Professor in Consumer Behaviour Jeff Bray writes about his experiences presenting his research to an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG)…
Earlier this term I received an unsolicited invitation to attend Parliament and present my research to an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). It was the first time that I received such a request and immediately viewed it with suspicion, imagining that it could be some kind of predatory conference or publication using Parliament logos improperly. But after some online checking, it did appear genuine and interesting, so I accepted the invitation.
I was invited to share my thoughts on ‘Behaviour Change’ to the Food and Health APPG. The brief was as open as that and no further guidance was forthcoming regarding likely group size, expectations or requirements. So, it was with a degree of uncertainty that on Tuesday I travelled to London with my notes, hoping that I had judged the audience and expectations correctly. I share some reflections here in the hope that it could provide others with a little guidance and confidence in similarly delivering such briefings for the first time.
I arrived in good time having been warned that getting through the airport style security could take 45mins +. I then seemingly had the run of the place and was able to wander freely. I found the public viewing gallery in the House of Lords to be a warm spot to sit for 30mins looking through my notes, but I was distracted by the debate – the second reading of the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill, which given my research field was actually quite interesting!
Finding the committee room was straightforward given the number of security guards around to advise. It was quite easy to forget that the room was filled with MP’s, Lords and Baronesses since there was a real collegial tone (despite being cross party) and definitely the discussion was more friendly and less combative than I’ve observed at some academic conferences.
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience but would have done so more, had I have known a bit better what to expect in advance. There are APPGs on a wide range of topics – the most recent register of groups is available here: APPG register. If there is a group that is closely linked to your expertise I believe it would be possible to contact the ‘Public enquiry point’ e-mail address and offer to present your work or just attend one of their sessions for interest.