Thursday, 19 December 2013

H2FC Supergen conference

My week started by going to the H2FC Supergen Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Researcher Conference. Running from Monday afternoon to Wednesday morning, the conference was jam packed with a variety of research presentations on a range of topics. As well as some great research, there were a number of really interesting keynote speakers and these will be the main focus of this post. 

Professor Nigel Brandon began the conference by reminding us of the benefits of using hydrogen fuel cells: their efficiency, the fact that they don't produce particulates and the flexibility given by the variety of hydrogen production methods. He concluded that research into cleaner hydrogen production will be necessary to ensure that a future containing hydrogen fuel cells will be sustainable. 

Monday evening hosted a lively panel discussion between some really very inspiring early career researchers. Dr. Greg Offer, Dr. Valeska Ting (@DrValeskaTing), Dr. Dennis Krammer and Dr. Paul Shearing were each given the stage for 10 minutes to talk about their route into academia and any tips they had for us sitting in the audience who might want to do the same. The passion and drive that these four exhibited during the short session made it clear that their lectureships were well earned! We were encouraged to aim high, to take networking seriously and (obviously!) to publish as much as possible. The range of pathways exhibited amongst the panel showed that failure does happen, and that a "Plan B" can come in very handy... 
Huge thanks to all the members of the panel - it was a really useful session!

Tuesday began with Dr. Mark Selby from Ceres Power. He encouraged the development of links between academia and industry through better listening, reminding us that companies do not want to make problems with their industry public, even if they do have a whole team of researchers working to solve them. Following on from the career session the previous evening, he advised us to be clear about what we do and don't know and to seize opportunities that fit our values. 
The second industrial keynote of Tuesday was Jane Patterson from Ricardo (@Ricardo_AEA), who gave an excellent presentation on the importance of applied research. 

After a great conference dinner at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground, the hall was looking emptier for the final day. However, it was well worth staying until the end for Dr. Kerry-Ann Adamson's (@KerryAnnEnergy, Navigant Research) "Wake Up Call" for the clean tech industry. As well as tips on which countries to target for future research opportunities, we were warned to beware of the word "optimal" and of presenting technologies and not solutions. Finishing on the very positive note that this is likely to be the most exciting time to be working in energy research, Kerry-Ann woke us all up and left us with something to think about. 

Overall, it was a really interesting and varied conference with some great sessions: thanks to all the organisers and presenters!!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013


I have recently discovered a new organisation called ClimateSnack. It's awesome!

ClimateSnack encourages researchers to translate their exciting climate research from academic speak into easily digestible "snacks" perfect for reading over a cup of tea.

The motivation behind ClimateSnack is to develop the skills of early stage researchers in climate science in writing for a general audience. Currently there are groups in Bergen and Imperial universities, and I am in the process of starting up a group at the University of Birmingham with the help of a post-doc in the geography department. 

The groups work as follows:
  • A couple of group members draft an article ("snack") on a climate science topic of their choice.
  • Before the meeting (they happen once a month), the snacks get sent round the group for everyone to read.
  • When the group meets, the authors begin by reading their snack out loud to the group.
  • The rest of the group give their comments and feedback.
  • The authors go back to their laptops and finish off the snack. They then get their articles published on the ClimateSnack website.
  • International ClimateSnackers can then also read the snack and give feedback to the authors.
  • After receiving the feedback, the snackers can then put what they have learnt into practice and write another snack!

This cycle is an excellent way for researchers to develop their writing skills. Not only can you test run sections of your thesis introduction, student newspaper articles or blog posts; but by reading through other people's work you learn a phenomenal amount about what it is like to read work from a different field to yours. The process of giving feedback is also important in an academic environment, and ClimateSnack gives a great environment in which to practise. 

ClimateSnack treats writing for a wider audience the same as learning a new language: the ability to go through the ClimateSnack cycle a number of times brings the much needed repetition and an excellent way to track progress. The barrier to publishing your work online is broken down by the ability to test run the article before you make the (terrifying!) jump of putting yourself 'out there'.

For those group members who don't even know where to start, ClimateSnack offers online courses which are excellent. These are definitely worth a watch!

I introduced the concept of ClimateSnack to UoB researchers at the last graduate school "TGS Fridays" event and it went down pretty well! Looks like we will have a group ready for an inaugural meeting in January, which is great news. 

If you are a researcher in climate science at Birmingham and want to find out more information then get in touch @RDscience or via the comment box below.

For more information visit the ClimateSnack website, and/or follow @ClimateSnack on twitter. 

Thursday, 28 November 2013

STFC Public Engagement Synposium

On Monday I attended the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Public Engagement Symposium at the University of Birmingham. It was an interesting and varied day, with some really good speakers and a lot of opportunity to speak to other attendees.

The Chairman of the STFC Council, Professor Sir Michael Sterling, set the scene by inspiring us that public engagement is "Good for you, good for your science and good for your career".

We then had a great presentation from Andrew Cohen, the head of science for BBC TV. He stressed the point of knowing your audience, exemplified by the different channels. BBC Four viewers will be actively seeking new knowledge, and are therefore much easier to write for. The challenge is taking people "across the divide" and programmes must be Important, Relevant and Entertaining. There were many clips of great scientific communication, from the "Science of Dr. Who" to Horizon. Our take home tips were to:

  • Position the story correctly (BBC4 or BBC1?)
  • Aim beyond the scientifically literate
  • Support your fellow scientists who engage
  • Watch the new film Gravity! (Apparently a great example of science in the public!)

The discussion afterwards brought to our attention another few great communication activities: Drunk Histories and Museum of Me

The second session introduced us to a varied panel, who each gave an introductory presentation before taking questions and leading a panel discussion. 

Dr. Robin Clegg, head of public engagement at STFC, directed us to the strategic plan we were given in our packs, along with showing us a number of other training and development opportunities. 

Dr. Penny Fidler, CEO of the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (@sciencecentres), reminded us that there is no need to 'go it alone' as there are many resources available, including the "Explore your Universe" project. She stressed the need for hands-on science, with their centres aiming to get people Intrigued, Inspired and Involved with the sciences. 
Bridget Holligan, of Science Oxford (@scienceoxford), gave us advice on communicating with 8-13 year-olds. We were advised to assume zero knowledge, but infinite intelligence - something I feel is very appropriate having taken some amazing questions at school events in the past!

The last panel member, Dr. Helen Featherstone (@HFeatherstone), began by playing "public engagement or not?": a game involving knitted neurons (see right!) which was a great way of making sure we were all clear of how much of a two way process public engagement needs to be. 

The discussion that followed was quite lively, and brought up how much children's career choices are based on their parents, and so how important it is to get the whole family involved. Before lunch, there was a quick Soapbox session, allowing people to bring everyone's attention to a specific project or activity that they could talk to them about later in the day. These varied from Open University practical labs to advice on how write a TV programme pitch. 

Over lunch, there were stands around the room representing a range of groups. I found it very interesting to talk to the Institute of Physics about their beer mat project: #cheersphysics - getting science into pubs (left). 

The afternoon began with Professor Iain Stewart (@ProfIainStewart) introducing the idea that risk is made up of both hazard and outrage. He encouraged experts to not only talk better, but also listen better: find out why people are outraged and what neighbourhood groups want to know. 

We then broke off into workshop sessions. My first workshop was on "Reaching the Hard to Reach" with Dr. Lucy Yeomans. We spoke about who we meant by the hard to reach, and looked at a number of case studies before drafting our own project ideas and discussing them with the group. Her advice was to be creative with how you engage, whilst not underestimating your audience. 

My second workshop was on Citizen Science, with Dr. Rob Simpson (@orbitingfrog) from zooniverse. I found this really interesting, as I really didn't know anything about citizen science beforehand. There are a huge range of projects going on, with the public helping a great deal in scientific advancements. We were encouraged to think of our own projects, remembering not to waste people's time! the projects should be doing real science and machines should not be able to do it. 

The final session began with Dr. Ceri Brenner telling us how we can bring our research into reality: her tips were to remember why we started doing science and to have a dinner party pitch ready with a good analogy. She also mentioned the idea of skype visits - which I thought was a great idea for bringing people into the lab if it's not physically possible. 

The day finished with a really great discussion. We were all encouraged to ask what would make public engagement easier: our group thought our main constraint was time, and discussed the possibility of ring-fenced time for this purpose. As I am on a doctoral training centre, which has a compulsory public engagement course and mini-project. I loved these opportunities and would have liked this time continued through my PhD. However, we also acknowledged that it's not for everyone, and so maybe optional courses should be made available. One thing the whole audience agreed on was that public engagement activities should be given tangible values, so that time spent on activities was rewarded. 

Overall it was a really good day! I learnt a lot and can't wait to implement some new ideas. Thanks STFC!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

EPSRC launch event

Last Friday I was given the opportunity to speak the EPSRC event announcing the next round of Doctoral Training Centres to be given funding by the EPSRC. A list of the 72 successful centres and the EPSRC press release from the event can be found here. The event was held in the BT tower and was attended by a number of representatives from the different universities and some members of the press. 

There were 4 speakers (including myself), each giving a 5 minute presentation, followed by a discussion with the floor. I was asked to talk about my research, where I fitted into my DTC, what the difference between a DTC and a normal PhD course is and my aspirations for the future. After the discussion, I was interviewed by a journalist from the Times Higher Education supplement and the EPSRC video media team. A part of my video interview is on the online press conference part of the EPSRC link I mentioned earlier - I'm sharing a video summary with David Willetts MP! 

Thanks again to the EPSRC for inviting me, it was a great event and I hope my presentation made the audience realise the added benefits you can get as a student by being on a DTC! 

EPSRC Chair, Dr Paul Golby

Senior BT Host, Research MD Tim Whitley

Me, giving the student perspective
David Willetts MP (Minister for Universities and Science) 

 The speakers with David Delpy (EPSRC) answering questions from the audience

Monday, 11 November 2013

Professional Development Policy Workshop for Chemical Scientists

On Friday I went to a workshop organised by the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP) and sponsored and hosted by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). The purpose of the workshop was to
" Bring together policy makers and researchers in the early stage of their careers to engage in discussion and debate and think longer term about career paths and goals. "
and I definitely think it did what it was supposed to!

The day was broken down into three sessions: two panel discussion and an activity.

Before the discussion sessions began, we had an introductory presentation from James Hutchinson of the RSC which gave us some background information about how the policy process works and at what stages chemists may be involved. We were also given a copy of the RSC Science Policy Writing course which looks amazingly helpful - I'll definitely be reading it more thoroughly soon.

The first panel discussion featured three scientists who all had experience of working with the government. Dr. David Taylor began by introducing the role of policy advisor: someone who gives advice, not just evidence. He drew on his experience to put together a list of 'must-haves' for a potential policy advisor:

  • Technical and Political expertise. This enables an accurate diagnosis of the fundamentals and an evaluation of the available options. Be aware that policy advice is neutral but that its recipients rarely are!
  • The ability to contextualise. You need to be able to see the issue through your client's eyes. 
  • Procedural knowledge. You need to understand the way the systems that you are trying to influence actually work! This may involve persuading middle managers rather than the boardroom.  
  • Self Awareness and Communication. Remember to talk to people in their language, but make sure you stay within your area of expertise. 
He finished by reminding us that policy makers are often very busy, and so the ability to keep the message short and understandable is key. 

Selvarani Elahi then took told us about her work at LGC, which was the government laboratory before privatisation. I was interested in her work, as my great-grandfather was a government analyst in India many years ago! she stressed the need for non-contamination within their labs, as their results are taken as the last word and so can end up determining the result of criminal law trials. 

Dr. Leila Luheshi was the last to speak in the first session, and gave us some tips as to how to get into working in science policy. We were encouraged to be as politically aware as possible, so we can understand the environment in which decisions are being made and also reminded that all decisions are resource-based, and that there is only a fixed amount of money!

After breaking for lunch, we were split into 4 groups and given a scenario: we were a group of policy advisers preparing to give advice to DEFRA on a European Commission vote. We had to come up with a recommendation, after considering both the reasons for and against the decision, and the unintended consequences. The topic was insecticides: new to all of us! It was a very interesting activity, as the recommendation was not clear and involved a lot of discussion within the group. I was then nominated as group spokesperson, and had to give a 3 minute feedback to the 'minister' (the second panel). This was surprisingly difficult, and I ran over time, although I managed to make our recommendation clear, which was the important bit!

Once all the groups had presented, the panel gave us some feedback which I have summarised below:
  • Begin with a brief summary of the problem.
  • Move on to the recommendation, then follow up with the reasons why you came to that conclusion.
  • What is the effect on the UK?
  • Give a timescale to the different options.
  • Will there be media interest?
The third and final session introduced another panel, this time made up of policy makers who were able to give us an insight into the process from the other side. Dr. Duncan Harding from the Home Office was keen to let us know how our chemistry backgrounds could help us in an advisory role. It was also interesting to hear how the evidence base for a policy is continually under review, and how crucial it is to stay ahead of developments, as data collection can take a long time. 

Elizabeth Surkovic from the Government Office for science (@GOScience) warned us that we must be prepared to expose ourselves to the unknown, but that this should not put us off. She reminded us that all the speakers had "Felt the fear and done it anyway". 

Dr. Colin Church from DEFRA stressed the importance of taking evidence from a number of sources, whilst checking the context from which the results have come, as all evidence has been collected for a reason and it is worth noting the motivation for the research. As part of the feedback from the previous session, where we had been quite indecisive, he reminded us that in policy making you are not allowed to not make a decision! 

As well as hearing from all of the panellists, each session finished with discussions which were a great opportunity to ask any questions that we had. These sessions, along with the other networking sessions meant that we all had an opportunity to not only meet other young researchers, but also to quiz the panellists on any individual issues we might have. 

The combination of the panel discussions, the activity and the opportunities for networking made this day enormously useful - Thanks very much to organisers. I also picked up some good reading material for the train in "Future Directions For Scientific Advice in Whitehall", edited by Robert Doubleday and James Wilsdon. This book contains a collection of essays on science policy and is a really good read!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

About Me

I've just realised that without an 'about me' section this blog is essentially anonymous so I though I'd do a small intro:

My name is Rosalind Davies and I have just finished my PhD at the University of Birmingham, UK. I was funded through the doctoral training centre (DTC) in hydrogen, fuel cells and their applications and worked in the Chemistry department developing new materials for storing hydrogen.

I'm also very keen on talking about science to everyone! I plan on working in science communication: either with the public, businesses or with policymakers, as I feel there is so much exciting research out there that people should hear about.

If you're interested, you can find me on twitter @RDscience, and I have also featured on the 'Speaking of Science' blog.

In my spare time I am also a competitive fencer and triathlete. (If you're interested in hearing about this: follow @RADavies72 )

This blog is very much a work in progress, so if you have any tips or comments please let me know! 

Three Minute Thesis: 3MT

The University of Birmingham recently held a '3 minute thesis' competition (3MT).
3MT is a brilliant idea, and involves PhD researchers explaining their thesis to a general audience in 3 minutes with no props and using only one stationary slide.

The competition was started in Australia, and has since spread across the world. The interest was quite high at UoB, and there was a round of heats (one for each college) and then a grand final.
I was one of two from the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences that made it through to the final, and joined the other 9 finalists on 27th September in the Great Hall to present my work. Below is a photo of me presenting taken by one of my colleagues in the office.

I used my slide (shown below) to illustrate the increase in the amount of hydrogen (the blue dots) that you can store in a certain volume using a metal hydride (right) instead of a compressed gas tank (left) using my favourite analogy of shoes in a shoe rack vs shoes in a mess!

The videos have now been posted online, with mine found here:

I found the feedback very interesting: a number of non-scientists (including the judges) came up to me and congratulated me on how I had managed to present quite a complicated scientific concept in an understandable way. However, the judges on the panel with a scientific background thought I used the analogy too much, so it seems you can't please everyone! Annoyingly we didn't get to hear the other finalists' presentations, but the UoB winner's video is linked below:

I know I'll definitely be back next year, with a year's more research to squeeze into 3 minutes!


Last year I competed in FameLab UK - a science communication competition where you are allowed to speak on a scientific subject of your choice for 3 minutes using only what you can carry onto the stage. Below are links to my heat and 2nd round videos - neither of which are fantastic quality!

I chose the concept of my research (hydrogen storage) as my topic, and my video entry can be viewed here:

I made it through to the second round in Birmingham and the video of this round is here:

FameLab is a great experience and I would encourage all scientists to give it a go! This years competition is just getting started, with heats all around the UK and you can enter here

Thursday, 17 October 2013

My second adventure to Westminster

This week I went to the second hydrogen themed UKHFCA and PRASEG event entitled:

Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: European success stories across the energy and transport landscape

I could see just from looking at the list of attendees that it was much more popular than the last one of these events I went to (see previous blog post). I think it was a surprise to everyone that there was standing room only!

The evening began with Dennis Hayter introducing the field of hydrogen technology as a “global industry with global opportunities” and the tone remained just as positive throughout the event. There were three short presentations detailing the current level of implementation of the hydrogen economy in the EU (Bert de Colvenaer), Germany (Hanno Butsch) and the UK (Adam Chase). It was interesting to see how the same sorts of technology such as prototype buses, are at similar stages of development in these three markets. The motivations for developing hydrogen technologies were also similar: protection against climate change; energy security and securing the economy. We heard that, in Germany, there has been the promise of long term investment in a 10 year programme, giving reassurance to the private sector. The shift from governmental control to industrial responsibility has also begun to occur and it was stressed how important this was for the future of hydrogen and fuel cells.

The second half of the evening was a panel discussion, chaired by Adam Chase and open to questions from the floor. I asked the panel about public perception of hydrogen technologies and whether they thought this could be a barrier to adoption. Both Hanno Butsch (from a German perspective) and Amanda Lyne (giving a UK view) agreed that the general consensus is that there is very little knowledge about hydrogen technologies, but those that understand what it is and the benefits have a positive opinion. She stressed that any UK initiative for introducing hydrogen technology should also include informing potential consumers.

There were then a number of questions addressing the lack of UK policy on hydrogen and fuel cells, leading to difficulties for small UK businesses trying to remain competitive with overseas markets. Amanda Lyne encouraged us all to write to our MPs to get the issues raised in parliament, while Ian Williamson gave Korea as an example: Alastair Rennie agreed that the UK is trying to get it perfect straight away, but this is proving to be a barrier to doing anything! Bert de Colvenaer addressed the problem that hydrogen is providing a solution to an unseen problem, and that only a large scale event such as a European blackout will cause people to stand up and take notice.

The discussion was lively and interesting, but I left with the same feeling as last time: that I had just left a room of people who know what the problem is and are developing a technology to solve it, but that there was no-one there who disagreed or, more crucially, who really had the power to implement change. So the problem remains: how do we get people and, in particular, policymakers to listen to us?

Voice of Young Science Media Workshop

I initially signed up to the VoYS media workshop because I'm interested in the public communication of science and one important aspect of this is how scientific topics are portrayed in the media. The day was arranged into 3 panel discussions with plenty of time for discussion with the floor which turned out to be a really good format allowing for lots of input from the workshop participants.

The first discussion session was led by scientists who had been involved with working in the media and it was really interesting to hear what they had done, how they had been invited and how well it had gone. They stressed the importance of being prepared and reminded us that our job was to provide informed comment – we’re not TV presenters!

During lunch we discussed the good and bad points about how science was portrayed in the media. We all started off pretty negative, listing examples of misinformation and badly weighted debates. However, after more discussion, we came to the conclusion that it wasn't all that bad! TV and radio shows are beginning to make science more of a mainstream topic, and we all agreed that this was a good thing. After discussing these issues amongst ourselves, we heard from journalists who wrote for a range of audiences which allowed us to discuss the points we had thought of with them. They stressed how important it is to consider the reporter when you’re giving them information: do they understand? If not, they will be more likely to convey the wrong final message to their audience.

Me giving feedback from our group discussion

After an impromptu move to the local pub following an evacuation of the original building we began a session that offered practical guidance. We discussed in groups the barriers that we found as young researchers considering approaching the media and then put these concerns to the panel. Our group decided that we’d just never got the chance to speak to the media, and that we’d all be wary of talking about our research without consultation with our supervisors.

We were encouraged to get to know our university press office, but be conscious that not all cutting edge research is actually interesting to everyone! The final part of the day was a discussion focussed on challenging claims made by companies. There were a number of people in the room who gave, in some cases quite upsetting, examples of the media portraying misleading information. However, the ask for evidence campaign was introduced and this seems like a really easy way to find out what scientific evidence any advertising claim is based on.

The whole day was very interesting, involving a lot of discussions with each other and the invited panellists. I left feeling enthused about engaging with the media and ready to ‘ask for evidence’! 

Hydrogen in Westminster

In January I headed down to the Houses of Parliament to hear a panel discussion on the use of hydrogen and fuel cells. It was really interesting to see how the discussion was run and who was attending. I found that there was a general feeling of agreement that hydrogen and fuel cells were a good idea - obviously I agree with this point of view but the lack of opposition arguments was quite interesting in itself! 

I also left feeling pretty smug, as I knew at least half of the attendees, by sight at least if not by name, and this gave me encouragement that my feeble attempts at networking were starting to pay off.

I wrote up a report for the Energy CDT Network that I've posted below. Apologies, as it's not great to read, but I'm heading off to another similar event on Tuesday and I'll provide a more readable report from that...

Panel discussion
The discussion was opened by Peter Aldous, MP, chair of the all party parliamentary group for intelligent energy, who talked about how the UK needs to aim to maximise its contribution to the new energy market and not remain focussed on just one technology. He then passed over to the chair of the panel discussion, Noel Botha from Orion innovations. Mr Botha gave a brief introduction to fuel cells and the growth of the market before posing a series of questions to the panellists, starting with asking where hydrogen could fit in to a renewable energy system.

Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM power, began by giving his view that hydrogen acting a grid storage method will allow the incorporation of renewable energy into the electricity network. This storage addition will allow the use of more renewable sources and will require the partnership of the electricity grid and the transport infrastructure. Another benefit of using hydrogen is that it can be produced from a range of sources, including natural gas. He added that this meant that the introduction of cheap shale gas would only decrease the price of hydrogen as reforming gas to hydrogen and using it in a fuel cell increases the overall efficiency when compared to direct combustion of natural gas.

Ian Williamson, CEO of AFC energy, answered Mr Botha’s second question about the motivation for focussing on fuel cell technology rather than combustion: the greater efficiency of a fuel cell in comparison to a gas turbine remains on scaling up the technology. He added that some fuel cells can be used to an even higher efficiency by utilising not only the electrical energy, but also the heat given off in a combined heat and power system.

Alastair Rennie, deputy chair of the UKHFCA and the project director of AMEC, made the case for using carbon capture and storage to aid the introduction of hydrogen into the energy system. Integrated gasification and CCS produces cheap hydrogen and removes the CO2 before distribution. This allows large scale use of hydrogen for transport and heat, not just electricity: acting as a universal energy vector. The diversity of sources of hydrogen leads to guaranteed supply, reassuring for industry.

Dennis Hayter, chair of the UKHFCA and vice president of business development of Intelligent Energy, answered a question posed about the introduction of fuel cell vehicles. He acknowledged the challenge of decarbonisation of transport, and added that the main benefit of hydrogen vehicles over electric vehicles is the extended range: a point re-enforced by Graham Cooley, who added that this additional range leads to a reduction in the amount of infrastructure needed.

The discussion then moved on the role of the UK and whether it could be a world leader in the technology or whether it would rely on expensive imports. Ian Williamson quoted the large growth of the UK industry to show the potential, and said that the large number of UK companies could learn from other countries to become world leaders. In addition to this, he emphasised the need to find people close to the point of production to buy fuel cells, reducing transportation costs. Graham Cooley’s view was that there needs to be an emphasis on ‘buying British’ and that long term policy needs to be made so that investors can be confident. Alastair Rennie believes that a simple feed in tariff across all sectors will enable consistency. Dennis Hayter's view was that the UK has the capability and leadership but that it doesn't realise it yet.

The discussion was then opened to the floor, with questions to the panellists about the timescale of application of the technology, how the cost of hydrogen compares with other technologies and the role of local government. The panellists responded by stressing the need for long term policy, potentially starting with a 10 year period after which any feed in tariffs can be adjusted. Graham Cooley stressed that hydrogen is already the lowest cost option for long term energy storage. All the panellists agreed on the need for alliances between the hydrogen industry and local councils.

The final question from the floor was whether the UK had enough resources to invest in a range of hydrogen technologies, or whether it would be best for the UK to become a world leader in just one. Graham Cooley pointed out that the UK does not like picking winners, but instead relies on the free market and that there was a need for technical people in decision making positions. Alastair Rennie disagreed, saying that a responsible industry should be able to keep politicians informed, but that that the UK drive was always for the cheapest technology.

The discussion was closed by Dennis Hayter, who again stressed the importance of timescale, focussing on the 5-7 year cycle of the automotive industry, but that the technology was ready to be extended to manufacturing scale.