13 MAR 2017

Helen welcomes Maidstone scientist to Parliament

MP Helen Grant showed her support for science by welcoming one of her constituents to Westminster to showcase her work to Parliamentarians.

Mrs Grant met with Maidstone PhD student Emma Cascant-Lopez after she was selected to present her research to MPs yesterday.

Emma was chosen from amongst hundreds of entries to attend Parliament as part of the national annual early researcher competition STEM for Britain. She presented a poster detailing her research, which investigates the daily cycles of a prominent crop disease and how this knowledge may help generate improved control measures.

The participants were judged on their research and their ability to communicate their findings to the general public as part of a competition to win a cash prize of £3,000. Emma is completing her PhD at East Malling based Niab-EMR, in association with Reading University.

Emma is part of an increasing number of female scientists gaining success in a historically gender-imbalanced industry. Currently fewer than one in five of those working in STEM occupations in the United Kingdom are female, with fewer than one in 10 STEM managers who are women.

Mrs Grant said:

"Emma is a great example of some of the many talented people I have living and working in my constituency. It was a real pleasure for me to be able to meet her and learn about some of the fantastic work she has being doing in the name of science. It is great that schools in and around Maidstone are encouraging girls to get involved in STEM subjects and it is exciting to see the next generation of female scientists, engineers and mathematicians having some success.

I wish Emma all the best with her research and it has been great to witness her here among the many brilliant scientists who are doing their bit to further science in the UK. I very much hope that her work can make a difference."

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