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Today, the Society of Biology has received £69,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for Biology: Changing the World, a project inspiring and celebrating great biologists around the UK. Led by the Society of Biology, in partnership with BBSRC, who are also providing £20,000 of financial support, the project will be supported by regional volunteers and the bioscience community.  

The project will celebrate life science research and life scientists; from discoveries that are helping to feed the world, find new sources of fuel or have transformed how we treat disease to scientists that have campaigned to save a species on the brink of extinction. A mobile app and website created to share resources, pre-existing and those produced through the project, will increase dissemination and ensure a wide audience is reached.

Commemorative plaques to mark the home, place of work or school of biologists will extend the reach of the project and create an atmosphere of inspiration.

Commenting on the award, chief executive of the Society, Dr Mark Downs said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and are excited to be able to bring together biologists of the present and past to inspire those of the future. Our network of members and member organisations will be a key part to the success of the project and ensuring the breadth of biology is covered.”

Sue Bowers, head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “This project will raise public awareness of scientists and their discoveries that have quite literally changed the way we look at life and nature. The stories of their determination and achievements will help to inspire young people to learn more about the wonders of biology.”

Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC chief executive, said: “The initiative will help the public to explore the many, wide-ranging ways in which Great British bioscience has shaped our understanding of the world we live in, by highlighting the pioneers that have generated social and economic benefits from their excellent research.”