Rt Hon Lord Lilley


    The leading young scientists met their MP Peter Lilley in the House of Commons where they had won the right to showcase their research work in the ‘SET for Britain’ exhibition. The event was an opportunity for MPs to meet researchers who live or work in their constituencies and learn about their research projects.

    First, David Richards – who grew up in Sandridge and splits his research between Rothamsted and Nottingham University – explained to Peter how his work on ‘Investigating Ladybird Alkaloids as Novel Sources for Insecticides’ could help develop new naturally based ways of controlling insect pests. Then Dr Matthew Powner from Hitchin and a lecturer at the Department of Chemistry at University College London explained his research on ‘The Chemical Origins of Life’ – how he is analysing the original molecules necessary to form life. Dr Powner was awarded the Roscoe (gold) medal in the chemistry exhibition – a real honour in view of the high quality of research that was presented at the competition.

    Mr Lilley said: “Both research projects were fascinating.   Having studied natural sciences at Cambridge I was keen to find out what young scientists at the cutting edge of research are discovering today. We can be proud to have two winners in this prestigious scheme from this constituency – which may reflect the fact that this part of Hertfordshire has one of the highest proportions of people with scientific and technical qualifications in the country.    These are the scientists who will drive research and development in the UK and go on to be Britain’s future scientific and technological leaders.”

    “There are all too few people in Parliament who understand science so this ‘SET for Britain’ competition provided an important opportunity for MPs to learn about the research work that is being carried out at this country’s universities and research institutions.”

    “I wish David and Matthew every success in the development of their work.”


    Further details of event held on Monday12th March can be found at:



    For further information, contact Annabel Palmer


    Tel: 020 7219 0157