BBSRC Chief Executive's blog

News from our Chief Executive, Professor Melanie Welham

  • Celebrating innovation

    Melanie Welham

    Last Wednesday evening I was lucky enough to host our ‘Fostering Innovation 2016’ event, where BBSRC announced the winners of two competitions that recognise and celebrate innovation.

    The Innovator of the Year competition, now in its eighth year, recognises individuals or small teams of researchers who have taken their scientific discoveries and translated them into real-life applications. The winner of the Social Innovator of the year, Barrie Rooney, has developed a rapid diagnostic test for sleeping sickness that will enter field trials in Africa later this year. […]

  • The need to be a good scientific citizen

    Melanie Welham

    This week’s blog focusses on a topic that I am passionate about – scientific citizenship. Larry Goldstein, from UCSD, discusses scientific citizenship in this video blog and takes the broad perspective that this encompasses life and impacts of science both within the research environment and beyond, including society at large.

    The aspects of scientific citizenship that I would like to concentrate on are those within the research environment. For me it is relatively simple – do to other researchers as you would want to be done to yourself and support the research endeavour. […]

  • Research advice and food – in Vogue

    Melanie Welham

    During the past week I have attended the meetings of two groups that make important contributions to BBSRC’s scientific strategies, our Research Advisory Panel and Appointments Board (more on this next week).

    Membership of our Research Advisory Panel is drawn from across our advisory structures and includes the Chairs of our responsive mode, strategic Lola and fellowships committees, strategy advisory panels and members of Council. It helps to ensure BBSRC draws on a diversity of perspectives. We welcomed Jane Silverthorne, from the Bio Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF), as an observer at this meeting. We enjoy excellent relations with the NSF and have partnered with them for a range of funding calls including through a Lead Agency pilot agreement, Ideas Labs and ERA-Nets. […]

  • Blueprints for life and synthetic biology

    Melanie Welham

    During my formative years, I recall reading Stephen Rose’s Penguin paperback The Chemistry of Life. While providing inspiration for me to pursue a career in biochemistry, the text opens with an interesting analogy between cooking and biochemistry. I have often recalled this line when experimenting in the lab (and also when cooking up a culinary storm!) and I was reminded of it again when reading the most recent paper from Craig Venter and colleagues reflecting that we actually have rather a long way to go before we fully understand all the essential ‘ingredients’ (in the form of the DNA) that provide the ‘minimal’ blueprint for life. […]

  • Career paths

    Melanie Welham

    As the Easter holiday period approaches, so the focus in my household is turning to preparation for AS and A-level exams – I’m sure this will be the case for many of you too. I have always been passionate about encouraging young people to be aspirational but we do need to be mindful that career paths can take many twists and turns and there is no one ‘right way’ for everyone. […]