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.
Since July 2012, the average consultation time has decreased, and Society of Biology has today released a report which warns of the negative consequences for policy making. New Consultation Principles were published by the cabinet office in July 2012, no longer requiring the 12 week consultation period set out in the previous Code of Practice on Consultation.
This Wednesday saw the Society of Biology, in partnership with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), hold the Parliamentary Reception to celebrate Biology Week.
Today, schools around the UK are celebrating Biology Week 2013 with assemblies about food waste, starting with an animated video produced for the event. UK households throw away 20% of the food they buy, and pupils will consider how we can reduce this huge wastage.
Over a hundred people attended the Society of Biology Annual Award Ceremony on Thursday 17th October at the King's Fund. The event celebrated the achievements of our members and biology enthusiasts who have engaged with the Society throughout the year.
Biology Week 2013 was kick started by the Society of Biology East Anglia branch's Big Biology Day held at Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge on the 12th October. This was the second year that Ian Harvey and Amanda Burton have run the Big Biology Day, and following on from the success of last year, this year was double the size, with an estimated 1000 people attending.
Biology Week 2013 got off to an exciting start with the 24 hour lecturethon, given by ecologist and science communicator Professor Adam Hart from the University of Gloucestershire. It started at 18:00 last Sunday and continued throughout the early morning, to 18:00 the following day, with lectures being broadcast around the world.
Science and engineering teaching at English universities will receive a £400 million boost and a particular focus on encouraging women into these subjects, universities and science minister David Willetts announced on 30th September.