Policy network activities 2019

In a year dominated by Brexit, our Policy Team has been working to represent the molecular biosciences and feed in the community’s views, experiences and expertise into policy. As a member of the Policy Network, you may have been aware of our activities from the Policy Newsletter or our ‘Calls for Views’ requesting your input. The comments you share with us are invaluable in helping us represent the molecular biosciences, so thank you for taking the time to share them with us. Here is a selection of our activities in 2019 which have used input from the Policy Network.

Policy Spotlight


We ran two Policy Spotlights in 2019:

  • Genetic Modification: the views shared in this survey has helped shape the updates to our Position Statement on Genetic Modification. This work is ongoing and we hope to publish our updated position in 2020. In January 2020 we contributed to a consultation response on A Governance Framework on Human Genome Editing. In addition to a separate call for views, we referred back to the Policy Spotlight to identify some areas important to the Network.

  • Equity in STEM Education: the second Policy Spotlight helped us submit a response to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Diversity and Inclusion in STEM’s inquiry of the same title. You can read our response here.

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The Biochemical Society also responded to consultations on the 
Independent Review of the Teaching Excellence Framework and Commercial Genomics, including views from the Network in our responses. The Science and Technology Committee held Oral Evidence Sessions for the Commercial Genomics inquiry in the Autumn, however this inquiry was closed when the 2017 Parliament ended ahead of the General Election. This inquiry may be picked up by the new Committee.

We often feed views from the molecular bioscience community into larger organisations to increase the impact of the message, particularly on cross-sector issues.

In 2019 we contributed to the Royal Society of Biology’s responses to inquiries on Changes to the Education Inspection Framework by Ofsted and Future Funding Frameworks for International Collaboration. This review, conducted by Professor Sir Adrian Smith, featured comments from the RSB response in its report published in October.

A full list of our consultation responses is on our website

Position Statements

We published a joint Position Statement with Portland Press on Open Scholarship. This statement also touches on how Portland Press are transitioning to sustainable Open Access.

Raising the Profile of the Molecular Biosciences

The Policy Team frequently attends cross-sector and Parliamentary events to represent the molecular biosciences. In 2019 these included Voice of the Future (where early career members had the opportunity to question parliamentarians), and Parliamentary Links days in Wales, Westminster, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

In June, the Biochemical Society partnered with a team at UCL to host an ‘Evidence Pod’ as part of Evidence Week in Parliament hosted by Sense about Science. At this event we had a morning in a busy thoroughfare in Parliament where we spoke to a variety of MPs and Peers about the importance of international collaboration in science and the potential of data-driven biomedical research.  

You can read more about the project here.

If you are part of a project relating to the molecular biosciences that demonstrates the use and/or importance of data or evidence in policy making that would benefit from political exposure please get in touch with our policy team as we are exploring partnership options for Evidence Week 2020.