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Standing up for science, scientists and the natural world

Over the past 12 months the IES has been developing a new strategy which will guide the organisation over the next three years. In a series of blogs, IES CEO Adam Donnan explains the thinking behind the strategy and how it will change the work of the Institution. 

Professional bodies are fascinating organisations to manage because they don’t fit traditional business or non-profit models and they often defy attempts to simplify their purpose.

Tackling waterway pollution by creating urban wetland spaces

The Lea Catchment is a tributary of the River Thames and London’s second river. Its source is in Luton before meandering its way through Hertfordshire and forming the boundary with Essex. Once the river flows under the M25 it changes in character from relatively natural to highly urbanised, with concrete banks. The Lea has a number of tributaries in London which are heavily urbanised and where persistent pollution flows into the river, making the London section of the Lea one of the most polluted stretches of river in the UK.

Qualitative responses to the 2017 Membership Survey

Our annual membership survey not only collects quantitative responses, but also gives members a chance to provide written feedback on our membership services.

Once we've summarised the numerical results (see our Membership Survey report), the Project Office discusses the written comments in detail. As a member-driven organisation, the membership survey is a vital tool for addressing members' concerns, queries and suggestions.

Science and sustainability at the heart of Industrial Strategy

One of the key building blocks in Theresa May’s plans for a successful post-Brexit Britain is the development of a national Industrial Strategy. In the Prime Minister’s Cabinet and Whitehall reshuffle shortly after she took office, departmental boundaries and remits were rearranged, leading to the formation of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, headed by Secretary of State Greg Clark. This move was an early signal that May’s Government intended to adopt a more active approach to industrial strategy than the previous coalition and Cameron governments.

Banning the bead: What is the likely impact of banning microbeads in cosmetics?

The widespread pollution of our marine environment by waste plastics has become a familiar feature of our everyday lives. Go on a walk along the beach anywhere from the UK to the most remote pacific islands, and you will certainly see plastic bottles, polystyrene and other plastic debris that has been deposited by the sea. However, much harder to see are the millions of tiny pieces of plastic, collectively termed microplastics, which are polluting marine environments worldwide.

Mixed picture for environmental scientists in last Autumn Statement

Although the days preceding Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Statement were characterised by a series of leaks and early announcements, as the Government’s first formal budget update since the EU referendum it was still much anticipated in Westminster and beyond. As well as giving an update on the effect of Brexit on the country’s economic forecasts, many were hoping the Chancellor’s statement would give an indication as to the Government’s strategy post-Brexit.

Space weather

Dr Noel Nelson, the current Chair of the IES, is an environmental scientist presently working on the role the atmosphere and the weather plays in transmitting a wide range of animal related diseases. Noel has always had an interest in space and astronomy, and in this blog explores what we know about space weather, the disruption it can cause to us on Earth, and why space weather forecasting is important.

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