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Topics and policy

Health and wellbeing


Improved medical technologies have contributed to increased life expectancy around the world, but an ageing and increasingly global population brings new challenges for science to address.

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Reports and publications

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

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A healthy future

A report from the AMS and the Royal Society summarises evidence of how climate change mitigation actions could promote human health.

People and the planet

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

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

  • Drug Resistance in Infectious Agents

    Royal Society statement with other G8 member states and science academies as an input to the G8 summit in Northern Ireland in June 2013.

    Download the statement

  • Statement on Ebola

    The Royal Society called on the UK Government to take action on antibiotic resistance, tropical diseases, and the future of the ocean ahead of the G7 summit.

    Read the statement

  • Sackler Forum: Trends in synthetic biology and gain of function and regulatory implications

    A summary of a meeting on synthetic biology and gain of function, held in partnership with the US National Academy of Sciences.

    Read the meeting report

  • Recent developments in personalised medicine

    This short report summarises progress that has been made in some aspects of the field of personalised medicine since the publication in 2005 of the Society’s report Personalised Medicine: Hopes and Realities. 

    Read the report

  • Human enhancement and the future of work

    This joint project explored potential enhancements arising from advances in science and engineering that are likely to impact on the future of work.

    Read more about the project

  • Neuroscience, society and policy

    A report in the Brain Waves project which reviews the state of development of neuroscience and neurotechnology and discuss the translation of this knowledge into useful applications.

    Read the report

  • 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

  • Sir Colin Blakemore FMedSci FRS

    Sir Colin Blakemore FMedSci FRS

    Elected 1992

  • Sir Colin Blakemore FMedSci FRS

    • Fellow
    • Elected: 1992
    • Trustee of the Board, The Pilgrim TrustDirector, Centre for the Study of the Senses, University of LondonFormer Chief Executive, Medical Research Council (MRC)Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience, Department Of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of OxfordEmeritus Professor of Neuroscience, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford

Sir Colin Blakemore

Colin Blakemore is a neuroscientist who has contributed to our understanding of vision, and how the brain develops and adapts.

He was Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council from 2003 to 2007. His awards include the Royal Society's Ferrier Lecture and Michael Faraday Prize, and he chaired the Society's Brain Waves project in 2012.

Dame Sally Davies

Dame Sally Davies is Chief Medical Officer for England — the first woman to hold this post — and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Health. 

As a clinician with a background in research, she strives to achieve both a patient-focused and evidence-based approach to health-related policy making.

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