Tag: policy

  • Realising the promise of the bioeconomy

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    Recently we in BBSRC have been thinking more holistically about our research and translational activities with a focus on the bioeconomy as it relates to our portfolio. Over the past few years a number of countries (for example, Germany (PDF)) have published Bioeconomy Strategies to provide a focus for funding and industrial activity. One can think of the bioeconomy as encompassing all the economic activity derived from bio-based products and processes. Such products and processes can provide sustainable and resource-efficient solutions for a range of industrial sectors including food, agriculture, chemicals, energy production, health and environmental protection. The size of the bioeconomy is truly staggering – in the EU alone the bioeconomy is estimated to be worth two trillion euros accounting for 22 million jobs, which is about 9% of the EU labour market. Each euro invested in EU-funded bioeconomy research and innovation is estimated to trigger €10 of value added in bioeconomy sectors by 2025. [...]

  • The power of collaboration and diversity

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    Rare diseases by definition are infrequent but they are frequently devastating for patients and their families and can affect people from birth to old age. The Pfizer Rare Disease Consortium inaugural symposium which I was able to attend in part last week was a good opportunity to reconnect with some of my previous colleagues in pharmaceutical R&D as well as academia. [...]

  • Evidence and objectivity

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    Several things over the past few weeks have reinforced for me the need for scientists to provide good scientific evidence, the importance of good scientific peer review and the need for objectivity in interpreting and debating the evidence.

    In Nature on 3 July, two high profile papers on stem cell science were withdrawn. The journal concluded that neither the referees nor the journal were at fault in these incidences as they took the data at face value, although it turned out that not all the data was as it seemed (see Nature 10 July, page 140). [...]

  • Women in science

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    Last week I attended an “exploring quotas” workshop in Berlin sponsored by EMBO and The Bosch Foundation. The aim was to explore the options for the use of quotas or other interventions to increase the representation of women at all levels in academia. The invited attendees represented a broad range of groups and the workshop will inform a report which will be published later this year. I learnt a lot and heard about interventions that had worked and some that had not. A particularly shocking fact was that women only got the vote in Switzerland in 1971! [...]