How genetics can reduce the threat from the world’s changing diet

Rebecca Nesbit is an ecologist, blogger and author of Is that Fish in your Tomato?, exploring the opportunities and risks of genetically modified foods.

A trip to the supermarket gives me cheap and easy access to foods which would have been alien to my grandparents, and walking past food shops in London suburbs often introduces me to vegetables I can’t even name. Our food choice is changing, and this isn’t unique to the UK – people around the world have increasing access to a diversity of foods.
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Island conservation for an island nation

Joshua Powell, Conservation Biologist and previous recipient of an RSB travel grant, discusses island conservation in New Zealand and the lessons the UK can learn in bringing overseas specialists together

This year the Island Invasives Conference comes to the UK, the first time this gathering of island conservation specialists has been held outside of New Zealand.

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Biology competitions: a rewarding challenge

Raghavendra Selvam is our competitions & outreach assistant, overseeing the competitions we run here at the RSB

It is Monday morning and thousands of school students from across the world are logging into their computers to complete an optional biology paper. Why? They are all curious about the natural world.

This year, I have been administering three school competitions for the Royal Society of Biology, targeted at different age groups: the Biology Challenge (13-15 year olds), the Intermediate Biology Olympiad (16-17 year olds), and the British Biology Olympiad (post-16 students).

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General Election 2017: a summary on some of the party positions on science

Justina Briliute, BBSRC PhD student at Newcastle University and a policy intern at the Royal Society of Biology

Throughout the years, political parties have shown commitment to the idea that research and development (R&D) is one of the driving forces of societal productivity, wealth and wellbeing. One of the best places to look for any political party’s position on science, research and education is in their manifestos during election time.
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Raising awareness for diversity and inclusion across membership organisations

Justina Briliute, BBSRC PhD student at Newcastle University and a policy intern at the Royal Society of Biology

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) are three vital priorities that all workplaces should strive to achieve for their workforce, and those working in the biosciences are no exception.
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Men are still more likely to be promoted than women in academia

Dr Pat Goodwin CBiol FRSB, diversity champion for the RSB Council, discusses some of the findings from the ASSET 2016 report.

When it comes to academia, are a higher proportion of men than women promoted to their current position?

This is true according to the findings of the latest ASSET (Athena Surveys of Science Engineering and Technology), which reveals other concerning disparities between the work experiences of male and female academic staff working in HE institutions. Read more »

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World penguin day and the march of the Adelie penguins

Today is World Penguin Day, an international celebration dedicated to the flightless birds that are almost synonymous with the stretching white plains of the Antarctic.

The date of World Penguin Day – the 25th of April – is being suggested by some sources online as coinciding with the day some colonies of penguin species Pygoscelis adeliae, more commonly known as the Adélie Penguin, starts their winter migration. Read more »

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How will environmental policy change post-Brexit?

“To protect nature, we need targets, investment and accountability, not grand promises with zero detail,” said activist lawyer and ClientEarth chief executive James Thornton to BBC News last week.

He expressed his disappointment with yet another delay of the publication of a 25 year plan for England’s nature, a draft of which has been seen by environmentalists. The publication of the plan has been delayed for over a year now, and there is still no sign of it being published for consultation. Partly, Brexit is to blame. Read more »

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Insect invaders and problematic plants: the threats posed by invasive species

By Barney Slater AMRSB, BBSRC PhD student at University of Cambridge and policy intern at the Royal Society of Biology.

March 27th – April 2nd was this year’s UK Non-Native Species Secretariat (UNNS) Invasive Species Week. During the week NNSS teamed up with Defra to spread awareness of what invasive species are, which pose a threat to the UK, and how to prevent them from spreading. Read more »

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Policy lunchbox: the challenges facing the industrial strategy

By Gabriele Butkute, science policy officer at the Royal Society of Biology and the Biochemical Society

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have released an open consultation on ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’ which is currently a hot topic among our Member Organisations and the whole of the bioscience community. As such, we were thrilled to host a Policy Lunchbox seminar on this topic with Thomas Gelderd, assistant director at BEIS. Read more »

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