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

7 December 2016



Royal Society of Biology news

Minister: We will maintain our proud record on environmental science and conservation after leaving the EU
Government Minister Robin Walker visited the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) today to hear the views of scientific, conservation and wildlife charities on the opportunities and challenges of Brexit for environmental science and conservation.

Royal Society of Biology blog

What is dining going to look like in the future?

TEF vs. REF: Are teaching and research now adversaries?

The future of science


Top stories

Why the Higher Education and Research Bill must be amended
The Higher Education and Research Bill has to be amended before it undermines the autonomy and vitality of our universities and the UK research base.

Expert reaction to the government abandoning the anti-lobbying clause
The Cabinet Office announced new standards in government grants which confirm that the anti-lobbying clause, proposed earlier this year, has been abandoned.

EU nationals remain eligible for postgraduate support from UK's Research Councils
The government has reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining the UK's status as a world-leader in science and research.

Health and biomedicine

UK doctors to seek permission to create baby with DNA from three people
Specialists poised to offer mitochondrial replacement therapy if government's fertility regulator approves the treatment.

Theresa May: We have to 'wipe out' HIV stigma

BMA calls for complete ban on smoking in vehicles

Public health in the context of the 100 year life
It's a significant public health triumph that life expectancy has consistently improved over the last 20 years and children born today will live about five years longer than their counterparts born two decades ago.


Food and drink

A new global research agenda for food
Lawrence Haddad, Corinna Hawkes and colleagues propose ten ways to shift the focus from feeding people to nourishing them.

FSA in Northern Ireland reminds food industry of further new labelling rules
From 13 December 2016 businesses selling pre-packed foods are required to display mandatory nutrition declarations.

Health advisers call for minimum alcohol unit pricing


Agriculture and fishery

Livestock information: working to keep the UK at the forefront of animal tracking
Some developments and thinking from the Defra Livestock Information Programme.

New measures to protect poultry against Avian Flu
The Chief Veterinary Officer has declared a Prevention Zone to help protect poultry from a strain of Avian Flu in Europe.

A call to all marine environment stakeholders: how can your data and needs inform fisheries management processes in the Celtic Seas?



England may be in deforestation state due to lack of tree planting
England fells more trees than it plants and government must keep to its targets to evade deforestation, say forestry groups.


Environment and ecology

60 Organisations vs 1 Grey Seal: How would we work if something went wrong in our seas?
Last week the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) combined forces with over 500 responders and 60 private and public sector bodies, to take part in a 2 day national contingency planning exercise.

Researchers compare biodiversity trends with the stock market
Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) have the potential to help stop species loss. An international research team is using an analogy to explain what these variables are.


Climate and energy

Four of world's biggest cities to ban diesel cars from their centres
Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City will ban the most polluting cars and vans by 2025 to tackle air pollution.

Marrakech meeting shows Trump won’t derail climate progress
Most nations remain committed to the Paris agreement, and the US cannot withdraw before its next election, notes Bob Ward.


Water and air

Councils urged to redesign speed bumps to cut pollution


Sustainable development

Fix food metrics
For sustainable, equitable nutrition we must count the true global costs and benefits of food production, urge Pavan Sukhdev, Peter May and Alexander Müller.

Artificial fish gut project launched
Scientists and industry leaders are embarking on a new project to build an artificial salmon gut with a view to better understanding fish digestion. This important and complex information will arm the fish farming industry with a sustainable response to increasing global demand for high quality farmed fish.


Animal research

Openness Awards 2016 and the 80th Stephen Paget memorial lecture
Understanding Animal Research's third Openness Awards and the 80th Stephen Paget memorial lecture took place this year on Monday, 5th December at the Royal College of Physicians in London.

Reform regulations to make pet clinical trials easier
Trials in animals can aid both veterinary and human medicine, but complicated rules can stifle them.


Exiting the EU

Universities told to stop being antagonistic’ on overseas students
UK must tell stories of globalisation benefits that resonate with voters who have genuine concerns about immigration, UUKi director says.

School performance link to Brexit vote, says Ofsted boss


Research funding policy

Could crowdsourcing expertise be the future of government?
Recent political events have revealed tensions between expertise and democracy. Institutions must tap into the know-how of the many, not the few.

Higher education policy

Power grab
The higher education and research bill proposes a dramatic change in the government's relationship with institutions.

Busting five common myths about the TEF

HEFCE supports experimental innovation in learning and teaching
Sixty-seven universities and colleges have been awarded £2.8 million to develop small-scale experimental innovations in learning and teaching.

Global coalition sets out how to keep universities safe from harm
New report sets out the core principles for reducing assaults on higher education.

Exclusive university networks fail higher education
Provost of Universitas 21 tells THE summit that universities must engage with institutions outside their elite groups.


Open access and publication policy

Big biology projects warm up to preprints
Consortium backed by US National Institutes of Health is first major biology programme to mandate online publication of results ahead of peer review.


The real plague affecting science? It isn't fraud

Fossil-free movement shows the way for ethical divestment
Momentum is building for fossil fuel divestment in UK and US universities, while American institutions are cutting ties with racist private prisons industry

A leap forward or a step too far? The new debate over embryo research
British scientists are limited to research on embryos under 14 days old – until recently no one was able keep an embryo alive that long. But now an ethical struggle looms.

Disability and work a key space for action
On December 3 we marked an international day for people with disabilities.


Other news

Politicising science: necessary, not evil

Study reveals a quarter of schoolchildren hope to work in science
The government announces more than £12 million to support science teaching in schools.
New data published on Tuesday 6 December shows more than a quarter of teenagers in England are considering a career in science, while three-quarters of pupils believe their science lessons are helping to prepare them for life post education.

U.S. patent agency to weigh rival claims on gene-editing technology
The U.S. patent agency on Tuesday (13 December) will hear arguments in a heated dispute over who was first to invent a revolutionary gene-editing technology known as CRISPR.



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 by Friday 6 January 2017.
Closes 6 January 2017

Closing the STEM skills gap inquiry
The Committee therefore 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

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: decorbanisation, sustainability and food security. This call for evidence asks a series of questions which will help us identify the opportunities, challenges, barriers and enablers.
Closes 29 January 2017



Job Opportunities for Research Fellows at the European Commission
Do you want EU policies and laws to be informed by the best scientific evidence available? Do you have a strong background in research? Are you ready to apply your scientific expertise to support EU policies? Take the opportunity and apply for Research Fellow temporary positions at the European Commission's science and knowledge service, the Joint Research Centre

Promotional material: Biofuels events calendar
Programme of events for biofuel stakeholders.


 And finally...

Platypus venom paves way to possible diabetes treatment


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

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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