Last week DNA Digest took a trip out of the Wayra hub to hear an expert panel discuss the role and future of patenting in biomedical research. The Talkscience: Patently Obvious? talk and discussion was part of the British Library‘s Science events and was chaired by Professor Jackie Hunter (Chief Executive of the BBSRC) with guest speakers, Professor Alan Ashworth (Institute of Cancer Research), Dr Nick Bourne (Cardiff University) and Dr Berwyn Clarke (Biomedical Entrepreneur). The evening raised a number of interesting issues surrounding patenting in biomedical research but overall the opinions presented were rather moderate. It seemed that everyone was in agreement that there was no clear answer when it comes to patenting, particularly given the nature of biomedical research. Although the panel agreed that patents could hinder research developments, for example by stifling the ability to analyse our own DNA (Professor Ashworth), they could not provide an alternative method through which to fund the research and protect commercial interests. Ultimately, to scrap patents makes research involving hundreds of millions of pounds far too financially risky, particularly, as highlighted by Dr Bourne, when much of the future of the UK is based on a science or knowledge based economy. […]
On Wednesday 5th our DNA Digest CEO, Fiona Nielsen, attended a special event promoting the benefits to women of careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine. The reception, hosted by Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, was organised to encourage more women to get involved in careers related to the traditionally male dominated STEM areas. This prestigious event was held as part of National Apprenticeship Week (@Apprenticeships) . This campaign has been designed to tackle the under-representation of women in STEM careers. National Apprenticeship Week is a very appropriate time to deal with this issue as apprenticeships are increasingly popular with women. More women than men began apprenticeships in both 2011/12 and 2012/13.