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An economy fit for the future?

It's been a busy few weeks for the Government, setting out the Autumn Budget and launching a new Industrial Strategy, whilst attempting to address the technical and political complexities of withdrawal from the European Union. Taking a temporary break from Brexit, our Policy Officer Robert Ashcroft reflects on what we've learned from these major policy statements, and their significance for the science and environment sectors.

IES Webinar: Good plastic, bad plastic?

Over the past few years numerous campaigns have attempted to reduce our reliance on plastic.  Recently attention has moved from supermarket plastic bags to drink straws and bottle manufacturers.  

But has plastic been unfairly demonised? Might bio-derived, biodegradable plastics be kinder to the environment and acceptable to consumers or do these alternatives do more harm than good?

From baselines to best practice - our plans to lead the way on diversity

The words ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ are becoming increasingly commonplace, with the intent of eliminating discrimination and inequality in the workplace and society at large. But, what do these words really mean? How does the IES interpret them?

The IES defines diversity as all the visible and invisible differences between people’s identity and background, whether it be age, gender, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or otherwise. We characterise inclusion as the environment in which diversity is valued.

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.

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