The Liberal Stemocrat

An ALDES newsletter . May 2020

As the 2020 ALDES exec gets into its virtual stride, I wanted to share this window into ALDES’ work, what the near future might hold, and a few ways you can get involved. The whole exec and I hope to speak to and/or meet many of you soon; until then, stay safe, happy, and healthy – and all the very best,


Josh Matthews |


  • Two expert groups have recently been set up: one covering COVID-19 from epidemiology and public health viewpoints, and one data and digital, for now focussing on both their roles during the pandemic.
  • Check out our exec member, James’ Lib Dem Voice blog post, and ALDES’ appearance on the LibDem Podcast, both linked below.
  • A separate party working group is looking for both an economist and manufacturing experts to lend their knowledge to the long-term impacts of COVID-19.
  • UK researchers involved or looking to stay involved in the EU’s Horizon programme can get in touch via ALDES with our European local party Chair.
  • Keep in touch via ALDES’ social media – links at the bottom of this newsletter.

Data privacy and digital transformation – an ALDES group and briefing note?

A group of experts was brought together through ALDES, Lord William Wallace, and former MEP Lucy Nethsingha, to explore data privacy and digital transformation – currently focusing on AI and data applications in the fight against COVID-19, as well as the ethical and privacy considerations.

You can read here the first of a series of briefings that the group hopes to produce for our MPs, peers, and policymakers. If you feel that you have expertise that could add to this working group, please contact me at

Keep an eye out for more from this group – and the Lib Dems’ wider policy on emerging technologies; we should be the champions of adopting new (and existing) technology, promoting its benefits, while also having the answers to ensure its governance keeps us safe.

COVID-19 ALDES group – medical and social pubic health impacts

The first few meetings of an ALDES working group took place, in parallel to the data and digital group above, to provide the party with COVID-19 help from a medical and social public health perspective. The group has begun drafting briefing notes for our MPs, Lords, and policymakers, so look out for content and further updates in the near future. Any members with virology or epidemiology expertise, or expertise in any way related to the COVID challenge for example mental health, again please get in touch via

Wanted: Economist and manufacturing experts to help with the long-term impacts of COVID-19?

A Lib Dem working group is looking for both an economist and any manufacturing experts to lend their knowledge. If you, or anyone you know, might be able to help in deciphering the long-term economic and manufacturing impacts of COVID, and where the Lib Dems should stand on these issues, please let us know.

On the UK’s participation in the Horizon Europe programme

Please get in touch if you’re involved or looking to be involved in the EU’s Horizon research programme in 2020 and beyond. Our local Lib Dem party in Europe is eager to maintain these links despite BREXIT as a fundamental source of funding and knowledge for the UK – that contributes so much to European research; see this recent Observer article on the likely damage to UK research of a no-deal exit.

Lib Dem Voice

James Belchamber, ALDES exec officer, writes on COVID-19 symptom trackers and why we don’t have to choose between our health and our privacy; check it out here.

Lib Dem Podcast

I spoke to LibDemPod, as part of its “Virtual Conference,” about ALDES’ plans moving forward – click here to listen.

Social media

Stay in touch with ALDES via social media:

We’re also starting a new LinkedIn network – click here to join.

And finally…

How Citizen Science contributed 48 years of research in one week of lockdown

COVID-19 is bringing together such a wide range of expertise, but it’s not just coming through the usual channels like Public Health England, or the Chief Medical Officer. What most refer to as “Citizen Science” is giving so many the chance to contribute both their expertise and time – throughout the general population – meaning the most diverse contributions and evidence bases possible. This article explores Zooniverse – a Citizen Science platform where participants can help in over 100 active research projects – and how 48 years of research were contributed in just one week during the ongoing pandemic.