Dr Phillip Lee is a practising GP who has further degrees in Human Biology and Biological Anthropology and has been on the Conservative Party’s Priority List of Candidates since its inception in May 2006. He looks at the professional backgrounds of Conservative MPs and candidates and notes a worrying lack of those who have experience in the realms of science.
Margaret Thatcher is rightly remembered for many things. Primarily, it is because she was the first female British Prime Minister. Of particular interest to me, however, and somewhat surprisingly, Mrs Thatcher was the first Prime Minister to hold a science degree. I stumbled across this piece of information whilst watching the ‘Thatcher Night’ on BBC 4 recently. Armed with this new fact, I thought it would be interesting to ascertain the academic backgrounds of present Conservative MPs and those of Parliamentary candidates. In view of the many successes of the Thatcher government, based in her own words upon a combination of those qualities needed for good scientific study, that of logic and instinct, the results of my brief review make for interesting reading.
I should declare up front that I am a proud possessor of a few science degrees, and as a priority candidates list member from its inception, I undeniably have a vested interest in highlighting the absence of scientists on the Opposition benches and amongst our group of selected candidates! However, despite admitting to my naked ambition, I do genuinely believe that the absence of scientists from the Conservative Parliamentary party is far from ideal.