The core objective of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) is to supply trusted and impartial analysis to the UK Parliament.
Its work is used to inform both the House of Commons and House of Lords and its advisers are in constant contact with leading experts from academia, industry, government, the third sector and beyond.
That process – which includes horizon scanning and literature reviews, contextualising research evidence, and peer reviewing – ensures POST is aware of emerging topics of interest in the science community and can begin to work with Government to address them.
POSTnotes are the organisation’s flagship report, a four-page briefing reviewing emerging areas of research, the challenges they may pose and the solutions potentially required to address them.
Since 2016, our world-leading research has been showcased through POSTnotes in climate change, microplastics, offshore renewable energy, natural hazards, and much more.
It is one of the many ways in which the University is helping to shape government policy, setting the national and international agenda on topics likely to impact society as a whole.
Restoring agricultural soils
Dr Kate Schofield
In the face of a growing global soil crisis, Professor Mark Fitzsimons and Dr Kate Schofield – part of the University’s ReCon Soil project – contributed to a POSTnote summarising the state of England’s agricultural soils and evaluates soil stewardship opportunities. The report also explores soil indicators that could be used for monitoring in policy frameworks and incentives relating to soil restoration.
Reducing agricultural pressures on freshwater ecosystems
Professor Jason Hall-Spencer
Marine ecosystems around the UK can both increase and decrease atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Carbon loss and gain globally by these ecosystems has the potential to influence climate change. Dr Sian Rees and Professor Jason Hall-Spencer are renowned nationally and internationally for their work in the field, and this POSTnote summarises the marine ecosystems in the UK that contribute to these processes, their current and potential future extent, and pressures on them.
Local nature recovery strategies
Effective biodiversity indicators
Responding to the challenge of antimicrobial resistance
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the most urgent global health challenges for the next decade and cases of antimicrobial-resistant infections are increasing in the UK and worldwide. Dr Tina Joshi, Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology and a recognised national expert in AMR, contributed to a POSTnote looking at the progress the UK Government has made towards its publication of a 20-year vision for tackling AMR, published in 2019. The POSTnote looked at the opportunities and challenges to tackling AMR, including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Climate Change and Fisheries
Robotics in Social Care
UK Fisheries Management
Marine Microplastic Pollution
Plastic pollution is accumulating rapidly in the world’s oceans, and the potential effects of microplastics on the environment and human health are an area of active research. This POSTnote was co-written by Professor Richard Thompson OBE – whose seminal paper in 2004 was the first to mention microplastics in a marine context – and Dr Kayleigh Wyles, an environmental psychologist pioneering new ways of examining public relationships with environmental issues. It summarises their sources and spread, the evidence that they present a risk and possible strategies to reduce plastic pollution.
Discover more about our academic, economic and societal impact
- University of Plymouth submitted 50 impact case studies to REF2014
- our case studies demonstrated impact on academia, politics, health, culture, technology, society, the economy and environment
- project funders included 12 national Department of Business, Innovation and Skills funding bodies
- reaching far and wide, Plymouth's global impact locations included Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, North and South America.