3 thoughts on “A Peek at the Pairing Scheme

  1. I’m all for the pairing scheme and am sure that the principle at least is sound.

    However I am a little sceptical about the Nicola Blackwood’s involvement. Perhaps she has become very involved with science since her election and now engages with it thoroughly. Or perhaps as the MP to take over Evan Harris’s patch she feels that the only way to maintain it is to take over one of his key selling points.

    That could be too cynical, but this is politics after all.

  2. Hi Rich,

    I think you’re right to be skeptical about Nicola’s motives, as it is demonstrably in her political interests to appeal to the scientific community. Yet when I met her she seemed genuine in her commitment to science issues. It’s a scientific constituency, so any candidate is likely to be very supportive of science in the first place. Below is a quotation from my interview with Nicola:

    “Well, one of the problems that I encountered, at any rate, when I was first elected, was the great suspicion from the scientific community, because obviously I had unseated Evan Harris, who was a great representative for the scientific community, and there was this huge suspicion that I was therefore anti-science, and of course it’s got nothing to do with it! I was selected in his seat, and therefore it was my job to try to get elected in his seat, it was not related to his position on science at all, and Oxford West and Abingdon has a huge scientific research base, therefore I’m naturally going to want to represent scientists. I come from a science family anyway, so I’m very positive and supportive about the importance of it!”

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