Finding the right chemistry for a good proposal

Alex Hulkes is Strategic Lead for Insights at the ESRC. Here he highlights new analysis which demonstrates what elements could make a successful proposal.

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My last blog looked at demand management. This time I’m looking at the quality of proposals, as judged by our peer review processes, which are submitted to ESRC. Continue reading

20 years on since Dolly – how do we feel about the ethics of cloning now?

Today marks 20 years since Dolly the Sheep was unveiled to the world by British scientists, at BBSRC’s Roslin Institute – which this month welcomed the appointment of a new director. Here ESRC-funded academic Sarah Franklin, who authored the book Dolly Mixtures, looks at where we currently stand on the ethics surrounding cloning.

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A designer sheep

On 22 February 1997 the world woke up to a new phenomenon: a cloned Scottish sheep named Dolly. She became a global superstar: famous because she was a completely normal sheep. Dolly embodied a famously misunderstood scientific technique, namely cloning. Continue reading

How secure data-sharing can help ‘Daniel Blakes’

Chris Coates is web editor for the ESRC-funded Administrative Data Service. He coordinates the Network newsletter, and helps to ensure that ADRN’s communications are clear and transparent.

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Winning Outstanding British film at the 2017 BAFTAs – not to mention the prizes it’s already taken, including the Palme d’Or at Cannes – I, Daniel Blake, the tale of a man’s dealings with the benefits system, is having another moment in the limelight. Continue reading

What UK research is on show at AAAS’ 2017 annual meeting?

Sarah Nichols is Deputy Head of Communications at the ESRC. This week she will be heading to Boston, USA for the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, to help promote the very best of UK research. Here Sarah, who is representing Research Councils UK at the conference, writes about what AAAS 2017 is, and what representation the UK will have.

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AAAS – what’s it all about?

The AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society, with more than 120,000 members. Based in America, this international non-profit organisation is dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of absolutely everyone. Every year members of AAAS gather to discuss the most recent developments in science and technology at their annual meeting. Continue reading

What does cuckoo land look like?

mug_shot_toby_smith-150This time last year photo-journalist Toby Smith completed a two-week expedition to Gabon, and the incredible Batéké Plateau, on a collaboration started from within the University of Cambridge. The project was jointly funded and carried out with the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Society for Wildlife Artists and the ESRC. Toby’s role on the expedition was funded by the ESRC through an Impact Acceleration Account.

Here he writes about his mission with Malcolm Green – an oral storyteller – to document the physical and social landscapes of Gabon as frequented by British cuckoos on their annual winter migration to West Africa.

Millions of birds that breed in summer across Europe migrate to winter in tropical Africa. In both seasons, birds share landscapes that are undergoing rapid economic and environmental transition. Many of these migratory bird species are now declining in numbers. Changes in rural landscapes in Africa are widely believed to be important in these declines, but the links between socio-economic processes, landscape ecology and declines in migrant birds are poorly understood.

Continue reading