VIDEO: Space emerges as issue in UK election science debate

by | Mar 10, 2010 | Seradata News | 0 comments

At 73min into this 156min video, a webcast from the Royal Society of Chemistry debate entitled Science and the General Election 2010, space finally gets a mention

The debate’s moderator BBC Newsnight science editor Susan Watts mentions that a great many of the tweeted questions for the debate were about space

The debate is between the science spokespersons for each of the UK’s largest parties. They are the government’s minister of state for science and innovation Lord Paul Drayson of Kensington, the Conservative party’s shadow minister* for innovation and science Adam Afriyie MP and the Liberal Democrat party’s Evan Harris MP, who is a qualified medical doctor

Afriyie seemed to be referring to space tourism when he talked about his party’s interest in insurance changes for “horizontal take-off” spacecraft. Harris says he is not sure human spaceflight should be a top priority and criticises the Labour party government for “only now” accepting recommendations made years previously by parliamentary committees’ reports into the UK and space

The debate was organised on Tuesday 9 March 2010 by the Royal Society of Chemistry with the help of the parliamentary Science and Technology Select Committee and held at the House of Commons (the UK’s lower parliamentary chamber). The RSC says it was the first live webcast from the House of Commons

*Under the UK political system the official opposition, the largest party after the governing party, has a shadow cabinet that consists of that party’s members of parliament that would be part of the government’s executive if that party were elected to power

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