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More than 100 members joined, both in person and virtually, this year’s Annual General Meeting, which took place on 10th May at The Wellcome Collection.

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The meeting included updates from RSB chief executive, approval of the 2021-2022 finances, appointments to RSB Council and this year’s Charter Lecture from Fiona Fox OBE Hon FRSB, chief executive of the Science Media Centre. The AGM was chaired by Professor Claire Wathes FRSB, honorary secretary of the RSB now entering her second year in the role.

Dr Mark Downs CBiol CSci FRSB, RSB’s chief executive, presented an overview of RSB achievements over the past financial year and gave an update on current and future activities, including the examining the next three-year plan, and committee outputs.

Mark also stressed how much of the work by the RSB would not be possible without our membership and the dedicated volunteers on our committees, branches, and at activities and events.

Dr Paul Brooker FRSB, in his final year as honorary treasurer of the RSB, presented an overview of the RSB’s finances.

Two new Trustees were appointed at the AGM: Professor Melanie Welham FRSB, executive chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, and Neil Burton, a corporate, charity and commercial lawyer from Mills & Reeve, who is taking over from Terry Gould.

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Fiona Fox OBE Hon FRSB giving her Charter Lecture to the RSB membership

This year’s Charter Lecture was delivered by Fiona Fox, chief executive of the Science Media Centre, whose career includes working for the Equal Opportunities Committee, the National Council for One Parent Families, and CAFOD (the overseas development charity), among others.

In her talk, Fiona spoke about the importance of researchers communicating science, noting: “The science community recognised that science had to emerge from the shadows… Organisations like the Royal Society of Biology and its predecessors should take credit, when the leadership of our learned societies, funders and national academies began to champion the importance of public engagement, and incentivised researchers to do it, things started to change.”

A recording of the Charter Lecture will be available on the RSB YouTube channel.