Voice of the Future 2017: young scientists question MPs and Ministers

By Dr Andrew Quigley, Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Oxford

Blog Andrew_VOF2017
Dr Andrew Quigley representing the Biochemical Society at Voice of the Future event . Photo: Royal Society of Biology

“Voice of the Future is a very unusual event” says Dr Stephen Benn, Director of Parliamentary Affairs at the Royal Society of Biology.  There is no event quite like it anywhere else in Parliament, possibly the world.  How often do young representatives of professional bodies get the opportunity to sit in for a Parliamentary Committee and question MPs about science policy issues that matter to them?  But that is exactly the chance that I and 50 other young scientists and engineers were given. Continue reading

Building our Industrial Strategy: Investing in science, research and innovation

By Dr Kelly Davidge, Research and Development Manager at Kirkstall Ltd

Parliament pic

In the Government’s recently published Green Paper on building the UK’s industrial strategy, they recognise the importance of investment in science, research and innovation and have committed to a number of strategies to boost the UK innovation economy. Although the UK has three of the top 10 and 12 of the top 100 world universities, we lag behind other countries when it comes to investment in innovation through research and development (R&D):

  • 1.7% of UK GDP- gross domestic product- is invested in R&D funding, compared with the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) average of 2.4%;
  • business investment in R&D is 1% in the UK, but 2% in Germany, 2.5% in Japan and over 3% in South Korea;
  • the UK produces a similar number of spin-off companies to the US but registers fewer patents;
  • none of our universities feature in the top 10 of Reuters Top 100: The World’s Most Innovative Universities – 2016, a list that ranks the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies and drive the global economy.

Continue reading

Insights from EMBL – ribosome profiling and other highlights

By Dr Matthew Brook, University of Edinburgh

Lecture Seminar

The EMBO  conference on ‘Protein Synthesis and Translational Control’, held at EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany in autumn 2015, is without a doubt the main European meeting for the mRNA translation field and as such, is the forum at which it is crucial for Early Career Researchers like myself to present data and gain real-time ‘peer review’ from the world leaders in the field.

Continue reading

Supportive and collaborative culture among social amoeba specialists

By Dr Jason King, Advanced Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow, University of Sheffield

dictyostelium4_resized

This August I attended the 2015 International Dictyostelium meeting at Royal Holloway in London. Although I have attended this meeting several times in the past, I had only just started my own research group in Sheffield, so felt this was an important opportunity to build the collaborations that will be essential for me to succeed in my new life as a boss. Fortunately, a Biochemical Society travel grant meant that I was able to go, as well as one of my PhD students.

Continue reading