In the January membership election, we elected six African women scientists to become members of the Society, complimentary for five years, through our partnership with African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD). These six are all recipients of an AWARD fellowship.
The Society of Biology is very pleased to have been granted a 5 year licence by the Science Council to award Chartered Science Teacher (CSciTeach) status.
The Society of Biology is delighted that eight of its Fellows have been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list 2014.
The British Biology Olympiad (BBO) deadline has been extended to 17th January 2014. Schools are invited to register their students for the BBO, for which the first round takes place in schools between Monday 20th and Tuesday 28th January 2014.
Dr Barbara Knowles FSB, senior science policy adviser at the Society of Biology, has been awarded an MBE in the 2014 New Year honours list ‘For services to Science Communication and the Environment’.
Dr Mark Downs FSB, chief executive of the Society of Biology, co-signed a letter to the Times, published on Saturday 21st December 2013. The letter outlined serious concerns with the current proposals for the assessment of practical work in the new A level science qualifications, due to be introduced in September 2015.
The House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee today (Wednesday 18th December) held their first evidence session as part of their inquiry into antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The Society submitted a response to the Committee’s initial consultation and was subsequently asked to present a witness to give oral evidence at this session.
The range of accredited bioscience degrees continues to grow, with a further 18 programmes accredited by the Society of Biology yesterday.
The 2014 Science Challenge essay competition has been launched by the Royal College of Science Union. The competition aims to promote scientific communication and creative thinking and is open to secondary school pupils around the UK and to Imperial College students.
Nominations for the School Biology Teacher of the Year Award close on Friday 13th December. The award aims to recognise the very best and most inspiring biology teachers and is open to teachers in the UK who work with students aged 11-18.
On 10th December 2013, the report of an independent investigation into animal research at Imperial College London was released. Professor Steve Brown chaired an independent committee to investigate and assess the approach to laboratory animal care and welfare across the Imperial College, following an undercover infiltration of one of the College’s animal facilities by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV).
Andrew Miller MP, chair of the House of Commons science and technology select committee, has announced that he will stand down at the next general election.
In the 2013 autumn statement (5th December 2013), Chancellor George Osborne reiterated that science was a personal priority. He also announced extra funding for science, technology and engineering students.
There has been press speculation in the last few days that the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) is considering significant reductions to funding for higher education and or to research.
Business as usual for science was the message from the Scottish National Party’s ‘blueprint for independence’ released earlier today (26 November) by First Minister Alex Salmond MSP and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP.
The 2014 British Biology Olympiad (BBO) schools competition is now open for registrations. The BBO, open to all post-16 students in the UK, offers a unique challenge for students to engage with biology and extend their knowledge beyond the A level syllabus.
The online schools competition, Biology Challenge, is now open for registration. Schools wishing to participate are invited to register now for the 2014 competition, open to pupils in Year 9/Year 10 in England and Wales, Year 10/Year 11 in Northern Ireland and S2/S3 in Scotland.
The Society of Biology welcomes the Ofsted Maintaining Curiosity report published on 21st November 2013. The report highlights the importance of enquiry-based learning in science, to allow students to develop their conceptual understanding and application of scientific ideas.
Dr Fred Sanger, winner of two Nobel Prizes and Honorary Fellow of the Society of Biology, died on 19th November 2013 at the age of 95. Dr Mark Downs, chief executive of the Society of Biology says: "We are saddened to hear of the death of Dr Sanger but we should take this moment to celebrate his life and his huge contribution to science."
The publishing landscape has changed considerably over the last year, with the UK Government and many research funders calling for more articles to be made open access, and moves towards open access policies in different countries.
On 4th November 2013, Professor David Nutt FSB was awarded the 2013 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science.
A new Concordat on openness on animal research is being developed.
The 2013 CHRISTMAS LECTURES© at the Royal Institution will be presented by Dr Alison Woollard FSB from the University of Oxford who will explore the frontiers of developmental biology and uncover the remarkable transformation of a single cell into a complex organism.
The Society of Biology had a letter published in The Observer on 27th October highlighting the importance of animals in research, consigned by the Association of Medical Research Charities, the Academy of Medical Sciences and Parkinson’s UK. This was in response to a letter published the previous week from Animal Aid, and corrected some factual inaccuracies about development of medication for Parkinson’s disease.