By Charlotte Dodson, Research Fellow at Imperial College London
“Do we know what’s happening about REF yet?” asked one of the participants at the departmental Principal Investigator (PI) meeting last term. There was a gentle shaking of heads around the table and we moved on. Shortly afterwards I knew the answer: the Stern Review (a UK Government-commissioned independent review into how Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 should be improved for next time) made its recommendations. There is now a consultation by HEFCE and its equivalents in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on how best to implement these in REF 2021. Continue reading →
By Derry K Mercer, Principal Scientist at Novabiotics Ltd & member of the Biochemical Society Policy Advisory Panel
From cradle to grave, antimicrobials have become pivotal in safeguarding the overall health of human societies. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest threats to global health today. Recently, at the United Nations, World Heads of State committed to taking a broad, coordinated approach to address the root causes of AMR across multiple sectors, especially human health, animal health and agriculture, only the fourth time that a health issue has been taken up by the UN General Assembly. According to the O’Neill report, it is estimated that 700,000 people die annually from drug resistant infections. In the US alone, more than two million infections a year are caused by bacteria resistant to at least one antibiotic, costing the US health system more than US$20 billion in excess costs annually. Continue reading →
By Oliver Summers, Project Research Officer, Government Office for Science
In 2012, during the first year of my undergraduate degree, I received an email about an opportunity to question key political figures about science policy in the UK. This was the first Voice of the Future event, and I’ve been hooked on science policy ever since!
I’ve always been interested in science and politics, in fact before deciding to settle on studying biology at university I was considering a politics degree. I always thought it was a binary choice that science and politics were separate, but participating in events such as Voice of the Future revealed this isn’t the case. Continue reading →
Lorenza Giannella, Training Manager, Biochemical Society
The Concordat of Openness on Animal Research was celebrated on Monday 5th December, with the Annual Openness Awards and the 80th Stephen Paget Memorial Lecture. The Concordat was launched in UK in 2014 and quickly reached 109 signatories including Higher Education institutions, industry and other organizations, such as the Biochemical Society. Being a signatory of the Concordat involves a commitment to being more open about the use of animals in research, by clarifying details of their research and enhancing communications with the media and the public. The Biochemical Society is a proud signatory of the Concordat and is committed to communicating to our members and more widely about the use of animals in research. You can find another recent blog post on this topic here.
By Gabriele Butkute, Science Policy Officer at the Biochemical Society and the Royal Society of Biology
What world do we want to live in in 30 years time? What values do we want the society to live by? How will science and engineering affect our life going forward and what is the role that they should play? These are among the questions that were asked during the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) 30th anniversary celebrations on Monday 14th November. The event looked ahead at the role of science and engineering over the next 30 years and discussed what we can do now to make the future that we want a reality.