This event will take place from 18:30 GMT, finishing at 20:00.


Biological research and innovation are evolving. New ways of doing biological science, enabled by advanced digital technologies, systems thinking, and engineering biology, for example, are emerging. This is alongside new expectations for the sector to address grand challenges for health, sustainable development and economic benefit. There is an increased emphasis on inter-, multi- and trans-disciplinary work which aims to push discoveries to new frontiers, exchanging knowledge and taking advantage of advances in adjacent fields. For UK biological research and innovation to remain at the cutting edge of these advances, there is a need to anticipate the sector's future needs and to support the development of relevant technical skills for the next generation of bioscientists.

In addition to technical skills, scientists are expected to be inclusive of, and responsive to, the needs and values of the global society that they strive to contribute to. Skills are also needed for fruitful engagement to ensure their work addresses societal challenges in an ethical and responsible manner, and is communicated effectively and with integrity in order to develop and maintain public trust.

According to a 2018 Nuffield report, only 32% of UK bioscience undergraduates go on to work in the sector. There should also be support for these graduates to continue in, or return to the sector, while developing transferrable skills that will be relevant to the wider science and technology ecosystem and beyond.

Responding to these issues is a challenge that needs a view beyond traditional training in the biological sciences. Some of the issues are already well recognised and, indeed, are addressed through accreditation, but there are likely to be additional challenges and skills needs that are only apparent to those actively working in the sector, and tracking future trends and drivers for the bioscience workforce. In this Policy Lates, we will hear perspectives on what bioscience skills are needed, from a panel of experts. The insights from this session will be relevant for policymakers, educators, practitioners and anyone else who is interested in how the UK can foster skills for an innovative and sustainable UK bioscience sector.


This event will be chaired by Professor Jon Scott FRSB, professor of bioscience education at the University of Leicester. Further panellists will be confirmed in due course, and all information will be available on this page.


Policy Lates format

All are welcome to attend this online edition of our Policy Lates series, which provides an opportunity for relaxed discussion with an interested and informed audience. This online event will begin with an introduction from the chair, followed by short talks from our panellists, with time for audience questions and panel discussion.



This event is free to attend and open to all. Advance booking is essential and the Zoom link will be circulated to all registered attendees ahead of the event.


Social media

If you would like to share your experience of this event on social media, feel free to tag us @RoyalSocBio on Twitter and Instagram, and use the hashtag #RSBPolicyLates


This online event will be recorded, and screenshots may be taken. If you have any queries about this, please contact us at [email protected] ahead of the event. This event will be in a webinar format, and you will be unable to turn on your camera and microphone for the duration of the meeting. Audience questions will be through from the Zoom Q&A function.


Continuing Professional Development

This event is approved by the Royal Society of Biology for purposes of CPD and can be counted as 6 CPD points.



For all enquiries, please contact Harriet McAra [email protected] or on 020 3925 3445.



This event is kindly supported by the Biochemical Society, the British Pharmacological SocietyApplied Microbiology International, the Society for Experimental Biology, and The Physiological Society.