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Blackwood to lead Commons science committee

Conservative MP Nicola Blackwood has beaten four contenders to become chairwoman of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.

Blackwood, who was announced as leader of the committee on 18 June, was elected MP for Oxford and Abingdon in 2010, a seat she won from prominent science campaigner, Liberal Democrat Evan Harris.

In her nomination statement, Blackwood said her immediate priorities for the committee would include UK resilience to pandemics, natural disasters and cyberthreats to assess the economic risks; assessing the benefits of the government’s eight great technologies; and looking at critical long-term challenges, such as antibiotic resistance and an ageing population. She also said she would focus on fostering, developing and retaining the UK’s science base.

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