Short items, May 2009

Royal Society launches enquiry 

The Royal Society has announced that it will carry out a comprehensive enquiry into the role that science will play in equipping the UK to meet future economic, social and environmental challenges. Their aim is to identify areas where the country is already a global leader, and suggest more ways for UK research ideas to be translated into economic opportunities. 

Online toolbox for Reach

A web-based support tool to help manufacturers comply with the new Reach regulations has been launched. It is claimed that Tess (Toolbox to support environmental and sustainable systems, will help overcome financial and technical Reach related problems, and also aid the migration towards more sustainable products.  

King Faisal International Prize awarded 

The 2009 King Faisal International Prize for Science (Physics) has been jointly awarded to Richard Henry Friend, University of Cambridge, UK, and Rashid Alievich Sunyaev from the Russian Academy of Science. This prestigious prize is awarded by the King Faisal Foundation in Saudi Arabia, and is divided into four sub-categories rotated annually: mathematics, chemistry, biology and physics. 

Go Figure 

30,000 person years 

The approximate time taken to make one novel drug according to Aled Edwards, a biochemist from the University 
of Toronto, Canada. To calculate this number he divided the 600 000 scientists who work on drug discovery worldwide by the 20 new drugs that emerge annually.