As well as a swathe of ‘internal’ meetings, and one of the regular meetings of the RCUK Chief Executives with the Research Base in BIS, an important meeting, for which I provided the opening talk, concerned an assessment of how to build on the ca £165M BBSRC investment in Systems Biology that followed from the insightful 2003 assessment (“Towards predictive biology”) of my predecessor Prof Dame Julia Goodfellow, and the needs and priorities of human and physical infrastructure. The meeting was attended by many of the leading lights in the UK community.

I noted the appointment of Professor Dame Jean Thomas in succession to Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell as President of the Society of Biology, the scary fact that credit (i.e. debt) ratios are worse than at the time of the 2008 crash, the emerging field of topological data analysis, the concept and a review on ‘strongly correlated materials’, the rise of multi-potent antibodies/vaccines, nylon as a catalyst support, and a review and a paper on the use of AFM in biological studies. These are indeed rich times for the bio(techno)logist.

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