A scientist’s view of the European Parliament.


As part of the British Ecological Society Parliamentary Shadowing Scheme, I went to the European Parliament to meet Linda McAvan MEP, who represents the Yorkshire and Humber constituency in the UK. There, I learned about her work as member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. I also gained a much better appreciation of the EU’s role in determining environmental and science policy.

People of the UK (and across the European continent) tend to either love or hate the EU. Some see it as a vital union that will help the continent maintain freedom and prosperity in a changing world, while others think it is an expensive way of eroding national sovereignty. Many of these opinions are built on fundamental misconceptions. One thing is for certain: the EU is seriously important. The legislation it creates affects the daily lives of all of its citizens, even when we don’t know it – from regulating the additives in our food to combatting man-made climate change. In this collection of posts, I will be discussing my time at the European Parliament, writing about how MEPS approach scientific evidence, the EU’s strategy for women in science, the next stage of the Kyoto Protocol, and the complexities associated with crafting Europe-wide legislation.

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