Brian Iddon

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Brian Iddon was the Labour MP for Bolton South East until standing down in 2010.

Iddon has a Ph.D in Organic Chemistry, and as an MP sat on the Science and Technology Select Committee.

Biographical background

Iddon's education and academic career as a chemist is described on his website[1]:

Brian Iddon was born in Tarleton on the West Lancashire plain and educated at Tarleton Church of England CP School, Christ Church Boys' School in Southport and at Southport Technical College, before enrolling to study Honours Chemistry at the new University of Hull, where he graduated with a B.Sc. Degree in 1961 and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 1964.
From 1964 to 1966 Brian was on the staff at Durham University. Then, in 1966, he joined the staff of the Department of Chemistry and Applied Chemistry at the emerging University of Salford, where he rose through the ranks to become a Reader in Organic Chemistry. For 5 years he was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Liverpool University and is a member of the External Advisory Board in the School of Chemistry at the University of Manchester. At monthly intervals for 29 years, Brian presented a popular 90 minute demonstration lecture, "The Magic of Chemistry", at venues throughout Britain and across Europe.
In 1981, the University of Hull awarded him the Degree of Doctor of Science "for his international contributions to heterocyclic organic chemistry". In July 2003, The Society of Chemical Industry awarded him Honorary Membership, which is possessed by only 20 people worldwide at any moment in time, and he received the President’s Award from The Royal Society of Chemistry in June 2006 "for outstanding contributions to advancing chemical science, particularly through his personal commitment to strengthening interactions between Westminster and the RSC". He was made an Honorary Fellow of the University of Bolton in July 2005.

Healthcare

Abortion

In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Brian Iddon voted to keep the current time limit of 24 weeks in line with the scientific and medical consensus[2].

Vaccinations

In November 2009, Iddon proposed Early Day Motion 2221 - Uptake rates for seasonal influenza vaccinations which called for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to review the case for reducing the age for influenza vaccination to 50 years and above in order to increase the overall uptake rates and to meet the World Health Organisation target for population coverage.[3]

Animals in Medical Research

In 2006, Brian Iddon signed Early Day Motion 1850: Animals in Medical Research which noted that "animal research is only permitted where there is no better alternative and that pain and suffering are minimised and balanced against the potential benefit to humans and animals", supported "the building of the new state of the art biomedical research laboratory at Oxford University", condemned "unlawful animal rights extremism, including any violence, harassment or intimidation of those associated with lawful animal research", and supported "the well-regulated use of animals in medical research".[4]

Science Education

Creationism

Iddon signed Early Day Motion 2708 calling for schools to treat with caution creationist literature sent by the religious group 'Truth in Science'.[5]

Charles Darwin

Brian Iddon seconded Early Day Motion 377 noting the achievements of Charles Darwin, and calling for Darwin's birthday to be designated a public holiday to honour "one of the fathers of modern science and one of Britain's greatest, if not the greatest, scientific minds."

Policymaking On Drugs And Alcohol

Brian Iddon signed Early Day Motion 2244 calling for Government policy on alcohol and drugs misuse and harm to be based on scientific evidence. The motion came shortly after the sacking of Government drug adviser David Nutt by Home Secretary Alan Johnson in 2009.

Libel Law Reform

In December 2009, Brian Iddon signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[6]. The motion noted that human rights activists, scientists, writers and journalists are currently prevented from publishing, and the public prevented from reading, matters of strong public interest due to the chilling effect of the law.

The motion was tabled following the recent formation of Libel Reform Coalition, which has the backing of Index on Censorship, English PEN and Sense about Science. Sense about Science have been campaigning in defense of a member of its board of trustees, author and journalist Simon Singh, who has been sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association. They issued a statement entitled "The law has no place in scientific disputes".

References

  1. http://www.brianiddon.org.uk/biography.htm
  2. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  3. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2008-09/2221
  4. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2005-06/1850
  5. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2005-06/2708
  6. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/423

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