Royal Society of Biology logo Biology: Changing the World - What is it? Heritage Lottery Fund logo Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council logo

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Biology: Changing the World celebrates the great biologists of the past in order to inspire those of the future.

The website, mobile app, and schools resources are packed with information and activities about the great biologists and discoveries that shaped the world we live in. The project will be part of science education in schools and public engagement at science festivals, and commemorative plaques will be appearing around the UK soon.

Biology: Changing the World App

bcwtwoThe Biology: Changing the World app brings the world around you alive with famous research, history, people and places.

The free app, available in the apple and android app stores, uses your location in order to introduce you to the great biologists who lived and worked nearby and the biological discoveries which were made in the area.

You can read about Sir Alexander Fleming’s discovery of Penicillin as you stroll past St Mary's Hospital in Chelsea; explore the site of Mary Anning’s fossil shop and home in Lyme Regis, Dorset; or discover Sophia Jex-Blake, one of the first female doctors in the UK, while near Edinburgh University Medical School: the only place willing to accept a female student in 1869.

Biology: Changing the World Blue Plaques

blue plaqueA series of ten blue plaques were unveiled around the UK during February and March 2015. They commemorate eminent and sometimes unsung biology heroes, including Dorothy Hodgkin, Richard Owen, and Dolly the Sheep.

The project’s working group shortlisted the people whose contributions to biology have made the biggest impact on the world. The resulting blue plaques were unveiled on various buildings across the UK, in the places where great ideas, techniques and minds were developed

You can find out about existing biology themed plaques around the UK as well as the Biology: Changing the World plaques in Places. 

Resources and public engagement

The Biology: Changing the World website is still growing, thanks to our 40 trained project volunteers. There are over 500 pages to explore including:

  • Public-engament-BBSRCPlaces: Find details of 200 places and plaques around the UK commemorating famous biologists or biological research… then go and visit!
  • People: Read about the fascinating lives and works of 200 of the greatest biologists from the UK and beyond.
  • Stories: Discover 50 of the most important projects, breakthroughs and centres for biological research around the UK.
  • Interviews: Watch 50 notable figures from across the world of biology talk about their passions, careers and inspirations.

The website and app make excellent resources for use in primary and secondary school science lessons. You can also access further teaching resources for 7-11 year olds in schools.

Memory and 'fortune-teller' games, which were part of the projects' public engagement activities at the Winchester Science Festival and the BBSRC Great British Bioscience Festival, are also available to download.

Thank you for taking part in Biology: Changing the World

The Biology: Changing the World project was developed by the Royal Society of Biology, in partnership with BBSRC, and with funding from Heritage Lottery.

Please note this website contains links to many external sites provided by third parties. The Royal Society of Biology is not responsible for the content of these sites.

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