STROUD MP Neil Carmichael met the first scientist ever to be allowed to carry out explosive chemistry experiments in the House of Commons at an event held by the Royal Society of Chemistry in Parliament on Wednesday 30 April.

He met with representatives from the learned society to talk about the importance of scientific research to the UK economy and Stroud and take part in some loud and colourful chemistry experiments performed by Dr Hal Sosabowski from the University of Brighton.

TV scientist Dr Sosabowski launched UNESCO’s International Year of Chemistry at the Houses of Parliament with a show of chemistry demonstrations in 2011.

Neil Carmichael witnessed the whizzes and bangs of chemistry first-hand as Dr Sosabowski showed off the science behind glow sticks, a liquid nitrogen shower and a flaming methane mamba of soap bubbles.

But behind the colourful chemicals and exciting explosions the event was an opportunity to discuss the need for a long-term strategy for UK science funding to drive economic growth and create jobs.

Neil Carmichael MP said: “It was fascinating to see Dr Sosabowski’s chemistry demonstrations. It’s not often you get to see explosions in Parliament! It was also great to talk to the Royal Society of Chemistry about how scientific research can help grow our economy, both locally and nationally.”

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s President, Professor Lesley Yellowlees, said: “Britain is a world leader in science. The chemical sector alone sustains 500,000 jobs across the country.

But over the last decades public investment in scientific research has fallen behind our international competitors.

We want to see a commitment from all sides of the debate to increase total government investment in research in the long-term to set Britain back on the path to science-fuelled growth.”