BBSRC Executive Chair's blog

News from our Chief Executive, Professor Melanie Welham

Professor Melanie Welham
  • Biology week!

    Melanie Welham

    I was delighted, once again, to join in the Royal Society of Biology’s Biology week celebrations, including the Parliamentary reception and #IAmABiologist Twitter campaign. In whatever way you identify as a biologist, I hope you joined in with the latter and I wonder what your motivation has been for pursuing biology – mine was a fascination with understanding how living organisms ‘worked’.

    Biology Week offers a fantastic opportunity to recognise the breadth of biology and its impacts, and the reception in Parliament was a great way to ensure that our Politicians have an understanding and awareness of this too.

  • Looking forward, looking back

    Melanie Welham

    I am really delighted that this week has seen the publication of the Forward Look for UK Bioscience, which sets out how pushing back the frontiers of biology can contribute to delivering a healthy, prosperous and sustainable future.

    Development of the Forward Look for UK Bioscience has been led by BBSRC, in consultation with a wide range of key stakeholders and partners, including BBSRC’s legacy and new Councils and advisory panels. I am personally very grateful to all of those who have contributed and excited that we have a new framing upon which BBSRC, within UK Research and Innovation, will build its strategic delivery plan. The latter, under development now, will set out in more detail the actions we will take to support and deliver elements of the Forward Look and contribute to UK Research and Innovation’s strategic prospectus.

  • Bees, diversity and worms

    Melanie Welham

    I hope, like me, you have been able to take some time away from your ‘day jobs’ to recharge and refresh over the past couple of months. This year my family and I travelled to Croatia and Bosnia for our summer break – both very scenic and interesting locations – although cycling, as we were, in temperatures of 30-35OC did not feel particularly refreshing! During our trip we had an interesting visit to a local third-generation Bee keeperon the Croatian Island of Solta, whose enthusiasm and concern for the health of our pollinators knew no bounds. He was delighted to hear about the outcomes of the multidisciplinary Insect Pollinators Initiative that we supported, summarised in this recently published evaluation.

  • Extreme weather…and food production

    Melanie Welham

    Depending on your perspective you may have been relishing the recent spell of unusually hot and dry weather – if, on the other hand, you are one of the many farmers who have been struggling to combat the heat, drought and feed shortages your view is likely to be quite different. Whatever your thoughts on the ‘summer of 2018’, the extreme weather conditions highlight the importance of boosting the resilience of food production systems in the UK to help ensure food supply is maintained.

  • ESOF, plastics and feeding fish

    Melanie Welham

    This year’s European Science Open Forum (ESOF) was recently held in Toulouse and attended by scientists, researchers, policy makers and interested members of the general public from across the world. It was heartening to see members of the UK community making a significant contribution to what was a very varied programme*. UK leadership in bioscience was well represented with varied talks and policy discussions including Tim Benton on food security and Richard Thompson (University of Plymouth) on the hot topic of plastic pollution in the ocean, with others discussing the future for plastics.