Members of the UK's two leading biology organisations, the Institute of Biology (IoB) and the Biosciences Federation (BSF), have voted overwhelmingly in favour of unification to form a single organisation, the Society of Biology. This positive development takes the IoB and BSF a step closer to the creation of an organisation that combines the expertise of the learned societies and other biology organisations with the professional skills of the IoB and its individual members.
The Government's Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor John Beddington, said, "I am delighted to hear this news. The Life Sciences have suffered in the past through fragmentation. The future health and wealth of this nation will depend increasingly on progress made in the biological sciences, and it is excellent that the scientists involved are now all pulling together."
The move towards creation of the Society of Biology coincides with Lord Drayson's establishment of a team, within the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, which will carefully monitor the UK‚s standing in biotechnology and its applications. Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, Chair of the Interim Council of the Society of Biology, said, "The vote of the membership demonstrates significant confidence in the work undertaken by many during the past few years to bring about this unification. The Society of Biology will have a sufficient critical mass to enable it to speak with authority over the breadth of topics covered by modern biology, and we look forward to working closely with Lord Drayson's team."
Professor Martin J Humphries, Chair of the Biochemical Society, said, "I welcome this decision because it will facilitate greater cooperation between the learned societies that represent UK Biology. The resultant synergies from these interactions will improve the ways in which learned societies represent their members, whether they are based in the UK or elsewhere in the world."
A clear majority of IoB members voted in favour of the move at the Institute's 60th Annual General Meeting, held on April 22nd. Professor Raymond Dwek, who will be the last President of the IoB, said how pleased he was that the members had put the best interests of their science first. "The Institute‚s proud and productive 60 year history will make a valuable contribution to the development of the new body in the years ahead." Member Organisations of the Biosciences Federation voted without objection at their Annual General Meeting, held on the 15th April.
The forthcoming integration of the Institute of Biology and the Biosciences Federation offers a unique opportunity to create the leading organisation for biology in the UK. For more information, see: http://www.newbio.info
Professor Alan Malcolm, Institute of Biology
Email: email@example.com Tel: 020 7936 5915
Dr Emma Southern, Biosciences Federation
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01223 400181/400189