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Political science

29 January 2008

Alun Michaels visiting CUBRIC

Member of Parliament, Alun Michael has visited the University as part of a scheme which aims to ‘establish links between some of the best research workers in the country and members of the UK parliament’.

Dr David George, School of Psychology and a Royal Society University Research Fellow, was paired with Mr Michael as part of the Society’s MP-Scientist Pairing Scheme.

Dr George’s research focuses on mechanisms of learning and memory with implications for our understanding of the cognitive dysfunction associated with disorders such as schizophrenia. In 2004 he won the American Psychological Association’s New Investigator Award.

Mr Michael met with the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Engagement, Professor Ken Woodhouse and toured the School of Psychology including the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) featuring the latest brain scanning technologies, enabling psychologists and medical experts to gain a better understanding of how the brain functions.

Mr Michael said: "After welcoming Dr David George as his scientist shadow in Westminster - and giving him an insight into the workings of Parliament - it was a pleasure to return the favour by visiting Cardiff University's School of Psychology to learn about how the mind works!"

Dr George said: "The MP-scientist pairing scheme provides an excellent opportunity to learn both about how science works in parliament and how we, as scientists, may influence the process.

"My visit to Westminster has also left me with an appreciation of how busy the life of an MP can be. To someone who spends much of his time thinking about highly-focused research questions it was astonishing to observe the range of topics than an MP must have in-depth knowledge of."

Established in 2001 the scheme comprises three activities: a briefing by the Royal Society, a week in Westminster, and reciprocal visits to the constituency office and the laboratory.

A number of scientists from the University have participated in the scheme welcoming Julie Morgan MP, Jon Owen Jones, MP, Roger Williams, MP and most recently Madeleine Moon, MP.