Last week saw a number of meetings connected with the Babraham Institute. In the first I performed the official opening of the new ‘Building 570’ that brings together a majority of Babraham scientists, including both experimentalists and those involved in computational biology. In addition, we had one of our regular Institute Partnership meetings, reviewing progress against BBSRC-funded strategic programmes and other issues.

I enjoyed an interesting exhibition at the British Library on Science, Art and Data Visualisation, as well as a networking meeting for various of the BIS partner bodies where I had a useful discussion with Jim Milne from the Royal Society of Chemistry about their imaginative and exciting innovations in Open Access Publishing. Here is a useful link to part of the European debate about some of the benefits that Open Access will provide, and that we need to ensure are not stymied. 

I had a useful meeting with Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust (and incoming Government Chief Scientific Adviser), and enjoyed a networking meeting to celebrate 10 years of the present incarnation of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory.   

I was reminded of an important study of the enormous returns on investment in agricultural research, and I enjoyed an interesting piece on “Three Ways to Think Deeply at Work”. 

Two of my own articles have just become available, the first on drug promiscuity and transporters in final form, and a new one – taking forward the community approach to building highly curated and semantically enriched systems biology models that we pioneered in yeast – to provide the most complete reconstruction of human metabolism. It is freely available in SBML.

Finally, I would draw attention to the fact that BBSRC is carrying out a ‘light touch’ refresh of our Strategic Plan, and that there is an open invitation here to contribute to this refresh.

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