Last week’s activities included a two-day meeting of our Strategy Advisory Board, where (unsurprisingly) we concentrated on our upcoming Strategic Plan, as well as looking inter alia at the results of our survey of high-performance computing needs, and at an externally commissioned analysis of the Knowledge and Technology Transfer activities of our Institutes. Our dinner speaker was Nick Dusic, Director of the estimable Campaign for Science and Engineering organisation. I also attended another couple of meetings around Food Security, where we continue to develop our strategy. One aspect, on which we have not so much concentrated, is the issue of waste in the food chain, and I have just started to read an important book on the subject: Waste – uncovering the global food scandal, by Tristram Stuart.
Continue reading: Combined food and energy
In December I was delighted to participate, with MRC Chief Executive Sir Leszek Borysiewicz and Science Minister Lord Drayson, at the event celebrating the publication of the UK’s largest survey of public attitudes to stem cell science. The occasion was important in several ways. First, the findings showed public support for basic science and its translation into treatments for serious conditions (and there is an interesting discussion to be had on how people perceive the relative seriousness of different conditions). Secondly, the meeting took place shortly after the high-profile demonstration of research feeding into treatments – the use of stem cells in a trachea transplant - for which part of the process derived from BBSRC-funded research by Anthony Hollander at the University of Bristol. Thirdly, the study illustrated that public dialogue is becoming embedded in UK research culture – BBSRC’s Bioscience for Society Panel will be advising us on our response to the findings and recommendations.
Continue reading: 2008 – year of the stem cell? And a lot else.