Last autumn, Tim Lomas was selected for the Royal Society’s prestigious annual pairing scheme, in which academics are partnered with MPs and civil servants. The aim is for the partners to spend some time shadowing each other’s work, gaining insights into their respective professions. As a result, MPs and civil servants become more familiar with the process of engaging in scientific research, and academics better understand how research informs public policy. In December, Tim spent two days shadowing a civil servant in the Department of Work and Pensions. He also spent two days with the other academic participants taking part in various activities and events in and around the Houses of Parliament, such as a mock select committee hearing. In Spring Tim will also host a reciprocal visit to UEL for his scheme partner after which he will give us a further update.