Scottish scientists and politicians meet as Highers students receive IOP awards

17 November 2017

Eminent Scottish physicists spoke at the annual Science and the Parliament event in Edinburgh on 15 November, with the IOP also taking part and presenting its awards to the top-scoring students in this year’s Highers exams.

The day was an opportunity for scientists to meet Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) and for talks and discussions with input from researchers, industry representatives and learned societies on the theme of science, innovation and the economy.

Among the speakers were IOP past-president and Honorary Fellow Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell. There was also a keynote speech from Jamie Hepburn MSP, minister for employability and training, and a panel discussion with MSPs Clare Adamson, Dean Lockhart, Iain C Gray (a former physics teacher), Willie Rennie and Patrick Harvie, led by the BBC’s Ken MacDonald.

A discussion on science and industrial strategy involved Professor Iain Gray, vice president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Dr Jo Reynolds, director of science policy at the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), Professor Alex Halliday, vice-president of the Royal Society and Dr Jano van Hemert, research director of Optos.

Scottish scientists and politicians meet as Highers students receive IOP awards
RSC

A panel chaired by Professor Polly Arnold of the University of Edinburgh discussed the industry perspective with Professor Ian Wall, deputy chair of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry and Alistair Cameron, managing director of Scotmas and a board member of Chemical Sciences Scotland.

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, minister for further education, higher education and science in the Scottish Parliament presented the IOP in Scotland’s Excellence in Physics Awards, given to recognise the success of students who achieve the highest marks in the Higher and Advanced Higher examinations in physics. This year the awards for Physics Advanced Higher went to Ivan Kapelyukh (pictured above) and Elle Wyatt, both of the High School of Dundee, though Elle was unable to attend on the day.

Scottish scientists and politicians meet as Highers students receive IOP awards
RSC

The awards for Physics Higher went to Iona Phillips (pictured left) of Craigmount High School, Edinburgh, and Treeve Willcock (below) of Peebles High School, Peebles. The students were presented with certificates, while staff at each of their schools received Excellence in Physics School Awards in recognition of their contribution to the  students' success.

Scottish scientists and politicians meet as Highers students receive IOP awards
RSC

The IOP had a stand in the exhibition at the event, which was organised by the RSC on behalf of the science community in Scotland. Many people visited the stand during the day, chatting with the IOP’s education manager for Scotland, Gordon Doig, and picking up various leaflets and other resources.



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