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Yesterday the Royal Society of Biology celebrated Biology Week with its annual Parliamentary Reception at the Houses of Parliament. Around 100 guests heard RSB’s Net Zero strategy announcement and saw the Award Ceremony for prize winners involved in the organisation’s competitions and other initiatives.

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The event was held in partnership with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and was hosted by Rt Hon Greg Clark MP.

It brought together award winners, their proud families, MO representatives, members, and MPs meeting their constituents for an evening of celebrating the study and impact of biology in the UK.

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Dr Mark Downs welcoming guests to the Parliamentary Reception

Dr Mark Downs CBiol CSci FRSB, chief executive of RSB, welcomed guests and introduced Professor Sir Ian Boyd FRSB, president of RSB, who spoke about the organisation’s climate and nature strategy.

Sir Ian outlined RSB’s plan to measure its environmental impact and develop a route to achieve challenging goals, in a way that both RSB and the sector can move towards net zero and nature benefits.

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Professor Guy Poppy giving a speech

Following his speech, Professor Guy Poppy FRSB, interim executive chair for BBSRC, discussed how Biology Week is a great time to celebrate biosciences and that biology is at the heart of solutions to problems that we face today, noting that the scientific community has huge potential to contribute to innovation and growth.

He spoke about the importance of ‘Transforming UK’s Food System Programme’, discussing the need for genetically engineered crops in tackling climate change challenges. Professor Poppy highlighted how important it is to build strong collaborative partnerships with an interdisciplinary approach so we can be at the forefront of the biosciences revolution.

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Professor Sir Ian Boyd presenting the BioArtAttack (15-18 category) prize to winner, Amy Mackintosh

The Awards Ceremony was presented by Dr Downs and Sir Ian gave prizes to awardees who had taken part in competitions and initiatives, including: BioArtAttack (2D) competition, Photography Competition, Apprentice of the Year Award, Primary Science Teacher Award, School Biology Teacher of the Year award, and Higher Education Bioscience Teacher of the Year Award.

The School Biology Teacher of the Year, Dr Andy Love MRSB, gave an acceptance speech of appreciation to his school, pupils and the RSB. He entertained guests with a demonstration of how he taught his students transpiration of plants, showing his love and enthusiasm for the subject of biology.

The Royal Society of Biology would like to thank the guest speakers, our host Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, the BBSRC, competitions judges, and everyone who attended the event.