Jo Johnson MP highlights importance of investment in science with visit to Diamond

The Minister of State for Universities and Science reiterated his commitment to public spending on science projects

Visit by Minister of State Universities and Science, Jo Johnson MP.
(L-R): Dave Stuart, Director of life science, Jo Johnson MP and Johann-Dietrich Woerner, the Director General of ESA
Visit by Minister of State Universities and Science, Jo Johnson MP. (L-R): Dave Stuart, Director of life science, Jo Johnson MP and Johann-Dietrich Woerner, the Director General of ESA
The Minister of State for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, visited Diamond Light Source to learn more about the impact of capital spending investment on science and innovation. This was part of the activities linked to the Harwell Open Week.
 
The Minister was accompanied to Diamond by Johann-Dietrich Woerner, the Director General of ESA, where they were welcomed by CEO Andrew Harrison and Physical Sciences Director Trevor Rayment. The group enjoyed a tour of the synchrotron building, visiting a range of cutting-edge facilities that are driving forwards improvements in cutting-edge science.
 
Life Sciences Director David Stuart showed Diamond’s new cryo-electron microscope where the Minister learnt about the capabilities of cryo-EM for studying complex biological structures. In addition they visited beamline I24 – one of five crystallography beamlines at Diamond – where they discussed the role Diamond has played in developing a new vaccine methodology that could help prevent foot and mouth disease.
ESA's European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications, ECSAT, building inauguration at STFC's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, 9th July 2015. Image shows Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science speaking at the event.
ESA's European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications, ECSAT, building inauguration at STFC's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, 9th July 2015. Image shows Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science speaking at the event.
Jo Johnson later spoke at the opening ceremony for the new space buildings, emphasising the importance of diversity in STEM and highlighting the economic impact of continued public investment in science.
 
Following his visit, the Minister published a statement with the Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills. In it, he observes the importance of collaboration between business and academia, lays out measures to encourage more young women into STEM careers, and reiterates the fact that public investment in science delivers strong returns to the economy of at least 20% per annum.
 
The full piece is available to read here.