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
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.
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.
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.
Published Tuesday, August 9, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0533
This POSTnote updates POSTnote 455 (January 2014), summarising the latest data on scale of use, safety and quality of electronic cigarettes, and their value as a stop smoking tool. It also explores the implications of the new EU Tobacco Products Directive and regulatory approaches in the UK.
Integrating Health and Social Care
Published Tuesday, August 2, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0532
An ageing population and the increasing prevalence of long-term conditions are putting pressure on health and social care services. The four UK nations have committed to better integration between health and social care as one solution to these challenges. This briefing outlines what integration is, examines policies to enable it and gives examples of integration in England. It also looks at the evidence on the challenges of achieving integration and assessing the effectiveness of approaches.
Sugar and Public Health
Published Monday, June 20, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0530
This POSTnote summarises the health risks associated with eating a diet high in sugar and outlines the policy options that might best enable people to limit their sugar consumption.
Adapting Urban Areas to Flooding
Published Friday, June 17, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0529
Most properties, businesses and related infrastructure at risk of flooding are in urban areas, where more than 80% of the UK population live. This note summarises how urban areas can be better managed to adapt to flood risk from rivers, surface water, sewers and ground water.
Marine Microplastic Pollution
Published Sunday, June 5, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0528
Plastic pollution is accumulating rapidly in the world’s oceans. The potential effects of microplastics on the environment and human health are an area of active research. This POSTnote summarises their sources and spread, the evidence that they present a risk and possible strategies to reduce plastic pollution.