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Evidence Week 2021

Representatives from BGS took part in Evidence Week 2021 to talk to parliamentarians about unlocking the potential of geothermal energy in the UK.

BGS Geothermal team at Evidence Week
Dr Corinna Abesser, BGS Geothermal Energy lead and Andrew Bloodworth, BGS Policy Director, meet Ruth Edwards, MP for Rushcliffe. Source: Sense about Science

How do you make a personal decision? How do you make a decision that affects those around you? How do you make a decision that affects the whole country?

The key is evidence.

For example, a politician may be discussing education policy at one moment and considering public health programmes the next; theirs is a challenging and varied role that requires understanding and absorbing a huge range of evidence sources to make policy and strategy decisions.

At BGS we recognise that scientific research should not occur in a vacuum; a large part of its purpose is to inform decision making at all levels, from the personal to the political. We aim to communicate our science to a range of audiences in a succinct, useful and engaging way. One of the ways we reach policymakers is through producing policy briefs on critical topics and by taking part in events like Evidence Week. Evidence Week, organised by the charity Sense about Science, brings researchers and parliamentarians together in the Houses of Parliament and offers them the opportunity to communicate and discuss ideas surrounding science, evidence and policy. This helps MPs to better scrutinise scientific evidence for policymaking.

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Dr Corinna Abesser explains how to work out the UK’s geothermal energy potential. Source: Sense about Science.

This year the BGS geothermal team participated in Evidence Week to share and discuss our research into geothermal systems and technologies with MPs and their staff

Our research in this area addresses critical questions, from investigating the size of the geothermal resource beneath our feet to understanding how it can best be managed, and how to mitigate environmental risks. We also investigate the policy and regulatory changes that are necessary to enable further development of this resource. We have recently published a policy briefing on the UK’s untapped geothermal energy potential.

During their time in Parliament, Corinna Abesser, BGS Geothermal Energy lead, and Andrew Bloodworth, BGS Policy Director, had the opportunity to discuss with MPs the contribution that geothermal energy could make to meeting the UK’s net zero commitments. In addition, they were able to raise awareness of the regulation and policy developments that will be required to make this a reality.

Conversations sparked at the event have continued afterwards, allowing us to further our efforts in involving and meaningfully engaging policymakers in critical decarbonisation research.

Corinna Abesser is currently undertaking an academic research fellowship at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST).

About the author

Eilidh Dunnet
Eilidh Dunnet

CSRF Engagement and Communications Manager

BGS Edinburgh
Find out more

Download our geothermal policy briefing document

Policy briefing – The UK’s untapped geothermal energy potential

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