AAB - President


Welcome to the Association of Applied Biologists 


The Association has produced videos at several of its recent conferences.  Click on the links below to view these videos:



Click here for a copy of the Association's Strategy document for 2015/2016


The Association has negotiated a special price for AAB Members to publish in our Open Access journal Food and Energy Security - UK 500 pounds (usual price UK1200 pounds).  To submit your manuscript click here 


Click here for a copy of the Association's Annual Report for 2015 


Hard copies will be available at the University of Edinburgh, George Square Lecture Theatre, on 9 September and from the AAB Office (email Bernadette@aab.org.uk)  


Click here for a letter from Sir John O'Reilly from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills inviting responses for interactions between the research base and the wider innovation ecosystem   


Click here for the Association's latest newsletter featuring AAB council updates, Conference reports and listings, Features and more!


Science Policy Newsletter a weekly round-up of policy headlines and stories

14 December 2016



Royal Society of Biology news

Invisible air pollution becoming harder to detect
Air pollution causes millions of premature deaths globally. Unlike the thick London smogs of the mid twentieth century, today's air pollution episodes have become more invisible and are less obvious to those affected, according to experts gathered at a Royal Society of Biology event last week.

Royal Society of Biology blog

Something in the air
The Royal Society of Biology organised an event this week to discuss the effects of air pollution on health.


Health and biomedicine

Four steps to precision public health
Better surveillance data and analyses are urgently needed to control disease in the developing world, argue Scott F. Dowell, David Blazes and Susan Desmond-Hellmann.


Food and drink

Metrics for sustainable healthy diets: why, what how?
The FCRN and the Food Foundation have jointly produced a new report based on a meeting, held November 2016, on the topic of metrics for sustainable healthy diets for the food industry.


Environment and ecology

Will the internet of things sacrifice or save the environment?
Some devices will power themselves but the more complex will contribute to the world's huge data storage energy bill.

Vaccinating badgers against TB does not change their behaviour
Rosie Woodroffe discusses the vaccination of badgers against TB and her new publication in Journal of Applied Ecology.

Pesticides stop bees buzzing and releasing pollen, says study
Researchers find neonicotinoid insecticides harm ability of bees to vibrate flowers and shake out pollen to fertilise crops.

Climate and energy

Wind power key to curbing greenhouse emissions, study finds
Edinburgh University researchers say windfarm energy prevented 36m tonnes of harmful coal and gas emissions in six years.


Water and air

Over 200 years of deadly London air: smogs, fogs, and pea soupers
60 years after the Clean Air Act, Londoners still suffer from air pollution. What can we can learn from two centuries of campaigns against city smog?

Mapping Three Decades of Global Water Change
Rivers meander. Lakes grow and shrink. Engineers build dams and farmers flood fields.

Underground coal gasification will not go ahead in UK
Government says it will not support highly polluting method of releasing gas from coal seams.

Methane surge needs 'urgent attention'

Government and parliament

New CEO of 'UK Research & Innovation' critical for its success
The soon to be appointed CEO of UKRI will be critical for making a success of the new organisation, the Science and Technology Committee reports.

Exiting the EU

Forging links outside Europe post-Brexit not realistic
Vice-principal tells SRHE annual conference that arts and humanities scholars cannot suddenly shift area of focus to different cultural settings.

Brexit by the numbers: the fear of brain drain
Evidence to parliamentary inquiry puts some figures on the uncertainty hanging over EU university staff.


Research funding policy

Research quality and impact should be assessed together
Academics should be able to publish either a YouTube video or a paper, expert argues.

Mission not yet accomplished on the Higher Education and Research Bill
As the far-reaching Higher Education and Research Bill reaches the House of Lords, further amendments are needed to ensure it succeeds in its aims

Higher education policy

Soft Stern or Hard Stern: how serious are we about reforming the REF?
HEFCE gave us an early Christmas present last week in its eagerly-awaited consultation on the next REF.

New PhD students facing shifting landscape on publishing
Latest EUA doctoral council chair says open science very much on his agenda for the role.

Open access and publication policy

A call to build an impact literate research culture

Controversial impact factor gets a heavyweight rival
Elsevier's CiteScore uses a larger database and provides different results for the quality of journals.

Citing retracted papers has a negative domino effect on science, education, and society
Once an academic paper is retracted, it is by no means certain it will not go on being cited. Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva, Judit Dobránszki and Helmar Bornemann-Cimenti use three key examples to demonstrate how the continued citation of retracted papers can lead to the proliferation of erroneous literature, mislead young academics and cause confusion among researchers as to the veracity of scientific claims.


Business and industry

Make KICs compete for permanent funding, says report
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology should fund some of its Knowledge and Innovation Communities for an indefinite period of time on a competitive basis, an independent evaluation has said.

Building a world-class precision medicine industry


Equality and diversity

The sorry state of equality in UK universities
Kate Williams looks at the latest figures and concludes that much more needs to be done.

Men more likely to get promoted, say women at universities
Research finds that nearly one in five women has unsuccessfully applied for a job move at least four times.

Other news

Beyond the Silo Mentality

Performance metrics: Forge a clearer path for technical careers
The UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) surveyed more than 800 technicians and laboratory assistants about their roles, careers and professional recognition.


My Science Inquiry
The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has decided to create an open opportunity for the science community and the wider public to suggest science and technology areas for scrutiny.
Closes 4 January 2017

Genomics and genome-editing inquiry
Science and Technology Committee launch an inquiry into genomics and genome-editing. The Committee welcomes written submissions.
Closes 30 January 2017

Closing the STEM skills gap inquiry
The Committee invites written evidence on measures that organisations, businesses, schools, colleges and individuals have taken to close the STEM skills gap. These could include, but are not limited to, apprenticeships, vocational courses, mentoring, teacher placements in industry and establishing links between business and schools/colleges.
Closes 13 January 2017

Ocean acidification inquiry
The Committee has decided to undertake follow-up scrutiny on the issue of ocean acidification.
Closes 25 January 2017

UK bioeconomy: call for evidence
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy aims to produce a strategy which will encourage a world leading bioeconomy which is appropriate to the UK's industrial structure and availability of natural resources. This strategy will involve many different sectors across the economy and will need to take account of other objectives, such as: decarbonisation, sustainability and food security. This call for evidence asks a series of questions which will help identify the opportunities, challenges, barriers and enablers.
Closes 29 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


Plant Health Undergraduate Summer Studentships 2017
Applications are invited for four Defra-funded undergraduate studentships in plant health to be carried out over summer 2017. Researchers, with the backing of their institution, who can offer research expertise and a high quality research experience for the student, may apply.
Closes 20 January 2017

Nuffield Council on Bioethics Chair
The Councils funders the Nuffield Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council are seeking to appoint a Chair (Elect) of the Council, to succeed Professor Jonathan Montgomery, when he stands down at the end of his term as Chair in 2017.
Closes 13 January 2017

The Open Science Prize
The Open Science Prize is a collaboration between the Wellcome Trust, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to unleash the power of open content and data to advance biomedical research and its application for health benefit. Voting on the shortlist of teams to receive the prize is now open: closes 6 January 2017

 And finally...

Five amazing ways plants have created new technologies

Royal Society of Biology
Science Policy Team
Charles Darwin House
12 Roger Street

Please note that any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Royal Society of Biology.


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© Royal Society of Biology 2016. Registered Charity Number: 277981
Charles Darwin House, 12 Roger Street, London WC1N 2JU

The Association of Applied Biologists is an international professional society for all those working, studying or interested in applied biology.


The Association was founded in 1904 and is a registered charity (No. 275655). Our mission is:   


 "To promote the study and advancement of all branches of Biology and in particular (but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing), to foster the practice, growth and development of applied biology, with a focus on the application of biological sciences in the production of food, materials and energy, and for the maintenance and improvement of earth's environment".    


We deliver this charitable mission through the publication of scientific journals in applied biology, the organisation of conferences in a range of related subject themes, the formulation and dissemination of policies to promote the discipline, the production of a newsletter and the provision of services for members.


We have approximately 800 members across the world and many libraries subscribe to our publications.  


We welcome all those who are interested in applied biology.     


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