On Thursday 19th November, the Bodleian Libraries and the Department of Politics and International Relations hosted the UK Parliament’s Science and Technology Select Committee, chaired by local MP Nicola Blackwood. This special sitting in Oxford took place as part of Parliament Week 2015, a programme of events and activities coordinated by the House of Commons.
The morning session, delivered by the University of Oxford’s Department for Politics and International Relations, the History of Parliament Trust, and Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, explored questions of parliamentary representation and the work of select committees.
In the afternoon an audience of Oxfordshire Sixth Form Students watched a meeting of the House of Common’s Science and Technology Select Committee in the Bodleian Library's Divinity School. The Committee took evidence from leading research scientists in connection with their inquiry on Science in Emergencies: UK lessons from Ebola. The official report covering the event can be found on Parliament's website.
The occasion was an opportunity for the city to commemorate both 1625 and 1665, the last time that Parliament met in the Divinity School. 2015 was also the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta and marked 750 years since the first De Montfort Parliament.
The event was a collaboration between the Bodleian Libraries, the University of Oxford Department for Politics and International Relations, the Magna Carta Trust, and Oxfordshire County Council’s 'Find Your Voice' project, supported by Arts Council England and the Houses of Parliament as part of Parliament in the Making.