Science and international development

Written evidence submitted by the
Society of Biology (Int Dev 14)

1. The Society of Biology welcomes the Committee’s inquiry into this topic which is an important part of international collaboration in science.

2. The Society of Biology is a single unified voice for biology: advising Government and influencing policy; advancing education and professional development; supporting our members, and engaging and encouraging public interest in the life sciences.

3. We welcome and support the submission of the Institute of Physics to this inquiry which helpfully notes the contribution which learned societies can and do make in this arena.

4. Many of the varied schemes supported by learned societies, institutions and individual funders, focus on closely defined approaches and settings and necessarily operate on a small scale. The small number of scientists engaged with these programmes is a significant impediment to critical review and assessment for sponsoring organisations. Given the overarching remit of the Department for International Development (DfID) it could be helpful if it could act as a repository of knowledge about these schemes as a whole, and maintain oversight of success indicators so as to allow the spread of good practice.

5. In order to address and solve global challenges a network of well-functioning international collaborations is essential. Expanded capacity for UK scientists to link with and work alongside overseas local experts would be a significant advantage in this regard. As well as supportive involvement with capacity building, and targeted help for locally-needed facilities, options to form relationships with relevant UK institutions could be valuable.

Society of Biology

16 December 2011

Member Organisations of the Society of Biology

Anatomical Society

Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour

Association of Applied Biologists

Biochemical Society

Biosciences KTN

Breakspear Hospital

British Andrology Society

British Association for Lung Research

British Association for Psychopharmacology

British Crop Production Council

British Ecological Society

British Lichen Society

British Microcirculation Society

British Mycological Society

British Neuroscience Association

British Pharmacological Society

British Phycological Society

British Society for Ecological Medicine

British Society for Immunology

British Society for Matrix Biology

British Society for Medical Mycology

British Society for Neuroendocrinology

British Society for Parasitology

British Society for Plant Pathology

British Society for Proteome Research

British Society for Research on Ageing

British Society for Soil Science

British Society of Animal Science

British Toxicology Society

Experimental Psychology Society

Fisheries Society of the British Isles

Genetics Society

Heads of University Biological Sciences

Heads of University Centres of Biomedical Science

Institute of Animal Technology

International Biometric Society

Laboratory Animal Science Association

Linnean Society of London

Marine Biological Association

Nutrition Society

Royal Entomological Society

Royal Microscopical Society

Science and Plants for Schools

Scottish Association for Marine Science

Society for Applied Microbiology

Society for Endocrinology

Society of Environmental Medicine

Society for Experimental Biology

Society for General Microbiology

Society for Reproduction and Fertility

Society for the Study of Human Biology

SCI Horticulture Group

The Physiological Society

Tropical Agriculture Association

UK Environmental Mutagen Society

University Bioscience Managers' Association

Zoological Society of London

Supporting Members

Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)

Association of Medical Research Charities

AstraZeneca

BioIndustry Association

BioScientifica Ltd

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

BlueGnome Ltd

GlaxoSmithKline

Huntingdon Life Sciences

Institute of Physics

Lifescan (Johnson and Johnson) Scotland Ltd

Medical Research Council (MRC)

Oxford University Press

Pfizer UK

Royal Society for Public Health

Syngenta

The British Library

Unilever UK Ltd

Wellcome Trust

Wiley Blackwell

Prepared 22nd December 2011