I attended two back-to-back meetings at Portcullis House last week. The first was a discussion organised by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology on Bioenergy. Chaired by Lord Oxburgh, this featured interesting talks from speakers representing BP Biofuels, DECC, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and the Forestry Commission. A strong consensus emerged around the views that biofuels had a significant role to play as part of the Bioeconomy, and that key to their success was a genuine social and environmental sustainability.
The second meeting was a ‘diamond jubilee’ celebration of 60 years of British Science achievement (pdf), with talks on Life Sciences (Prof Dame Nancy Rothwell). Chemistry (Prof Lesley Yellowlees) and Physics (Prof Brian Cox). It was thoroughly pleasant to be reminded of the litany of British scientific achievements since 1952, and Dame Nancy’s excellent presentation ended with a couple of thought-provoking slides on seeking to understand why the UK was and is so astonishingly good in the (Life) Sciences. [...]