The end of the road for ResBios…. But a new journey begins….

These last few years have gone in a flash, and just like that, it is the end of 2022, and the end of the Resbios project. Just like the gifts you may be buying, we are wrapping up Resbios with a nice little bow. 

At the beginning of December, many of the ResBios family were able to get together (either online or in person in the wonderful city of Brussels) for our final mutual learning workshop. 

Although we may have labeled our partners as RRI mentors and beginners at the start of the project. It turns out we all had so much to learn from one another, and although we are now all RRI experts to some degree, the complexities of RRI, bioscience, and societal relationships mean that we will always need to learn and adapt.

However our third and final mutual learning workshop was a great opportunity to see how far we have come in such a short time, and with some unforeseen challenges, of course, covid impacted our efforts…. But we are all well aware of that. But we do have to take this moment to commend the work of our friends from the Ivan Franco University of Lviv. Who have strived to continue their efforts to promote RRI throughout the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. 

The focus of this workshop was the sustainable future of the ResBios project, and ensuring the momentum gained in promoting positive change and the use of the RRI framework is maintained by our partners after the project closes at the end of 2022, as well as creating and maintaining spaces of “responsibility” in research and innovation, which connect science and society, balancing in some way a current trend towards a “hyper-competitive” science.

Taking this into account, the 3rd MLW had the following objectives:

•   Share views on the current relationship between R&I and the rest of the society

•   Briefly summarise the state of the art about activities carried out for the sustainability of ResBios GAs

•   Formalizing the mutual learning tools adopted

To investigate some key issues for the sustainability of ResBios GAs and similar initiatives, starting from what was discussed during the 2nd MLW, from the subsequent mutual learning meetings and other initiatives and activities carried out from November 2021 onwards.

This approach was based on three key elements: self-reflection, awareness building (especially for reflection on the relationship between R&I and society and for the exchange of information on reciprocal activities for the sustainability of GAs), and self-evaluation (especially as regards the mutual learning methods adopted, with particular regard to their relevance, impact, and replicability).

During the workshop, the ResBios team also had the opportunity to hear contributions from speakers who represent the quadruple helix approach to public engagement. 

These included: 

Birgit Schauer– JoinUs4Health project- An initiative that connects people to health and population research, and combines Responsible Research and Innovation, and crowdsourcing to promote inclusive innovation and citizen engagement in health research.

Yevhen Filyak– The founder of the Ukrainian start-up InSpirito, a Software Development company focused on corporate tools and solutions. Yevhen also spoke about how research and development have been impacted and will change due to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Emad Yaghmaei – TetRRIS project – An EU-funded project aiming to bring Responsible Research and Innovation in alignment with the Smart Specialisation paradigm and governance within 4 pilot experiment regions from the European Union.

Elena Plakoti – Director of the Secondary Education Office of Evros Prefecture (Greece) – Sent a written contribution about the successful collaboration with ResBios partners from the Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. Working with local school groups to enrich students’ knowledge about scientific research on cutting-edge issues in the research field of Molecular Biology and Genetics and to promote discussion among students on RRI issues.

We also had the opportunity to hear from our ResBios partners from the University of Primorska, the University of Bremen, the Univerisity of Gdansk, the AgroBioInstitute, and the University of Rome Tor Vergata who have acted as mentors to our implementing partners throughout the ResBios project, and shared their experience in a round-table discussion on the Mutal Learning process.

After this period of self-reflection from the ResBios team, and a good catch-up with our friends and colleagues, the next day was the ResBios Final Conference: 

Responsibility in Research & Innovation. Challenges for the Biosciences and Future Policies

We invited the Open Science and RRI community to join us at EURADA in Brussels to share some of the successes and lessons learned by the project, and to discuss the future landscape of responsibility research and how bioscience research will be at the cornerstone of how much of society will interact with research and innovation in the future.

This hybrid event was opened by our very own Carla Montesano, and Daniele Mezzana, project coordinators from the University of Rome- Tor Vergata, followed by a few words from Giacomo Frisanco representing our wonderful hosts from EURADA.

In the first session of the day- the focus was “Challenges in contemporary societies and the roles and responsibility of biosciences”. Chaired by Elena Buzan from the University of Primorska, we heard contributions from: 

 Mónica Bettencourt-Dias, from the EU-LIFE project, is an alliance of leading research centers in life sciences, advocating for excellent research in and for Europe, and how life science research can better align to respond to societal needs.

Vittorio Colizzi, University of Rome – Tor Vergata- spoke about how climate change will impact human health in the future, and how bioscience research will need to adapt to help deal with increasing numbers of zoonotic diseases.

Following this, the focus shifted to a discussion on a new “social contract” between R&I and society. Chaired by Evanthia Kalpazidou Schmidt, Aarhus University, this session was broken up into two sections, with the first part looking at the overview of the new climate bioscience research finds itself, and the need for more responsible practices.

First, we heard from Wiebe Bijker, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, and an advisor for the ResBios project. Wiebe Bijker spoke on how research needs to embrace a more responsible outlook, as well as introduced the new ResBios Manifesto for the Transformation of Science-Society Relations. Click here to read the full Manifesto.

The first part of this session also featured contributions from Luciano d’Andrea, Knowledge & Innovation Srls, Rome, on how research and innovation need to adapt and be flexible to meet the needs of society and the RRI framework. After a quick break, in the second portion of this section, the real-life experience of implementing RRI was shared. Featuring representatives from the ResBios implementing partners from the Institut de Ciències del Mar (Janire Salazar), Democritus University of Thrace (Aglaia Pappa), University of Zagreb (Toni Safner), Ivan Franko University of Lviv (Olena Stasyk).

Each of these ResBios partners shared some of their experiences of implementing RRI practices within each of their institutions, in accordance with the project’s key grounding actions on; gender, open access, ethics, education, and public engagement. 

Within this session, project coordinators from related EU projects were invited to share their approaches to instilling responsible practices in bioscience research.  Featuring presentations from;

Roxane Bibard, SoScience- spoke about how to translate responsible science principles into action, with guidance for industries, research institutes, and policymakers.

Luka Duniš, The StepChange project – A project that uses citizen science approaches to engage communities about research that affects them, with initiatives that focus on Energy, Health, and the Environment.

Eleni Spyrakou, HYBRIDA – An initiative that focuses on new ethical implications in bioscience research and innovations, primarily in the use of organoid-based research and related technologies.

After a wonderful lunch, the conference participants were broken up into groups to discuss “Changing the course of science towards a more balanced and responsible relationship to society”, with each group focusing on a particular sector, which included: 

– local-organizational contexts and their social/cultural environment, moderated by ResBios members: Doris Elster, University of Bremen, and Dimitar Djilianov, AgroBioInstitute;

– disciplinary-professional contexts, moderated by ResBios member: Elena Buzan, University of Primorska;

– global contexts, moderated by ResBios member, Krzysztof Bielawski, University of Gdansk.

In addition to these 3 in-person groups, online participants were asked to share their thoughts on these areas with ResBios members: Andrea Declich, K&I, and Laura Iacolina, University of Primorska.

This resulted in some very fruitful discussions and contributions on how these sectors can approach a more transparent and open relationship with society as a whole. 

The last session of the day was a round table discussion on Policies: Support and Mainstreaming of “responsibility” in research & innovation.

Chaired by Fabio Feudo, Knowledge & Innovation Srls we were delighted to be joined by Georgios Papanagnou, European Commission, DG RTD, Ingeborg Meijer, Leiden University, and Stefan Philipp, Zentrum für Soziale Innovation, Vienna, for a very fruitful discussion on the need to mainstream “responsibility” in Research and Innovation through policy, and what the future of science policy may look like.

The conference concluded with our project coordinator Daniele Mezzana, who spoke about the launch of the new International Network for Responsible Biosciences. An online network that aims to build upon the success of the ResBios project and to create a community of researchers, project coordinators, science communicators, etc, interested in promoting responsible practice in biosciences, through mutual learning and knowledge sharing. 

More information on the network can be found here:

Although the ResBios project is coming to an end, it is our hope that messages and the key outcomes achieved over these past few years will provide the scaffolding for continuous positive change and produce a more responsible mindset across research and innovation across the bioscience fields, and through the connection, we have made we can help ensure that RRI is at the forefront of bioscience research and not an afterthought. We hope to keep up this positive momentum and stay in contact with all the open science and bioscience communities. 

Thank you all for your continued support. 

Photo Credit to Reimar Ott

Participation of the MBG-DUTH RESBIOS Team in the 13th Panhellenic Conference of the Panhellenic Association of Bioscientists

The MBG-DUTH ResBios Team participated in the 13th Panhellenic Conference of the Panhellenic Association of Bioscientists, which took place in Thessaloniki, Greece, from 9 to 11 of December 2022. Assoc. Prof. A. Pappa, PI of the MBG-DUTH RESBIOS Team and Assoc. Prof. A. Galanis, a member of the ResBios core team, as well as Prof. A. Papageorgiou, a member of the ResBios extended team, participated in the organization and implementation of a round table entitled: ‘’Responsible Research and Innovation in Biosciences’’.                                                 

  • Aglaia Pappa, Associate Professor, Dep of Molecular Biology & Genetics, DUTH, ”Basic Principles of Responsible Research and Innovation in Biosciences”.
  • Alex Galanis, Associate Professor, Dep of Molecular Biology & Genetics, DUTH, ”Cooperation of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics of DUTH with the Office of Secondary Education of the Prefecture of Evros and the schools (high schools and secondary schools) of the district of Evros”.
  • Aristotelis Papageorgiou, Professor, Dep of Molecular Biology & Genetics, DUTH, Greece ”The contribution of civil society to biological research for the environment and biodiversity”.

Moderator: Alex Galanis, Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics, Democritus University of Thrace.

In addition, the MBG-DUTH ResBios Team had a short oral talk and a poster presentation on activities developed under the ResBios project. 

Ermogenous A., Kyriakou S., Spyridopoulou K., Nomikou A., Roupas A., Voulgaridou G-P., A., Moyankova D., Djilianov D., Panayiotidis M., Pappa A. Chemical and Biological characterization of Haberlea rhodopensis ethanolic extract.

Kiousi D.E., Tsochantaridis, I., Tsakonas I., Galanis A., and Pappa A. DUTH bioscientists’s opinions and attitudes towards understanding the principles of Responsible Research and Innovation.

Ivan Franko National University of Lviv- Final Assembly

Ivan Franko National University of Lviv- Final Assembly

On November 8, 2022, our partners from Ivan National University of Lviv hosted their final assembly was held based on the results of the project “Responsible research and innovation grounding practices in BIOSciences (ResBios)” of the Horizon 2020 program.

The head of the Department of Biochemistry, professor Nataliia Sybirna, assistant professors of the Department of Biochemistry Olena Stasyk, Mariia Nagalievska, and Mariya Sabadashka were involved in the implementation of the project. They made reports at the final assembly on the main achievements and prospects for further institutional changes, which are based on the introduction of responsible research and innovation practices into the educational process. In particular, the speakers talked about seminars, round tables, two summer schools and the launched video blog, which will enable students of higher education institutions, high school students and teachers to get open access to scientific information and methods used in experimental research at the Department of Biochemistry.

The results obtained during the implementation of the project are the basis for long-term changes in three key directions: the introduction of informal education at the Department of Biochemistry, popularization of biological science among the public, deepening of the principles of academic integrity among participants of the educational process at the Faculty of Biology.

In the discussion of the achievements of the Core team of the Department of Biochemistry, which carried out the ResBios project and presented the Ivan Franko Lviv National University to the international scientific community, representatives of the top management of the University and the Faculty of Biology spoke, namely the Vice-Rector of Research Academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Doctor of Chemistry, Professor Roman Gladyshevskii, the Vice-Rector for Research, Teaching and IT-Development Candidate of Physics and Mathematics, Associate Professor, Senior Research Fellow Vitaliy Kukharskyy, Dean of the Faculty of Biology Candidate of Biological Sciences, Associate Professor Ihor Khamar and Dean’s deputy of educational and methodical work Candidate of Biological Sciences, Associate Professor Vitalii Honcharenko. Students and graduate students of the Faculty of Biology also took part in the discussion. The meeting was attended by external stakeholders – the biology teacher of the Lviv Secondary School of Eastern Languages and Oriental Martial Arts “Budokan” Maryana Lyuta and cosmetologist, teacher of the School of Aesthetics and Health “Nova Ty” Sofia Chaika .

The speakers emphasized the importance of the implementation of such projects and their positive impact on the educational and scientific potential of Ukrainian universities, the popularization of science in society, the introduction of informal and informal education practices not only in secondary schools, but also in higher education institutions. A rational balance between formal and informal education will ultimately have a positive impact on the socio-economic development of the country and the democratization of society, and will expand the availability of education for all citizens who wish to study. One more final product of the project’s executors deserves special attention – “Ethical Code of Higher Education Graduates of the Faculty of Biology of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv“. This code contains normative documents regarding the rules of academic integrity, norms of behavior when working with biological objects, requirements for the preparation of scientific works of participants in the educational process and researchers of biological research laboratories.

The tools of informal and non-formal education created within the framework of ResBios, the means of popularizing biological science, the network of contacts of external and internal stakeholders are extremely relevant today in the conditions of challenges and uncertainty provoked by the Covid-19 pandemic and the war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine.

The staff of the Department of Biochemistry and all participants of the assembly expressed their sincere thanks and respect to our defenders for the opportunity to study, work, develop and create for the benefit of Ukraine!

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Functional Foods – New Challenges For Balanced Nutrition And The Treatment Of Metabolic Disorders

Functional Foods – New Challenges For Balanced Nutrition And The Treatment Of Metabolic Disorders

An event for undergraduate and pHd students at Ivan Franko National University of Lviv (INFUL)

From the 26-28th of October 2022, our partners from the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv organised a special event for undergraduate and PhD students within the Department of Biochemistry at IFNUL.

The “Functional Foods – New Challenges For Balanced Nutrition And The Treatment Of Metabolic Disorders” summer school was hosted as a hybrid event, using the ResBios framework.

The aim of this Summer school was to provide participants an introduction to the concept of healthy foods, an emerging field which connects food sciences to the pharmaceutical sciences. Students were invited to take part in didactic lectures, interactive discussion sessions, and group workshops, linking pharmaceutical sciences to nutraceuticals and functional foods concepts.

The school was specifically designed to attract young researchers, and give them the opportunity to learn how to evaluate experimental data obtained from the scientific literature and epidemiological sources, and how this data can be used as a basis to generate ideas for further research and investigation. Participants also critically evaluated the current literature relating to innovation and development, as well as how novel functional foods are marketed.

Over these three days, students heard contributions from two associate lecturers from the Department of Biochemistry of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv (Dr. Halyna Hachkova and Dr. Mariia Nagalievska), discussing “Biologically active carbohydrates, lipids and peptides as representatives of functional food products” and “Analysis of the daily diet of each participant. Detection of functional food products in the diet. Calculation of the glycemic index of consumed food”.

In addition to this, external speakers were also invited to contribute, including Prof. Dr. Sc., Ass. Prof. Justyna Ruchała, from University of Rzeszow (Poland)- “Fantastic Microorganisms and How to Study Them”, ‪Dr. Petro Starokadomskyy‬, University of Texas (USA)- “Discovery immunology – how to find new molecule in cell”, Dr Dmitry Samarsky, Sirnaomics Inc. (USA)- “Development of the new drugs based on RNA interferenve (RNAi)”, and Dr. Sc., PhD Nicolai M Doliba, University of Pennsylvania (USA)- “Glucose sensing, bioenergetics and hormone secretion in diabetic human pancreatic islets”.

Following these sessions, participants were also given the opportunity to practically use some of the concepts discussed, with practical training using various software products for calculating glycemic index and food analysis for health benefits, and practical training in the laboratory (determining blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin in rats with diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome).

This event was a fantastic opportunity for the 45 participants (6 lecturers, 6 PhD students, and 33 students of university) who attended to learn more about the practical application of the subject, and to hear from a variety of experts in the this field.

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Mentoring session on gender – 6-7 October 2022

Mentoring session on Gender- 6th and 7th October

ResBios Partners meet in person and online to discuss implementing Gender Equality Plans (GEPs)

On the 6th and 7th of October, a mentoring session on gender took place at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics of Democritus University of Thrace (DUTH). The session was conducted in person by our gender experts from University of Gdańsk (UG) Dr Magdalena Żadkowska and Dr hab. Natasza Kosakowska-Berezecka prof.UG.

The 2-day meeting was dedicated to the issue of cross-cultural sensitivity on implementing Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) in various academic institutions.

During the first part of the workshop partners from DUTH in Greece, UG in Poland and Instituto de Ciencias del Mar (ICM) in Spain shared their experience and best practices on implementing GEPs in their institutions as well as discussed cultural challenges and cross-culture communication based on the Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Theory.

On the second day of the workshop all participants were supported by our evaluating partner from Aarhus University, Dr. Professor Evanthia K. Schmidt, who discussed several ideas and concepts of preparing mutual theoretical paper based on RESBIOS actions such as cultural influence on implementing GEPs, or gender dimension in scientific education.

The experience of exchanging ideas and creative work together and in-person was an enthusiastic and positive moment for all participants and brought a boost of energy to the further steps of the RESBIOS project.


  • Alex Galanis (DUTH)
  • Aggi Pappa (DUTH)
  • Ilias Tsochantaridis (DUTH)
  • Despoina Kiousi (DUTH)
  • Ekaterini Chlichlia (DUTH)
  • Janire Salazar (ICM)
  • Maria Gracia Puga (ICM)
  • Silvia Donoso Lopez (ICM)
  • Natasza Kosakowska – Berezecka (UG)
  • Magdalena Żadkowska (UG)
  • Marta Dziedzic (UG)
  • Evanthia K. Schmidt (AU) – online
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Part of the Solution – ResBios is proud to be part of the 6th Cross – SwafS Stakeholder Forum for Responsible OS

Part of the Solution – ResBios is proud to be part of the 6th Cross-SwafS Stakeholder Forum for Responsible OS

On the 13th of October, we are very proud that ResBios project coordinator were amongst the members invited to contribute at the 6th Cross-SwafS Stakeholder Forum, a collective of experts and project coordinators who focus on responsible open science.

These forums are a fantastic opportunity for SwafS members to share updates on their projects and discuss best practices for promoting Open Science approaches in research. At this sixth meeting, key forum organisers from the ROSiE project used this opportunity to share their newly published training materials for Responsible Open Science.

These include tools for researchers and citizen scientists, and provide practical advice and case studies to help demonstrate these best practices.

New from other members:

COESO will soon be launching the beta version of their VERA platform in December 2022 and are looking for online testers, in June they also released their latest brief publication

GRRIP will soon be hosting their closing meeting (presented as a hybrid format) on 1-2 December in Gran Canaria, and will feature speakers from NewHoRRIZON, GRACE, SuperMORRI, Co-Change in various sessions.

JoinUs4Health have launched their new Erasmus Medical University 10-week minor programme “From Science to Society”. The programme teaches principles of open science, science communication and public engagement to help boost societal impact of scientific findings (see

TIME4CS will be hosting a series of webinars on institutional changes to promote Citizen Science. These webinars are open to everyone, and they will target researchers, support staff and communication officers. Information about TIME4CS training programme available here:

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Responsible research. Challenges for the biosciences and the policies – ResBios Final Conference

Responsibility in research & innovation. Challenges for the biosciences and future policies

ResBios Final Conference – In partnership with EURADA (European Association of Development Agencies), and the Horizon 2020 project TetRRIS – Territorial Responsible Research and Innovation and Smart Specialisation.

Date : December 7, 2022
Location : Rue Montoyer, 24 – 1000 Brussels
(hybrid event)

Click here to register

The event is organized in the context of the project ResBios “Responsible research and innovation grounding practices in Biosciences”, coordinated by the University of Rome – Tor Vergata and funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (Grant Agreement No. 872146).

ResBios is embedding Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) practices within four universities and research institutions in the field of Biosciences in four European countries (Croatia, Greece, Spain, and Ukraine). This takes place through the implementation of 15 RRI Grounding Actions, to achieve sustainable institutional changes. The Grounding Actions (GAs) are related to RRI keys and take into consideration the Sustainable Development Goals. The project, strongly oriented to mutual learning, is focused on biosciences, as they are one of the crossroads in the relationship between science and society. An International Network for Responsible Biosciences is on launch, together with a Manifesto.

The final conference of ResBios is aimed at:

  • • Discussing the key themes of the science-society relationship, with particular regard to biosciences, in the light of the proposals of the ResBios Manifesto.

  • •Presenting the main ResBios results.

  • • Exchanging ideas and practices with other projects and experiences.

  • •Reflecting with European decision-makers and stakeholders on policies regarding responsible research & innovation and Open Science.

  • •Presenting the International Network for Responsible Biosciences promoted by the project.

Click Here to See the Full Programme

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The Aim of the Game – Assessment of damage to agricultural crops caused by game

The Aim of the Game

The University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture introduces a new program: “Assessment of damage to agricultural crops caused by game species”

As the human race continues to grow and develop, the world is starting to seem much smaller. With the human population predicted to reach 8 billion by the end of 2022/ start of 2023, and as land management practices change, this has resulted in the degradation and fragmentation of natural habitats and the encroaching of animals and people into each other’s environment, the frequency of human-wildlife interaction will continue to increase. As a result, the way that we manage the boarders between humanity and wilderness will need to change.

One way of managing habitat and animal populations is through the implementation of legal game hunting, and in this article, we will discuss the policy and practices adopted by the Croatian government, and how our partners from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture are working together with hunters to determine the extent of the damage caused by changes in game population.

To help tackle this issue, the Croatian government enacted the Croatian Hunting Act (N.N. 99/18), this allows for citizens to acquire legal permission to hunt game species; defined by law as animal that live freely in nature, intended for cultivation and reproduction for the purpose of hunting and exploitation, and includes species such as wild boar and deer.

However, as part of this licensing agreement, the hunting community takes on the responsibility for any damages these game species inflict onto the environment that is deemed “financially unacceptable”. The most common reasons why game animals cause damage are their excessive numbers, unfavorable habitat conditions, or lack of food, and any damage caused to the environment that these animals cause, the hunting association affiliated with these regions would have to pay compensation. As well as this, under the same act, any persons authorized to hunt as legal entities, or persons who have acquired the right to hunt on the basis of the Hunting Act are obliged to take prescribed measures to prevent damage caused by game.

The University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture is a higher education institution with a century-long tradition of conducting lifelong learning programs in various fields of agriculture in Croatia, and recently they have worked alongside environment and agricultural stakeholders to develop a training program for appraisers and forensic experts, on the “Assessment of damage to agricultural crops caused by game”.

This training enables participants to acquire basic theoretical and practical knowledge of assessing game damage to agricultural crops. Participants will learn about the legal provisions, current case law, the economic characteristics of agricultural land, as well as the biology and ecology of game species and the characteristics of damage they cause. As participants progress through this program they wil also be provided background knowledge on how to prepare business plans and calculating damages from game in agricultural production as well as the basics of occupational safety (protection from pesticides, electrocution hazards, fire safety) and legal requirements.

This teaching program will also have special emphasis placed on field work, where participants will learn how and in what ways to identify and assess game damage to agricultural production and ways to appropriately use protective means (electric fencing, chemical repellents) in the control of game damage.

This teaching program will be open to anyone but will have a specific focus on those within the hunting community who would like to take a more hands on approach to how to assess and mitigate the damage caused by game species. Learn more about this program by clicking here

In addition, the University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture team are also partnering with the Mammal Net project, a citizen science initiative where the general public can help monitor mammal population and distributions. Anyone with an interest in taking part can simply download the app onto their smartphone, and by simply taking a picture of any mammals you see and uploading these images to the app, can provide invaluable data on mammal population and distribution and help researchers gain a better understanding of biodiversity across Europe.

So, if you are interested in learning more about the environment and wish to get involved, there is nothing stopping you! Anyone can be a citizen scientist!

A big thank you to Lovački vjesnik for sharing information about the work that our partners from the the University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture is doing in their June 2022 edition, volume number 131.

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Promoting sustainability literacy in science education

Promoting sustainability literacy in science education

ResBios partners attend EDULEARN22 International Education Conference in July.

Earlier this month, the 14th annual EDULEARN22 Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies was hosted in Palma de Mallorca (Spain). This three-day conference was a fantastic opportunity for lecturers, researchers, technologists and professionals from over 80 countries to come and share their knowledge on teaching and learning methodologies and educational innovations. which they have gained from personal experience. This was a great example of the benefits of mutual learning, and an opportunity to learn new approaches to make sure that the next generation of teachers and students are given the best tools to deal with the issues they currently face, and those they may face in the future!
We are very proud to say that our Resbios partners from the University of Bremen (UB) were amongst these experts and industrial leaders in education. The team from UB are one of institutes in charge of the project’s work packages regarding education, and are also one of our RRI mentors.

From this team, Prof Doris Elster, Professor of Science Education at UB presented the findings from a new initiative they have started at their institution, a new Master’s study programme promoting Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Sustainability Literacy (SL) at the University of Bremen, with the course focusing on inquiry-based teacher Education for a Sustainable Future.
Biodiversity loss and climate change are two of the mayor world challenges the planet is currently facing, and something that needs to be addressed quickly. The impacts climate change will have on biodiversity will not be a gradual process, as the climate changes in certain regions, the species and biodiversity present will be able to cope in the short term, but once these regions reach a certain point these environments will be facing conditions they have never faced before, putting many species at risk of going extinct in these regions (1). The ways climate and the environment interact with one another are incredible complicated and require system level thinking to consider all the impacts these changes will have upon society, and to develop the solutions we need to take as global citizens.

This system level thinking approach is a major component of the new Master’s study programme at UB, the next generation of science teachers have a crucial part to play in changing societal attitudes and inspiring the experts of the future to come up with the possible solutions needed to maintain the long-term health of our planet. But how do we promote sustainable literacy in biology teachers?

The team at UB developed their one semester INQUIRE course for trainee biology teachers, created using the Sustainability Literacy Framework for Teachers (SEFT), which consists of 4 key components:

Future thinking: The ability to think systematically about the future and future generations and how past decisions led us to the crises we face today.
System thinking: Considers cascading effects, system variables, positively and negatively feedback looping. How variables are interconnected?
Value thinking: Value-focused, orientation and/or ethical thinking. How values influence (sustainable) problem solutions?
Strategic thinking: Considers possible solutions under a given set of assumption. Which solutions are possible and appropriate?
[2] Warren et al. (2015)
To consolidate these thought processes, the course teaches their students how to approach issues using the Syndrome Approach; a multidisciplinary analytic tool for identifying unsustainable developments and environmental problems in earth systems by considering them as disease patterns. From these “symptoms” you can then create network that represents the environmental problems and the comprehensible relationships between these issues from different view points, in the hopes of condensing these connections focusing the most crucial ecological, socio-cultural, and economic dimensions, using the following three step process:
1. Defining elements
2. Connecting elements
3. Defining possible solutions
One such example used on the course was defining the impacts of industrial fishing on albatross and tuna populations, defining the societal and environmental issues, and presenting potential solutions and develop approaches that could either benefit, or at least reduce the impact of these changes on both the fishermen whose livelihood could rely on this industry, and the environmental costs of these practices.

The education students who participated in the INQUIRE course were surveyed before they started and after they had completed the programme, trainee teachers were asked to share their level of confidence in regards to their knowledge on sustainable literacy and the four key aspects of the SEFT framework. The results from these surveys show a general increase in the level of confidence the participants had in their knowledge of SI, and considerably improved confidence in the system thinking and futures thinking aspects of the SEFT framework, although a much less considerable increase in the areas of value thinking and strategic thinking.
Education is one of the key tenets of the RRI framework, and ensuring that teachers are fully equipped with the expertise they need to convey the complicated issues the world is currently facing, and the potential treats we may face in the future to their students, to create well informed members of society who have all the capabilities they need to make informed decisions on the future of the planet. The approach used by UB in the creation of their INQUIRE teaching course has the potential to promote this high-level system thinking and improve sustainable literacy, and should be considered as pedagogical strategy when developing training courses for all teachers.
  • 1

    Trisos, C.H., Merow, C. & Pigot, A.L. The projected timing of abrupt ecological disruption from climate change. Nature 580, 496–501 (2020).
  • 2

    A. E. Warren, L. Archanbault, T., “Sustainability education framework for teachers: Developing sustainability literacy through futures, values, systems, and strategic knowledge.” Journal of Sustainability
    Education, pp. 1-14, 2014.

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Steering the ResBios Ship from Gdansk

Steering the Resbios Ship-from Gdańsk

On June 23rd, our friends at the University of Gdańsk were our fantastic hosts for our most recent ResBios Steering Committee meeting. Over these two days, representatives from each organisation of the ResBios consortium met either in person or online, and this was a great opportunity for all of the ResBios project partners to catch up and see what each of us have achieved over the past six months, as well as set a course for the final period of the project.

The meeting kicked off with a wonderful introduction to the University of Gdasnk from from dr hab. Ewelina Król prof. UG, Dean of the Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology and Medical University of Gdańsk, and then the work begun.

We were first presented a project overview ResBios coordinator, Daniele Mezzana, from Università degli studi di Roma Tor Vergata (UNITOV), and how ResBios has transitioned from phase 3 focusing on the upscaling and dissemination of the key project goals, to phase 4- securing the long term legacy of ResBios.

Following this overview, we then took a deeper dive into the work that the partners have done in regards to each of the project’s grounding actions (GA’s):
Education Presented by Nataliia Sybirna from the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv (INFUL)– In order to popularize innovations and responsible research in the biological sciences, the Department of Biochemistry of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv has launched a YouTube channel. This channel provides dissemination of scientific and educational information among students and graduate students of the university, school teachers who participate in events organized within the framework of RESBIOS, members of the Junior Academy of Sciences and other members of the society. Recently, videos about reference managers Zotero and Mendeley, educational videos for students about the biochemical properties of proteins, a recording of a meeting with a cosmetologist and a teacher at the beauty center “New You” were added to the platform. In addtion to this, INFUL has developed two workshops on pharmaceuticals and house chemicals in schools. INFUL recently organised a round table discussion on “Innovation and innovative technologies in the biological sciences as a basis for creating startups”, featuring a recent bioscience graduate, CEO and founder of InSpiritoYevhen Filyak.
Open Access and Ethics Elena Buzan from the University of Primoska – Within these work packages and GA’s lots of work has been done across the consortium, including; the publication of a Code of Conduct and plagiarism policy at INFUL, a policy on Open Access and a plagerism system at University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture (UNIZG-FAZ), and a Open Access and Open Innovation policy at the Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (DUTH). In addition to the creation of these documents, these insitites have also been developing lectures, workshops and post graduate training courses on bioethics, integrity, and open access.
Citizen Engagement and Gender equality Janire Salazar from Institut de Ciències del Mar (CSIC). ResBios partners from CSIC and DUTH were very eager to talk about the success of recent public engagement activities, including the “Traveling in the magical world of Biology” and “Barceloneta Ocean” public events. In regards to the work that has been done towards gender equality, CSIS also shared the success of their annual awareness month, a series of events that focus on how research institute can promote inclusion and diversity, which included the ResBios webinar “Keeping Women in STEM Careers- Fixing the Leaky Pipe” . In addition CSIC and the University of Gdansk have published Gender Equality Plans as well as other supporting documents for their institutions.
Another major part of this meeting was discussing the successes and lessons learnt by the ResBios consortium throughout the duration of the project. Although things have not gone exactly to plan, due to the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine in Feburary 2022, we have all managed to adapt our processes and methods to accommodate these new normals, and we are very proud of what the project has been able to achieve during these difficult times. Therefore as part of the Sustainability and Support plans, we would like to include case studies from each of the project’s implementing partners, success stories about how these institutions have managed to adapt and deliver effective interventions, as well as sharing the challenges and lessons learnt. These success stories will be incorporated into the projects sustainability plan, as well as sharing these case studies in video interview that will be made availble on the ResBios website and social media platforms.
The final consideration for this meeting was the development of the International Network for Responisble Bioscience to be launched at the end of the ResBios project in December 2022. This network will act as a meeting point for a community of research institutes who share the goal of making positive changes and continuing to promote the principles of the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) framework! This will involve the creation of a core group of network members, consisting of ResBios consortium members, who will also provide guidance and advice, as well as a selection of useful resources informed by their experience gained throughout the ResBios project. However before the launch of the network, we have a lot of work to do, from the creation of the online scaffolding needed to host this network, the creation of an appropriate logo and brand identity, and the creation of the official documentation and network manifesto. A lot to do in six months!

It was a busy couple of days, however, it was not all work in Gdansk, for those who were lucky enough to be able to attend the meeting in person, they were treated to a real taste of Poland, with a tour of the beautiful city of Gdansk, with a wonderful and well informed tour guide, followed by a fantastic meal and further opportunity to catch up and chat.

As we reach the final few months of the project, it feels very bitter sweet– as a consortium we have come so far and learnt so much, but there is also still so much we could do. But through the difficulties and challenges of working throughout the past few year’s, we are so proud of the work we have achieved together. These opportunities to meet as a whole consortium, are such a great way for us to celebrate just how far the ResBios project has come, and how we can ensure the legacy of all the positive changes this project can be fostered and continue to grow. As well as the project laying important groundwork needed for other bioscience institutes that wish to follow our example.

Thank you again to our friends from Poland for welcoming us to the beautiful city of Gdansk, and stay tuned for lots more updates in the next six months!

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