Scientists for Labour

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Our People




Rt. Hon. Dr Gordon Brown

As both Chancellor and Prime Minister of the UK, Gordon Brown provided consistent support for science and engineering, from R&D tax credits to increased PhD stipends. He is one of the relatively few politicians that truly 'gets' science and sees its importance for long-term economic growth.

David Sainsbury, Lord Sainsbury of Turville

David Sainsbury is a businessman, philanthropist and former minister. As Minister for Science and Innovation from 1998-2006 he was the third longest serving minister in the last Labour Government after Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. In 2008, Sainsbury was elected as an honorary Fellow of the Royal Society and in 2011 was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.

Executive Committee

John Unsworth (Chair)

John has been SfL Chair since 2006 and was previously Treasurer from 1996-2005. John is a Fuels Technical Manager with over 30 years' industry experience in Energy & Environment related R&D projects. Scientific interests: technology transfer of R&D into products and marketing, conventional and alternative fuels, motor vehicle emissions, dioxins, gas storage, coal exploration & utilisation. John Unsworth is on LinkedIn.

Sean Munro (Vice Chair)

Sean is cell biologist who heads a research group studying membrane traffic for the Medical Research Council in Cambridge. His interests include cells, people, Europe and the environment. Sean was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2011.

Bobbie Nichols (Treasurer)

Bobbie has been an Executive member for over 10 years. Originally a physicist, Bobbie made a career change into scientific publishing, first with the Institute of Physics and latterly with Oxford University Press, specializing in medical textbooks. Main interests: public understanding of science and combating the dismissive attitude to science all too prevalent among the ‘chattering classes’.

Ben Fernando (Secretary)

Ben is a first year PhD student in environmental research at the University of Oxford. He previously completed a MSci in space physics at Imperial College London, whilst serving as chair of the University Labour Club. He has also previously served as SfL’s student officer and as youth officer of Chelsea and Fulham Labour Party, and was a council candidate in the May 2015 elections. He was elected as a student Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2015. Ben Fernando is on LinkedIn, you can also reach him on Twitter @benfernando2

Steve Clapcote (Membership)

Steve is Lecturer in Pharmacology in the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Leeds and editor of the journal Disease Models & Mechanisms. His research uses mouse and human molecular genetics to investigate mechanisms of human neurological diseases, with the aim of identifying new targets for therapeutic intervention. He joined the Labour Party aged 15, and was the Labour candidate in the Shipley constituency in the May 2015 general election.

Rob Davidson (Web Master and Communications)

Rob's background is in 'omics bioinformatics, having worked previously as Bioinformatics Officer at the NERC National Biomolecular Analysis Facility at the University of Birmingham (NBAF-B), and originally studying a PhD in clinical metabolomics at the Insitute of Cancer Research in Sutton. Until recently, he worked as 'data scientist' at the Open Access journal, GigaScience, promoting reproducibility in biosciences through sharing of Open Data and analysis pipelines, with a special focus on Galaxy workflows. Since then he has been employed by the Office for National Statistics as Open Data Lead and most recently works as Chief Technical Officer at Scientists for EU, a campaign he co-founded with Mike Galsworthy. Rob Davidson is on LinkedIn, you can also reach him on Twitter @bobbledavidson

Sina Lari (Socialist Society Rep)

Sina is a student Biologist at Imperial College London, where his current research involves data analysis on malaria parasites and mosquitos. He serves as President of Imperial College Labour Students, and is Vice-President of the Royal College of Science Union Biology Society. His political interests include science policy and he takes particular concern towards issues relating to Local Government, especially in his home Borough of Kensington & Chelsea where he serves as Vice-Chairman of the Constituency Party.

Kenza Tazi (Student officer)

Danny Sweeney (Campaigns officer)

Danny graduated in Astronomy & Space Science. He has a broad interest in Science communication and promoting scientifically evidence based policy. He first became involved in the Labour movement through working for UNISON, before his current role working for a member of the Scottish Parliament. Danny spends much of his spare time campaigning for the Labour Party, and its sister party the Cooperative Party.

Eleanor Turpin ( Equalities officer)

Ellie Turpin is a Research Fellow in the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham. Following a first degree in Physics and an MSc in Natural Computation, she obtained a PhD in Computational Chemistry. Her research focuses on multiscale simulations of bio- and biocompatible macromolecules, such as peptides, proteins, lipid membranes and, currently, polymer drug excipients. Her policy interests include the future of UK research, especially with respect to provision of high performance computing, and addressing the gender imbalance in STEM related industries.

William Russell (Scottish officer)

Involved in setting up Scientists for Labour in 1995 being the first Chair. Major scientific interests in virology and molecular biology. Member of Medical Research Council staff at National Institute of Medical Research at Mill Hill London from 1964-1984 and Head of Division of Virology from 1975. Professor of Biochemistry at University of St Andrews from 1984-1995 and now Emeritus Research Professor there. Willie was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1988.

Martin Yuille (Health Research Lead)

Martin Yuille is Reader at the University of Manchester Institute for Population Health and a member of Withington Constituency Labour Party. Trained in biochemistry and molecular genetics in the UK and US (Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, London, Stanford and New York), his research has focussed on haematological oncology and, latterly, on population health. He is also active in developing research and educational infrastructure for biomedical and health research. He co-directs the Centre for Integrated Genomic Medical Research in Manchester. Martin Yuille is on LinkedIn.

Mike Galsworthy (Science Policy Lead & Twitter Lead)

Mike Galsworthy is an independent consultant in research and innovation policy. He obtained a first class degree in Natural Sciences, Cambridge (1998), followed by a PhD in behaviour genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London (2003). He has worked in academia in Switzerland, Slovenia and the UK (at UCL and the Royal College of Anaesthetists). Policy recommendations he has made on the EU’s science funding programme have featured in a 2013 House of Lords report on EU innovation and the UK Government’s 2014 Balance of Competences report on European research and innovation. Mike Galsworthy is on LinkedIn.

Paul Connell (Science Education Lead & Facebook Lead)

David Caplin 

David is Emeritus Professor of Physics at Imperial College London. His research interests cover a wide range of electronic materials, including superconductors and magnetic materials. He has served on a number of national and international physics-related committees. Other interests include climate change and also professional ethics.

Jonathan Slack

Jonathan is an emeritus professor of the University of Bath, UK, and the University of Minnesota, USA and is a specialist in developmental biology. He was Head of the Department of Biology and Biochemistry at Bath and of the Stem Cell Institute in Minnesota. He is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and continues to be involved in teaching, scientific writing and publishing. He has an interest in all aspects of science policy, but particularly in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine and their likely impact on health care in the future. Jonathan Slack is on LinkedIn.

Allison Woollard

Alison leads a research team working on the developmental genetics of the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. Her current work concerns molecular mechanisms of cell fate determination during C. elegans development, trying to unpick the complex mechanisms by which cells become different from one another as an organism develops from egg to adult. She is a fervent believer in the idea that good education is transformative, both in individual lives and in society as a whole. This leads her to be very committed to Public Engagement, believing that science must be more strongly embedded in society as an important cultural ambition, as well as a crucial driver of economic competitiveness, improved healthcare and sensible public and governmental policy.  She presented the 2013 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures series “Life Fantastic”, broadcast on BBC4, and since then has taken part in a diverse range of activities, from pop festivals to stand-up comedy! Alison has been a member of the Labour Party for 20 years and feels passionately that politicians must engage properly with science and scientists.

Matt Gwilliam

Matt Gwilliam is an Honorary Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Cancer Research, London. His work focuses on developing imaging techniques that can be used to assess the effectiveness of new treatments in the area of paediatric cancer. Before this he worked for the NHS for over 3 years as a scientist and specialised in MRI research.

Pamela Buchan

Pamela Buchan is an ESRC funded PhD student on the Environment, Energy and Resilience pathway at Exeter University researching public participation in marine conservation and governance. Prior to returning to university, for a decade Pamela worked professionally in the fields of science communication and public engagement in the third sector, specialising in volunteering strategy. Pamela Chairs the Trustee Board of the marine conservation charity Sea-changers and volunteers for MARINElife. Her research interests are interdisciplinary: specifically she is interested in marine science, conservation and governance, but more broadly in public participation in science and science-related policy. Pamela serves Scientists for Labour as Membership Secretary and champions environmental issues.