SfAM would like to pay tribute to the late Andrew Miller, former MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, who died recently on Christmas Eve. Andrew, former, and first ever Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee, was instrumental in helping SfAM to establish our Science Policy Sub-Committee. We began our work with Andrew in 2016, when he took part in a policy workshop as a policy expert panel member, which ran as a precursor to our annual conference. Andrew provided us with some real insight into the world of science policy that set us on a path to work more closely with him. Following various discussions, we were delighted that Andrew agreed to become a special advisor as we set up our Policy Sub-Committee, and he gave generously of his time, and his extensive knowledge. Many suggest that policy and the workings of Parliament are shrouded in mystery, but Andrew helped us to understand clearly how SfAM could make a difference, and how best to engage with different kinds of opportunities, but importantly to also know our limitations. Since then we have provided written evidence to various select committee and other inquiries, we have hosted a series of policy discussions framed around food safety after Brexit and published the outcomes, engaged with members of both Houses by hosting an ‘evidence pod’ during Evidence Week at Parliament, pitched a microbiology topic to the My Science Inquiry, and strengthened our Policy team at SfAM. I am in no doubt that all of this was made possible by our work with Andrew, and his enthusiasm and generosity in sharing his expertise.
Dr Clare Taylor
Chair, SfAM Policy Sub-Committee