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Topics and policy

Agriculture and food


Science has a crucial part to play in meeting the nutritional needs of a growing population whilst reducing the impact on the environment. Find out more about the Society’s past, current and future work

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Reports and publications

Read or download all our reports, publications and consultation responses.

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The Welsh Countryside C fotoVoyager

Living Landscapes

Our current programme to inform a long-term vision for how the UK manages its land.

Science for Defra conference

Nearly 300 academics, government scientists and policymakers met for an open discussion about how science and technology can best inform environmental, food and rural policy.

Genetic technologies

We conducted a public dialogue on genetic technologies: how they can and might be applied in agriculture, in industry, to conserve biodiversity and to improve health.

Our analysis and advice

  • Closing the Gap conference

    Closing the Gap Conference

    Scientific discussion meeting reporting on innovative science and adoption of novel strategies that open new windows of opportunity for sustainable production intensification.

    Find out about the conference
  • Peatland

    The impact on biodiversity

    Our synthesis of evidence on the impact of agricultural ammonia emissions on biodiveristy.  

    Read the report
  • Transforming our future. Copyright - Carsthets

    Global Environmental Research Committee (GERC)

    GERC is scanning UK research capability across a range of global issues. This includes what is needed to improve sustainability and build a secure and resilient food system.

    Find out more
  • Visualisation of global carbon dioxide surface concentration by Cameron Beccario,, using GEOS-5 data provided by the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

    Greenhouse gas removal

    Our 2018 report on active removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and their storage, produced in conjunction with the Royal Academy of Engineering.

    Read the report
  • Modeling Earth's Future

    Modeling Earth's Future

    A report produced with the National Academy of Sciences on integrated assessments of linked human-natural systems.

    Download the report
  • The Welsh countryside C fotoVoyager

    Multifunctional landscapes

    Our current programme to inform a long-term vision for how the UK manages its land.

  • GM Plants

    GM plants: questions and answers

    Explore information about genetically modified (GM) plants, with answers to 18 questions by expert independent scientists and an animation on the basic science of GM.

    Find out more
  • Reaping the benefits

    Reaping the benefits

    A report which examines the contribution of the biological sciences to food crop production.

    Read the report
  • Environmental observation

    Observing the earth

    Observing the Earth - Expert views on environmental observation for the UK.

    Read the report
  • People and the planet

    People and the Planet

    This project was a major study investigating the links between global population and consumption, and the implications for a finite planet.

    Read more about the project

Also of interest

Fellows working in this area

Professor Ottoline Leyser

Professor Ottoline Leyser aims to understand how plants adjust their growth and development to suit the environmental conditions in which they are growing.

She is Professor of Plant Development at the University of Cambridge and director of the Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge.

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Professor Sir Charles Godfray

Charles Godfray is a population biologist with broad interests in the biological and environmental sciences, and in the interplay of science and policy. He is particularly fascinated by the food system and food security and the relationship between food production, the environment, and human health and well-being.

He is director of the Oxford Martin School and Professor of Population Biology at the University of Oxford.

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