 1

The 2015 edition of Voice of the Future was held in Parliament on Wednesday 4th March.

Programme

Welcome by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP
Panel 1: Professor Sir Mark Walport, Government Chief Scientific Adviser
Panel 2: Members of Parliament on the Science & Technology Select Committee
Panel 3: Liam Byrne MP, Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)
Panel 4: Rt Hon Greg Clark MP (Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities)

Event coverage

Watch the event in full on BBC iPlayer or the Science & Technology Committee.
See a social media summary on our Storify.
Read a report of the event.
The Royal Society blog
Biochemical Society blog
Microbiology Society blog
London Mathematical Society news
Institute of Physics news
City University London news
Cranfield University news

Feedback

"It was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about science policy and how scientists can get involved with politics. It has also made me want to investigate the career paths available for scientists in politics or related disciplines for when I finish my PhD."


Voice of the Future 2014

DSC06549editYoung scientists quizzed key political figures on Wednesday 19th March in the House of Commons during the National Science & Engineering Week.

Programme
Panel 1: Professor Sir Mark Walport, Government Chief Scientific Adviser
Panel 2: Members of Parliament on the Science & Technology Select Committee
Panel 3: Liam Byrne MP, Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)
Panel 4: Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science

Event coverage

Watch a video of the full session on the UK Parliament website or read more about the event in our news story and storify.


Voice of the Future 2013

PamelaN MP small

The 2013 edition of Voice of the Future was held in Parliament on Wednesday 20th March.

Programme
Panel 1: Sir John Beddington CMG FRS, Government Chief Scientific Adviser
Panel 2: Members of Parliament on the Select Committee
Panel 3: Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, Professor John Perkins, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of BIS
Panel 4: Shabana Mahmood MP, Shadow Minister for Universities and Science

Event coverage

Read our storify and watch the event on the Parliament website.


Voice of the Future 2012

The Society of Biology, on behalf of the science and engineering community, organised this unique opportunity for young scientists and engineers, to participate in a Science Question Time with Members of the House of Commons Select Committee on Science & Technology. The inaugural edition took place on Wednesday 14th March 2012.

Programme

Panel 1: Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; and Professor John Perkins CBE FREng, Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for Business Innovation and Skills
Panel 2: Andrew Miller MP and members of the Science and Technology Committee
Panel 3: Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Innovation and Science

Event coverage

Early day motion 2851; Voice of the Future 2012.
Watch the event in full on the Parliament website.