Event report: A Model for Sustainability

On the 17th of November Ashlyns School hosted the panel discussion event ‘A Model for Sustainability’.  The panel comprised of Prof. Brian Collins, the Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Department of Transport, Dr. Sarah Bell, Co-director of the UCL Environment Institute, Prof. Steven Bishop, Coordinator of the GSD project and Helen Sinclair, a researcher working in the sustainability area.

Young scientists from Berkhamsted and surrounding schools were given the opportunity to put their questions to the panel and the discussion covered topics as diverse as the introduction of electric vehicles to the struggle of reaching a worldwide carbon emissions agreement in Copenhagen next month.  The young scientists enthusiastically put their opinions across and enjoyed the opportunity to put the panel members under tough scrutiny. The lively debate also covered topics such as the recent go-ahead of 10 new nuclear power sites by the government and the lifestyle changes we, as a society, have to make now to give a chance of a sustainable future.

With the panel members coming from a variety of backgrounds, the questions were answered with great balance. Professor Brian Collins’ experience of working with the UK Department of Transport ensured some probing questions regarding the government’s recent support for the UK car industry and its effect on carbon emissions and how the government can persuade industry to take climate change more seriously and reduce emissions.

After the panel discussion there was an chance for the young scientists to talk to the panel members on a more informal basis, many of whom took up this opportunity.  By engaging a younger generation of scientists in discussions like these it is hoped they will be inspired to contribute to the challenges regarding sustainability both now and in the future.  We would like to thank Ashlyns School for hosting the event.  The discussion was recorded and will be available on this website in due course.