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From backbench to lab bench: MP meets Bristol researchers

6 February 2015

Stephen Williams, MP for Bristol West, swapped legislation for a lab coat when he visited the University of Bristol. The unique insight is part of a pairing scheme run by the Royal Society, which sees him shadow the work of an academic and vice versa.

Dr Angela Attwood, from the University of Bristol’s School of Experimental Psychology, has spent 4 days in Westminster learning more about Mr Williams’ work.

She said: “The Royal Society Pairing Scheme aims to build bridges between parliamentarians and scientists, so that MPs can become more informed about science issues and scientists can get a better understanding of how science informs policy.

Dr Attwood works in Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group (TARG). The University is one of only a few research institutions in the country to have a fully equipped CO2 laboratory, and TARG is leading the way in using this anxiety induction tool in psychological research.

Mr Williams saw the work being undertaken in the carbon dioxide lab, where researchers are exploring the effects of anxiety on performance and health.

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