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Bioscience for Society Strategy Advisory Panel

BSS provides strategic input on the social dimensions of the conduct and outcomes of research supported by BBSRC.

In order to fulfil its responsibilities the Panel works closely with BBSRC's other Strategy Advisory Panels.

BSS is responsible for:

  • Reporting regularly to the BBSRC (Chief) Executive
  • Providing external and independent advice and guidance to BBSRC on matters raised either by BBSRC or by the Panel itself on areas within BSS's remit which include:
    • Guiding BBSRC's communications, public engagement and public dialogue programmes
    • Horizon scanning for issues of public salience and emerging topics relating to societal issues in the biosciences that BBSRC should be aware of or respond to
    • Assisting BBSRC in fulfilling its social responsibilities. This includes providing specific advice on a case by case basis when, for example, an ethical issue is raised in connection with a grant application or funding call but also high level advice about BBSRC's policies and processes for ensuring that it funds research in a socially responsible manner
    • High level oversight of appropriate opportunities and approaches for engaging with significant BBSRC stakeholders
    • Advising BBSRC on ensuring the organisational capacity for integration of the consideration of ethical and other social issues when planning policy and funding
    • Challenging BBSRC to explain its decisions and to account for how it deals with social and ethical issues


Professor Robert Dingwall (Chair) – Dingwall Enterprises
Dr Jane Calvert – The University of Edinburgh
Professor Joanna Chataway – RAND Europe
Professor Mark Hankins – University of Oxford
Professor Christine Hauskeller – University of Exeter
Professor Brian Ilbery – Countryside and Community Research Institute
Mr Ben Johnson – Graphic Science
Dr Sandra Knapp – Natural History Museum
Dr Lawrence McGinty – Independent
Mr Patrick Mulvany – UK Food Group
Dr Erinma Ochu – The University of Manchester
Dr Martyn Pickersgill – The University of Edinburgh
Dr Gene Rowe – Independent
Dr ;Patrick Sinnett-Smith – Pfizer Ltd
Dr Kate Weiner – The University of Sheffield
Mr Rob Yorke – Independent

Meeting dates and papers

Minutes and agendas for the last three years can be found below. If you have any queries regarding minutes and/or agendas, please contact us using the details at the bottom of this page.


26 January

5 June

2 October


30 January

20 May

24 September


11 January

22-23 May

19 September


18 January

17 May

12 September

Ethical Monitoring Review Subgroup

The Ethical Monitoring Review Subgroup of BSS has been set up to help BBSRC consider how to encourage and support the research community to consider ethical issues in the widest possible sense in the application process.

BSS members
Dr Jane Calvert
Professor Mark Hankins
Professor Christine Hauskeller
Professor Brian Ilbery
Dr Gene Rowe
Dr Kate Weiner

Cross BBSRC subgroup – 'BBSRC – an open organisation'

Following recent internal discussions with BBSRC's advisory bodies around the concept of 'openness' a cross-BBSRC subgroup has been set-up to assist BBSRC in considering how it functions as an open organisation and how it can continue to develop in this area.

The subgroup draws membership from across BBSRC's advisory and decision making structures as well as from several relevant external organisations.


Melanie Welham (Chair) – BBSRC Executive Director, Science
Maggie Dallman - Imperial College London, BBSRC Council member/BBSRC Strategy Advisory Panel Chair
Russell Foster – University of Oxford, BBSRC Council member
Paul Gemmill - BBSRC Executive Director, Communications and Information Management
David Gregory – Independent, BBSRC Council member
John Hand – EPSRC, Lead, Impact Integrator
Tim Hughes – Involve
Roland Jackson - Sciencewise, BBSRC Strategy Panel Chair
Clare Matterson – The Wellcome Trust
Maria Nyberg – Head of Open Policy Making, Cabinet Office
Judith Petts - University of Southampton, BBSRC Council member

The group met twice during 2014, in June and September. They drafted 'Principles of openness' for BBSRC and made a series of recommendations for further actions BBSRC could take to be more open. These recommendations were considered by BBSRC Executive Group in December 2014 and many of the recommendations are now being taken forward.