He has a BSc (Hons) in Physics from Imperial College, London.
Tom Brake signed the February 2009 Early Day Motion 754: MMR Vaccine and the Media supporting the use of the MMR vaccine. The motion expressed disappointment with the reporting of the vaccine by Jeni Barnett on her LBC radio show in January 2009, and expressed the hope that future reporting of the issue of MMR would be less sensationalist and more evidence-based.
In November 2016, Mr Brake signed Early Day Motion 507: Celebration of First Ayurveda Day on 27 October 2016, which states a belief that "Ayurveda's integration into the NHS would ensure freedom of choice in healthcare for the populace; and calls on the Government to introduce an Ayurveda Chair." (Information about Ayurvedic medicine here.)
In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Tom Brake voted to keep the current time limit of 24 weeks in line with the scientific and medical consensus.
In February 2015 Tom Brake voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease. An October 2014 briefing report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed. After clearing both Houses, mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.
In 2006, MPs were asked three questions by the Rough Guide's Mark Ellingham on how seriously they took climate change as politicians and as responsible, active citizens. Tom Brake replied:
- "1: I agree with Sir David King, the Government's Scientific Advisor, Climate Change is the number one global concern.
- 2: Britain needs to take the lead by reducing carbon emissions by an average of 3% per annum.
- 3: Personally I am committed to reducing my emissions by 2: 0% and will do so by a range of measures including purchasing a more economical car, improving insulation in our home, buying low energy light bulbs, taking the train rather than flying on holiday."
In October 2010, Tom Brake signed Early Day Motion 767: Science is Vital Campaign. The motion stated that the house "believes that continued investment in research is vital in order to meet the technological and social challenges of the 21st century, and to continue to attract high-tech industries to invest here; further believes that large cuts to science funding are a false economy, due to evidence that research investment fuels economic growth".
Libel Law Reform
In January 2010, Tom Brake signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law. 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.
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