British Science Festival

Science & Devolution: Make Mine A Double in September

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What’s better than one night of beer, discussion and politics? Yep – TWO!

After a brief break over the summer, Bradford Politics in the Pub is back with TWO events in September. We’re bringing you two completely different but equally brilliant events this month, both back at our home, Bradford Brewery – so, this September, make yours a double!

Make mine a double, Sherry!
Make mine a double, Sherry!

When Politics and Science Collide (Tuesday 15th September):

We’re proud Bradfordians and we’re delighted that the British Science Festival is coming back to Bradford. The city must have made a great impression last time! We can think of no better tribute to Bradford’s scientific and political history than to discuss the role of science in policy making.image004

Teaming up with the British Science Festival Fringe, we bring you – When Politics and Science Collide.

The University of Bradford, the main host of #BSF15, has been kind enough to lend us one of its finest educators, brilliant researchers and committed advocators of science: Head of Pharmacy & Professor of Pharmacology, Marcus Rattray.

Speaking alongside him will be one of Bradford’s finest political minds and most influential politicians: Leader of the Conservative Group on Bradford Council, Cllr Simon Cooke (Con Bingley Rural).


Join Cllr Cooke & Prof Rattray for a night when you get to decide if politicians should take account of science & be led by scientific principle, knowledge & thought… or if scientists are overstepping the mark & need to understand that there’s more to decision-making than cold, hard science.

Find out more about When Politics & Science Collide or get your free ticket here.

Devolution 1 (Thursday 24th September):

One of the hottest topics in West Yorkshire & across the North, Devolution is coming… but what form will it take? This in the first Devolution debate – we’re sure we’ll need more – and we have two of the heaviest hitters, two of the most powerful people locally when it comes to the direction Bradford, West Yorkshire and further afield take, and two engaging, knowledgeable & passionate speakers.


Dave Green (Lab Wibsey) is leader of Bradford MDC and sits on the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LCR LEP) board, where the decisions about Devolution are being discussed and decided right now. An advocate of West Yorkshire devolution and the person tasked with making it happen for Bradford, Cllr Green will put forth his position on where he sees Bradford within a devolved North and explain how Bradford can get a better deal from increased powers.

Roger Marsh OBE
Roger Marsh OBE

Roger Marsh OBE is, arguably, the most powerful person you’ve never heard of when it comes to devolution. Having a long & illustrious career straddling the private & public spheres, he is Chair of LCR LEP and has worked in & for the North throughout his career, including a secondment to the Cabinet Office, and leading on issues affecting the North as Senior Partner at PWC in Leeds. As the man at the helm of devolution for West Yorkshire, hearing Roger Marsh speak about his & his board’s vision for devolution will give you the finest insight into current thinking on where Bradford’s going.

Join Roger Marsh OBE and Cllr Dave Green to find out where they’re taking us along the road to devolution, ask them if West Yorkshire’s more tempting than a wider North or all-Yorkshire option, and where a regional mayor should sit to ensure we all get a fair share… but remember, both speakers are there to answer to you, so you can ask them why their ideas are best for Bradford and why others aren’t considered.

Find out more about our first Devolution Debate or get your free ticket here.


New Event: When Politics and Science Collide

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Should all policy be based on sound science? Should politicians have to demonstrate the scientific understanding? Why don’t politicians just do what scientists tell them to?

Join us to debate the role of science in politics – get your free ticket here.

Tuesday 15th September


Bradford Brewery


Politics in the Pub is delighted that Bradford has once again been chosen to host the British Science Festival – and even more so to be asked to host this Festival Fringe event.

Who better to have on the panel than The University of Bradford’s Head of Pharmacy & Professor of Pharmacology, Marcus Rattray? Marcus’ career has included time in Baltimore, London and, as a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow, Australia, America and Singapore researching the treatment of drug users.

Celebrating Bradford’s science and politics is one of the district’s most senior & most outspoken politicians, Simon Cooke, councilor for Bingley Rural and leader of the Conservative group. If you’ve read The View from Cullingworth or follow him on Twitter, you’ll know that he is never afraid to share his opinion… and that his opinions are always thoughtful, reasoned and well researched. But are they scientifically provable?

Get your free ticket here and join us in the British Science Festival Fringe at Bradford Brewery on 15th September.


Forthcoming Events

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After a productive planning meeting last night, we thought we’d let you into what we’ve been up to. These are our ideas – and we want to hear yours (that’s why the comment box is there at the bottom) – and whilst some may not come to fruition, we’re doing our best to bring the best speakers to Bradford to discuss the topics you want debated.

David-Cameron-GQ-23Dec14_rex_b_813x494Devolution is Coming

One of the earliest posts asked you to vote for future topics. Voting for topics is, we think, a great idea and allows you to tell us what matters. Devolution and Elected Mayors came top – easily – but getting speakers and a date hasn’t been so easy.

We’re working hard to put these events on but finding out who the right people are and finding the right night for them is proving problematic. We’re faithfully committed to two debates: one involving think tanks, business people and the Combined Authority or Local Enterprise Partnership; and another involving local serving and former MPs.

We have had much interest from speakers; finding the right date to suit all these busy people is another matter. To give you an idea, we’re looking at November as the earliest date we can get our speakers together for the Elected Mayors debate – but it’ll be worth the wait.

In short – devolution is coming… like the plans for rail electrification, it’s just delayed.

Bradford West Special: Reflections & Thoughts on the Bradford West Campaign

Put the date in your diary: Sunday 26th July.

(Tickets to be released once we’ve confirmed which candidates are attending)

Photo by Jason Feather @Appertunity. See Jason's work at Cafe Rustico on John St.
Photo by Jason Feather @Appertunity. See Jason’s work at Cafe Rustico on John St.

A really exciting event for us. Although half our founding members don’t live in Bradford West, it was the thrilling, exhilarating, often gob-smacking battle for Bradford West which was a catalyst for Politics in the Pub.

Bradford West got loads of us talking about politics, made politics real & relevant to us, and had the eyes of the world (well, certainly London, Manhattan, Mirpur and more) fixed on Bradford. At times it was ugly – but people were paying attention to politicians & their politics.

We want to bring back some of that passion and relive some of the drama – whilst giving the candidates a chance to reminisce about the election and asking them to share what they learned on campaign trail about priorities for Bradford West to its new MP, Naz Shah.

We’re also hoping to have this event ‘on the road’ to allow more people to come along.

Keep the afternoon of 26th July free – this one’s going to be special.

mad-scientist-inventor-pictureBritish Science Festival Fringe

We’re delighted that Bradford put on such a great show the last time it hosted the British Science Festival, Bradford’s been picked again.

To show our support, we’re in talks to be part of the festival fringe with a Science & Politics Special. More information will come when we know it – but we’re really excited about the possibility of working with the British Science Festival, Bradford Science Festival and The University of Bradford – and such an event would fit perfectly with our ethos of expanding political discussion whilst we #BigUpBradford.

Future Topics

In the mean time, as you wait, breath baited, for our Bradford West National Cask Ale Weekevent, you can have your say on future topics. As has been shown with the devolution debate, turning your vote into an event is not always as smooth as we’d like but, please believe us, we are doing our best to make sure that the topics you care about are discussed and debated by the people best placed to give you an entertaining evening of political discussion and debate.

Vote on which topics you’d like discussed in future – and if you want to suggest, just leave a comment below.