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Open consultations

The Society invites and collates views from members, who work across the biological professions, in order to respond to open consultations. We seek to achieve a consensus of opinion and present a unified voice for the bioscience community. If you would like to contribute to a response, or draw our attention to other relevant consultations, please email us.

We also maintain an archive of Royal Society of Biology consultation responses as a record of outputs.

Life Sciences and the Industrial Strategy
This inquiry by the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee aims to contribute to the discussion around the Industrial Strategy and the role of the Government and business in its development and implementation. The inquiry will examine the upcoming ‘sector deal’ for life sciences, Government support for the life sciences sector, and how to stimulate innovation in life sciences.
Closes 15 September 2017.

Digital sequence information and the Nagoya Protocol
The Royal Society of Biology responded to a request from Defra for views and information on potential implications of the use of Digital Sequence Information on genetic resources for the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the objective of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefits Sharing.

Building our Industrial Strategy
This green paper sets out our vision for a modern industrial strategy and some early actions we have committed to take. It aims to start a genuinely open and collaborative conversation about the skills, research, infrastructure and the other things we need to get right to drive long term growth in productivity. You can see the full set of questions in our briefing, which will help you make your own submissions to the inquiry.
Closes 17 April 2017

UK bioeconomy: call for evidence
This BEIS call for evidence seeks your input to help shape a UK bioeconomy strategy. The aim is to produce a strategy which will foster a world leading bioeconomy which is appropriate to the UK's industrial structure and availability of natural resources. This strategy will engage with many different sectors across the economy and will need to take account of other objectives, such as on decarbonisation, broader sustainability and food security. You can see the full set of questions in our briefing, which will help you make your own submissions to the inquiry.
Closes 29 January 2017

Genomics and genome-editing inquiry

This House of Commons Science and Technology Committee inquiry calls for submissions covering:

  • The impact of genomics and genome-editing on: wildlife and ecosystems, plants and animals, food production and human health
  • Whether current regulations in particular areas of genomics and genome-editing are consistent, and whether they are adequate to meet the requirements of different 'product’ and 'process' based approval processes
  • Ethical, social and safety concerns from genomics/genome-editing
  • Genomics England’s 100,000 sequenced genomes initiative, including its progress and safeguards
  • The adequacy of investment in infrastructure and skills/training in the NHS to take forward genome medicine
  • The extent to which genomics should be part of the Industrial Strategy initiative

Closes 30 January 2017

Consultation on the second Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021)
The four UK funding bodies for higher education have published a joint consultation on the arrangements for research assessment in a second Research Excellence Framework.
Closes 17 March 2017

Previous consultations

Wildlife licensing: comment on new policies for European protected species licences
Natural England invites interested parties to comment on 4 new policies for the way European protected species (EPS) licensing is handled to reduce the risk of harm against them from development in the future.

  • To allow greater flexibility on decisions to exclude or relocate EPS from development sites.
  • To allow greater flexibility on the location of newly created habitats that compensate for habitats that will be lost.
  • To allow EPS to have access to temporary habitats that will be developed at a later date.
  • To allow appropriate and relevant surveys to be carried out where the impacts of development can be confidently predicted.

Opens: 25 February 
Closes 7 April

Environmental impact of microplastics
The Environmental Audit Committee launches an inquiry into the environmental impact of microplastics. Key issues include: the scale, sources and consequences of microplastic pollution in the ocean; strategies for dealing with the problem; and the state of our knowledge on the issue.
Opens 18 March
Closes 15 April

Business views on EU Referendum
The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee launches an inquiry aiming to test business reasons cited by businesses on both sides of the EU referendum debate. The Committee wishes to help inform the debate in the run up to the referendum on 23 June by exploring the rationale for the views expressed by British businesses on the question of Britain’s continued membership of the European Union.
Opens 4 March
Closes 15 April

Science and Technology Committee undertake inquiry into Science communication
The Committee is undertaking an inquiry into Science communication.
Opens 23 March
Closes 29 April

Second online 'evidence check' forum
The Science and Technology Committee launches its second "evidence check" forums on three new topics. The Committee is asking for members of the public and experts to scrutinise three Government-provided evidence papers underpinning Government science policies.
The evidence checks cover the following policies:
- Driverless cars
- Smart Cities
- GM and Gene Editing
Opens 24 March
Closes n/a

Draft provisions for a Wild Fisheries (Scotland) Bill/Draft Wild Fisheries Strategy: a consultation
This consultation is designed to give stakeholders an opportunity to provide feedback on the approach currently being taken as we continue to develop the legislative provisions for a Wild Fisheries (Scotland) Bill.
Opens 8 February
Closes 2 May

Powerhouses and engines inquiry launched
The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee launches inquiry looking at the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine, focussing on whether the Government's devolved arrangements can deliver improved economic growth and if these models could be adopted by other regions.
Opens 11 March
Closes 6 May

Disability employment gap
The Work and Pensions Committee launches an inquiry into the Government’s commitment to halve the "disability employment gap" – the difference in employment rates between disabled and non-disabled people. The inquiry assesses the scale of the challenge and the likely effectiveness of the Government’s employment support and benefit policies in achieving this goal.
Opens 30 March
Closes 9 May

Preparation of a sustainable bioenergy policy for the period after 2020
The objective of this survey is to consult stakeholders and citizens on an updated EU policy on sustainable bioenergy for the period 2020-2030, as part of the EU renewable energy package foreseen before the end of 2016.
Opens 10 February
Closes 10 May

NERC announces new call for ideas for strategic research
NERC is seeking ideas for research challenges that should be priorities for strategic research investment through either highlight topics or strategic programme areas. NERC would welcome ideas from both researchers and those who use environmental science research.
Opens 15 February
Closes 19 May

Developments in environmental justice in Scotland
The paper sets out the recent, major changes to the court system in Scotland. In doing so, we provide an overview of the justice landscape as it is relevant to environmental cases.
Opens 18 March  
Closes 10 June

Consultation on options to improve and assure the nutritional standards of food in hospitals
The consultation document invites views on proposed options to improve and assure the nutritional standards of food in hospitals, including the option to place nutritional standards for food in hospitals on a statutory footing.
Opens 22 March  
Closes 13 June