Most countries boast one or more overarching Learned Societies that are the guardians of their scholarship. In Science their titles often include the phrase ‘Academy of Sciences’, a role played in the UK by the Royal Society. Scotland’s equivalent is the Royal Society of Edinburgh, while, until now, Wales has had none. This changed with the formal launch in Cardiff last week of the Learned Society of Wales, under the Presidency of Sir John Cadogan, who gave a most inspiring speech. I was very pleased to attend this, and to meet a number of long-standing friends and acquaintances. [...]
The chief focus of this week’s meetings – I like to try and make decent clusters from my travelogue – was Industrial Biotechnology in various guises, not least since Bioenergy and Industrial Biotechnology are a key element of our Strategic Plan.
We had an important and useful meeting with the Technology Strategy Board, with whom we enjoy an increasingly close and integrated relationship (including a shared employee). Grants are in the throes of being judged and awarded as part of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Innovation Platform, while there are other Healthcare activities in Regenerative and in Personalised Medicine. [...]
This blog updates you on what BBSRC has been doing over the past weeks, and I will now be back to my weekly blogging.
BBSRC meetings included those of Council, Appointments Board and my first attendance at our Integrative and Systems Biology Strategy Panel. External meetings included two with JISC, exploring in particular the likely needs for bandwidth that our community will discover as we move in particular towards the era of very high throughput nucleic acid sequencing. I also gave a talk, as a double act with Tony Hey of Microsoft Research, on ‘Data-intensive science: why and how’ at a meeting hosted by the University of Exeter. [...]
I blog fairly regularly about data-driven science, and the emerging ‘fourth paradigm’ of data-intensive research, in which – when the considerable technical challenges involved are better solved – significant computational power will be brought to bear to discover new knowledge from large, online, digital data sets. As part of a week-long Data-Intensive Research workshop (tweeted with the hashtag #datares) at the National E-Science Centre I gave a talk last Monday setting out our interests, needs and expectations, especially as they related to the voluminous genomics data becoming available. Through the wonders of the net, I was able both to follow other talks, and give my own, remotely. [...]
The beginning of the week marked the move of one of my postdocs, Irena Spasić, who – based on some very nice work recorded in papers such as this and this – has secured a lectureship in Computer Science at Cardiff.
I then attended part of the programs of each of our 4 Research Committees, who were meeting near Windsor for the present grants round. It was as ever pleasing to see the high quality both of the great bulk of the applications and of the detailed discussions about the many proposals received. [...]