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Topics and policy

New and emerging technology


As science expands our understanding of the world it can lead to the emergence of new technologies. Find out about the Society's past, present and future work.

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Reports and publications

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

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Machine learning

Machine learning

The project aims to increase awareness and demonstrate the potential of machine learning and highlight the opportunities and challenges it presents.

Cybersecurity research

This report recommends new standards, kitemarks and incentives for stronger cybersecurity, supported by changes to research and innovation policy.

Our analysis and advice

  • Geoengineering the climate

    Geoengineering the climate

    A report which provides a detailed assessment of the various methods of geoengineering the climate and considers the potential efficiency and unintended consequences they may pose.

    Download the report
  • Sackler report 2016

    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
  • Machine learning

    Machine learning

    A new Royal Society project on machine learning to stimulate debate involving policy makers, industry and the wider publics.

    Discover more about Machine learning
  • Nanoscience and nanotechnologies

    Nanoscience and nanotechnologies

    A report conducted with the Royal Academy of Engineering into current and future developments in nanoscience and nanotechnologies and their impacts.

    Read the full report
  • Cybersecurity research

    Cybersecurity research

    This project aims to inform policymaking about cybersecurity research in the UK.

    Explore the project
  • Synthetic biology

    Synthetic biology

    Investigating opportunities and challenges in the emerging field of synthetic biology.

    Explore the project
  • Brain waves

    Brain waves

    This project investigates developments in neuroscience and their implications for society and public policy.

    Explore the project

Also of interest

Fellows working in this area

Professor Rod Flower

Professor Rod Flower is a pharmacologist who made major advances in understanding how anti-inflammatory medicines exert their therapeutic effects.

He is interested in 'science and security issues' and chaired the Royal Society’s Scientific Aspects of International Security Committee and the 'Brain Waves' panel that produced the ‘Neuroscience, conflict and security’ report.

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Professor Peter Leadlay

Professor Peter Leadlay is a biochemist who combines techniques from molecular biology and protein chemistry to study structurally complex organic compounds with high biological activity.

He is Herchel Smith Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, and previously chaired the Royal Society’s project investigating ‘Synthetic Biology’.

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