Research briefings

This page provides access to research briefings produced by the House of Commons Library, the House of Lords Library and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). You can filter the research briefings by date, type, or one of 350 topics. Pick your options from the dropdown menus.

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    • Commons Briefing papers: Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Lords Library Notes: Authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
    • POSTbriefs: Responsive policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on mini-literature reviews and peer review, typically commissioned by select committees and library research services.
    • POSTnotes: Proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board.
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    Topics: Research material can be filtered by subject using the topic terms. The topics are arranged in a taxonomy (a hierarchical classification) and can be further filtered using sub-topics.

Displaying 21-40 out of 572

Quantum Technologies
Published Monday, April 24, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0552
Quantum Technologies use the behaviour of matter and light that is normally only observed at very small scales. This POSTnote introduces recent advances, applications, and UK initiatives to support their development and commercialisation. It also reviews policy concerns such as privacy, access to new technologies and secure communications.
Dietary Advice, Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Published Friday, March 3, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0551
This note focuses on the latest UK dietary advice given to women from family planning through pregnancy and into breastfeeding.
Future Energy Efficiency Policy
Published Monday, February 27, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0550
This POSTnote outlines the benefits and costs of future improvements in energy efficiency across various UK sectors. It then describes the barriers to energy efficiency measures, outlines options for future energy efficiency policy and summarises analyses of the effectiveness of different policy options.
Greenhouse Gas Removal
Published Friday, February 3, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0549
The 2015 Paris Agreement called for a balance between sources of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and their removal by 2100 to halt global temperature rise. This POSTnote explains why Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR) techniques may be required to achieve this goal, outlines the benefits of and concerns about them, and considers policy options.
New Plant Breeding Techniques
Published Wednesday, February 1, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0548
This note outlines some of the new plant breeding techniques developed recently and looks at their applications and the regulatory challenges they raise
Environmental Crime
Published Tuesday, January 31, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0547
Environmental crime is generally used to describe any illegal activity that harms the environment. It can also have serious human health and social impacts. This POSTnote outlines the different types of environmental crime and options for tackling them.
UK Trends in Infectious Disease
Published Monday, January 23, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0545
This POSTnote looks at recent UK trends in infectious disease, with a focus on those infections for which vaccines are not yet available, and where the development of antimicrobial resistance is a serious concern.
Reform of Freshwater Abstraction
Published Friday, January 20, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0546
In some parts of the UK, high levels of water abstraction are reducing the quantity and quality of surface water (rivers, lakes) and groundwater (water accumulated in spaces in soil and rocks). This POSTnote sets out the challenge of balancing competing requirements for freshwater, and summarises proposed reforms to the abstraction system in England and Wales and their implications
Research Integrity
Published Monday, January 9, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0544
A POSTnote that considers current approaches to promoting integrity in research.
The Water-Energy-Food Nexus
Published Friday, December 9, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0543
The term nexus describes the key interactions between parts of a system or systems. This POSTnote summarises current understanding of the interactions between water, energy and food production and examines how nexus approaches can be used to inform policy decisions.
Natural Capital: An Overview
Published Wednesday, December 7, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0542
The benefits derived from natural resources include food, recreation and clean air and water. The aim of valuing these resources is to quantify better the cost of their degradation. This POSTnote summarises how to value natural capital, discusses the advantages and challenges of approaches and describes some initiatives to secure natural capital for the future.
Genome Editing
Published Wednesday, November 23, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0541
This POSTnote covers current and future uses of genome editing, how it is regulated and the potential concerns it raises.
Nuclear Security
Published Tuesday, October 25, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0540
In 2016, the US President stated that the danger of a terrorist group obtaining and using a nuclear weapon was “one of the greatest threats to global security”. This briefing provides an overview of the key threats to nuclear security, and of UK and international initiatives that seek to address them.
Creating age-friendly cities
Published Tuesday, October 18, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0539
This POSTnote examines how housing, outdoor spaces and transport can be made more age-friendly. It also highlights challenges for designing and delivering age-friendly cities.
Green Space and Health
Published Monday, October 17, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0538
A range of bodies, including Government agencies, have promoted the possible physical and mental health benefits of access to green space. This POSTnote summarises the evidence for physical and mental health benefits from contact with nature, such as reducing rates of non-communicable diseases, and the challenges for urban green spaces.
Rewilding and Ecosystem Services
Published Thursday, September 29, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0537
This POSTnote explores the consequences of increasing the role of natural processes within landscapes. Evidence from the UK and abroad suggests that rewilding can benefit both wildlife and local people, but animal reintroductions could adversely affect some land-users.
Designing a Circular Economy
Published Monday, September 26, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0536
Circular economies recover resources at their highest quality and keep them in circulation for longer. Shifting to this model could alleviate concerns arising from current approaches to material use, such as resource insecurity and pollution. This POSTnote outlines what a circular economy could look like and summarises some of the benefits of, and challenges to, creating one.
Managing the UK Plutonium Stockpile
Published Thursday, September 1, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0531
This POSTnote describes the state of the plutonium stockpile, current plutonium policy and the options for managing the plutonium: indefinite storage, reuse in UK power plants, conversion to fuel to send overseas and disposal as waste. It then outlines the safety, security, economic and energy policy implications of these options.
New Drugs for Dementia
Published Tuesday, August 16, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0535
A POSTnote outlining the challenges in developing new drugs to treat dementia, and an overview of UK and international research activities to accelerate progress.
Automation and the Workforce
Published Friday, August 12, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0534
Automation technologies can reduce costs and raise productivity. However, there is considerable uncertainty over their potential effects on the UK workforce. This note provides an overview of how these technologies are being used; and potential implications for employment, skills, education and inequality in the coming decades.

Displaying 21-40 out of 572

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House of Commons Library

The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.

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The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.


The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology.

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