Universities honoured at Society awards
Fifty degree programmes at 12 universities have been formally awarded accreditation by the Society of Biology.
School Biology Teacher of the Year Award now open for nominations
The School Biology Teacher of the Year Award is now open for nominations. If you know an amazing teacher of biology who deserves recognition then please nominate them.
British public accept the use of animals in medical research 'where there is no alternative'
Today, the department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) published the results of their latest biennial survey, carried out by Ipsos MORI, investigating public awareness of, and attitudes towards, the use of animals in scientific research, as well as the possible alternatives.
Brian Cox talks science and pop at Society of Biology fundraiser
Science is "too important not to be part of popular culture", says Professor Brian Cox at the Society of Biology's first fundraising event.
Flying Ant Survey features on BBC’s The One Show
The Society of Biology’s Dr Rebecca Nesbit, appears on The One Show to discuss ‘flying ant day’.
GCSE results: Single science entries decrease
Yesterday similar scenes emerged at schools across the country as pupils anxiously waited to receive their GCSE results.
A level results: Biology and A*s on the rise
This year's A level results have just come out and biology was a very popular subject as always, accounting for 7.7% of all A levels taken, compared to chemistry at 6.4% and physics at 4.4%.
Society of Biology defends Chief Scientific Advisor role
The Society of Biology has defended the position of Chief Scientific Advisor to the President of the European Commission following an appeal from environmental NGOs.
Survey seeks to identify vulnerable research skills in the UK
BBSRC and the Medical Research Council (MRC), in association with the Society of Biology, are holding a consultation with the UK bioscience and medical science research communities regarding emerging or existing strategic research skills and capabilities that are vulnerable or potentially vulnerable.
Government unwilling to change immigration policies
The Society of Biology is disappointed that Government has dismissed concerns about the current immigration policy for STEM students coming to the UK. We responded to the House of Lords Science & Technology Select Committee inquiry into international STEM students and immigration policy earlier in the year, highlighting the importance of international students to the culture and economic viability of Higher Education Institutions in the UK.
Rt Hon Greg Clark MP becomes minister for universities, science and cities
The Society of Biology welcomes Rt Hon Greg Clark MP to the post as the new minister of state for universities, science and cities, Rt Hon George Freeman MP as minister for life sciences, Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP as education secretary and Rt Hon Liz Truss MP as environment secretary.
UK pupils triumph at the International Biology Olympiad
The Society of Biology congratulates the UK team, all of whom brought home medals.
£52M boost for skills and training in UK science sectors
Science Minister David Willetts has announced a £52 million investment in new and emerging science talent, creating more than 7800 education and skills opportunities over a 2 year period.
The Science Industrial Partnership (SIP) initiative, led by GlaxoSmithKline, will design the vocational training and skills programmes that the life sciences, chemicals and industrial science sectors need to thrive and compete in the global economy. Cogent, the expert skills body for the science industries, is facilitating the SIP and has spent the last 6 months identifying employer demand for the skills programmes.
Government will contribute £32.6 million to the partnership, with £20 million from employers, alongside £31 million in-kind contributions. This will fund a range of ultimately self-sustaining activities expected to improve skills in these sectors. These include apprenticeships, traineeships, new Industry Degrees, modular Masters courses and workforce development opportunities; all with the aim to deliver employment-ready graduates and high tech skills in the workplace.
With this commitment comes the recognition of the importance of the science based industries to the UK’s future prosperity – and that skills are the key driver of their competitiveness.
To maintain our position at the international forefront, it is vital that the next generation of life science employees are suitably trained. As it stands, graduates from life science degree programmes are often not deemed to be ‘industry-ready’ and a gap in training provision exists. Furthermore, with the increase in university fees, a degree is often not a feasible option for those seeking to pursue a career in the life sciences. Thus the programme of Industry Degrees and increased number of apprenticeships and traineeships may well go some way to ameliorate this problem.
The Society of Biology recognises the importance of the skills pipeline and is involved in a number of projects. Our Degree Accreditation Programme aims to acknowledge academic excellence by highlighting degrees that provide graduates with the skills and experience necessary to enter employment in research and innovation, and the Drug Discovery Skills Group works to address the decline in training capacity which has resulted from the recent downsizing of large multinational pharmaceutical companies in the UK.
However, it’s not just the skills and opportunities available for new graduates and trainees which the Society of Biology seeks to champion; our Returners to Bioscience initiative aims to highlight the pool of potential talent represented by the ‘returner’ community. This community comprises those who would like to return to a career in the biosciences after an extended career break. Such a career break can occur for a variety of reasons including focusing on caring responsibilities, ill-health, relocation, unemployment or a switch of career path.
As such, we welcome the inclusion of a suite of workforce development opportunities within the SIP. These aim to allow 5,900 individuals to take accredited workforce development courses specifically aimed at supporting growth and increasing individual competency. We hope that these opportunities would be open to returners and provide a platform to refresh and cultivate the necessary skills to facilitate a return to career in the biosciences.
Statistics on animals in research published
Today, the Home Office published its annual statistics on the use of animals in scientific research. It shows that 4.12 million scientific procedures were started in Great Britain in 2013, a slight increase of 0.3% compared with 2012 but with a slight decrease in the overall number of animals involved.
House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee report published
The Society of Biology welcomes the publication of the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee’s report Ensuring access to working antimicrobials.
Successful BioBlitz at Camley Street Natural Park
Yesterday a BioBlitz in Camley Street Natural Park, London, yielded over 170 species with more still to be identified.
Society of Biology welcomes new review into antimicrobial resistance
This morning, Prime Minister David Cameron spoke of the need for action to address the threat of antimicrobial resistance, and announced a review into why no new classes of antibiotics have been discovered in the past 25 years.
Universities must invest in quality teaching for the future of bioscience
Today, the report ‘Improving the status and valuation of teaching in the careers of UK academics’ is published jointly with the Society of Biology, the Heads of University Biosciences (HUBs), the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) and The Physiological Society.
School Biology Teacher of the Year winner announced
Today the Society of Biology is celebrating the achievements of students taking part in the British Biology Olympiad and Biology Challenge. Certificates will be presented in a ceremony at the Royal Society, alongside the Secondary School Biology Teacher of the Year award.
Parliamentary Links Day a success
This year's Parliamentary Links Day was a huge success with a packed room at the House of Commons. MPs, representatives from scientific organisations and those related to parliamentary science policy convened to discuss science and public trust.
Society Fellows recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list
The Society of Biology is delighted that three Fellows have been recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list.
Flying ant survey 2014 launched
Today the Society of Biology launched the 2014 flying ant survey, and is calling for everyone to report their sightings.
Support for all students
Earlier this year, the Government announced that the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) will be ‘modernised’ to target the limited public funding available to those most in need. This effectively means a cut, where DSAs will only be available ‘for higher specification or higher cost computers where a student needs one solely by virtue of their disability’.
Two weeks left to enter the Animals in Research Student Essay competition
The Society of Biology has launched its 2014 competition to support student members who wish to develop careers in animal science and technology. Undergraduate student members (and those who have applied for membership) can enter the competition for a chance to win a Home Office Modular training 1 – 3 course paid for by the Society of Biology.
Who changed the world with biology?
The results of the Society of Biology’s top 10 poll of people who have changed the world with biology have been announced. The public poll was part of the ‘Biology: Changing the World’ project and the shortlist was collated from public nominations and other famous faces of biology.