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Our planet is in a state of emergency. Wildfires ravage drought-ridden landscapes often spilling over to towns and burning them to dust. Tropical storms and floods submerge our neighbourhoods, destroying the lives of millions. Outbreaks of new tropical diseases are rising, increasing the risk of more future epidemics and pandemics. A million species are on the brink of extinction, and global inequality threatens basic human right. These problems root from global climate change and biodiversity loss, which require urgent solutions and action.

We often talk about high technological solutions to addressing these global challenges. For example, Elon Musk recently announced…


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We used fossil fuels to build a modern society and global industries. It’s now destroying the environment. Millions of species are at risk of being extinct; millions die of air pollution each year; climate events already affect the lives of millions around the world — thanks mostly to fossil fuels. Yes, we depend on fossil fuels for energy, transportation, and to produce drugs and chemicals; but there’s no justification to carry on as usual anymore.

A sustainable future requires reducing greenhouse gas emissions, so there’s no place for continued use of fossil fuels for industrial productions. Biological production of goods…


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Plastic. This simple yet ingenious material literally changed our lives. Have a look around you, and you’ll notice that most things contain plastics. The computer, which I’m using to write this blog, the clothes that I’m currently wearing, and pretty much everything I can lay my eyes on in my room contains plastic. We’ve been so used to plastic, it’s hard, if not impossible, to imagine life without it — and for good reasons too. They prevent food loss, keep our medicine safe and are great as a single-use material to prevent contamination of deadly microbes or chemicals.

Plastic is…


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When I finished my PhD, I carried on working in research, partly because I was unaware of other career options. Three years more in academia, and it was time to move on. But, being trapped in the “academic bubble”, I still had no clue about what I could be doing next.

I know that my story isn’t unique — there are plenty of PhD students and post-doctorate researchers that find themselves in a similar situation. So, I recently launched the TalkPlant “Post-PhD Career” blog series to highlight different career routes after a PhD. …


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As the world endures the impacts of a rapidly changing climate — sea level rise, extreme weather events, warming and acidifying oceans (among many others) — policymakers and the public should critically examine how food production contributes to these worrying trends. Animal agriculture may be the best place to start since, many scientists argue, it’s the single biggest cause of biodiversity loss and a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Over a quarter of the world’s land surface is currently dedicated to raising animals for food, but that practice can be exceptionally wasteful. Despite taking up almost 80 percent of…


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People of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are more likely to die from the Coronavirus Disease 2019, or Covid-19, a new study finds. In the largest Covid-19 study conducted by any country to date, researchers analysed health records of over 17.4 million UK adults to identify factors that increase the risk of Covid-19 death.

Covid-19 is the disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2). On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 as a pandemic after outbreaks in 114 countries killing thousands. As of 9 May 2020, over 4 million people…


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This is the second part of my own career path in the TalkPlant Post-PhD Career blog series. In the first part, I wrote about my previous role as a Research Programme Manager at the National Institute for Health Research. Here, I write about my role in science policy.

Senior Funding Policy Manager at UK Research and Innovation

My 12-month contract at NIHR ended in June 2017, and I have been in UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) ever since. UKRI is the UK’s largest public funder of science, research and innovation. …


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When I finished my PhD, I carried on working in research, partly because I was unaware of other career options. Three years more in academia, and it was time to move on. But, being trapped in the “academic bubble”, I still had no clue about what I could be doing next.

I know that my story isn’t unique — there are plenty of PhD students and post-doctorate researchers that find themselves in a similar situation. So, I recently launched the TalkPlant “Post-PhD Career” blog series to highlight different career routes after a PhD.

This is the first blog of the…


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Towards the end of my PhD, like all PhD students, I was left with two options: carry on working in research; or start a non-academic career. Even though I very well knew that I was only extending a road that led to a dead-end, I ended up taking up a job as a postdoctoral scientist.

There were good reasons for me to take up a job in research, too. I loved science — and still do, although not the labwork part — and had an incredibly enjoyable experience in my PhD, so it made sense to stay and do science…

Rupesh Paudyal

Science writer at www.talkplant.com. I write about plant science, health, food, sustainability, environment, and my experience in academia.

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