• Work programme

    Approved: Mental health impacts of COVID-19 on healthcare workers and carers

    A POSTnote on mental health impacts of COVID-19 on healthcare workers and carers will outline the short and long-term mental health impacts of COVID-19 on this group. It will review policy approaches and support services dedicated to supporting healthcare worker mental health, with focus on special measures implemented during a pandemic. Work currently in production.

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    Approved: Living organ donation

    A POSTnote on living organ donation will set out the scale and nature of living donation in the UK and analyse the policies set out in government strategy to increase living donor activity. It will seek to explore the ethical frameworks around donation relating to altruism, autonomy and reciprocity, and the ethical principles that guide clinical teams. The note will also explore how the change to an opt-out consent system for deceased donors might influence living donation. The role of social media in finding donors is also topical, as recipients seek suitable donors outside the NHS transplant system. Websites that seek to match donors and recipients, some of which charge recipients a fee to register, are a recent development in the UK; guidelines advise clinical centres not to proceed with such cases. Provisional start date: November 2020.

  • Work programme

    New POST work: April 2020

    The POST board has approved 4 new POSTnotes. Distance learning, Development of vaccine technologies, AI in healthcare, and Regulating product sustainability.

  • Work programme

    Approved: AI and healthcare

    A POSTnote on AI and healthcare will look at the current applications, opportunities and limitations of AI. It will review available evidence on the impact of AI on healthcare delivery and costs and will explore the main ethical, social and regulatory challenges to its use. Provisional start date: September 2020.

  • Work programme

    Approved: Developments in vaccine technologies

    A POSTnote on vaccine development will look at the opportunities that new vaccine technologies offer relative to conventional approaches and the latest information from current vaccine pipelines. It will also discuss policy approaches to stimulate and fast-track vaccine research and development, particularly in the context of an emerging infectious disease. Provisional start date: July 2020

  • Work programme

    Approved: Distance learning

    A POSTnote on distance learning will look at the ways in which digital technology is currently used in the education sector, the opportunities it offers, and its limitations. It will cover trends in distance learning alongside evidence for effectiveness compared to traditional classroom-based courses. Provisional start date: January 2021.

  • Work programme

    Approved: Regulating product sustainability

    A POSTnote on product sustainability will summarise the core environmental considerations relating to design, and the policy measures promoting design of sustainable products. It will look at and how this relates to wider circular economy measures and material use efficiency. Provisional start date: July 2020.

  • Work programme

    New POST work: January 2020

    The POST board has approved 7 new POSTnotes. Strategic approached to ecosystem services, reformulation of food products, testosterone and sports performance, machine learning for environmental remote sensing, marine renewables, natural mitigation of flood risk, food fraud. To contribute please click below on the scope of the topic you are interested in.

  • Work programme

    Approved: Food fraud

    A POSTnote on food fraud will examine the different types of food fraud and a summary of its prevalence in the UK and globally. It will look at techniques used to authenticate food and drink and existing regulations and legislation in place to prevent food fraud. It will present the current laboratory capacity for testing food imports in the UK and how this may be impacted upon Brexit. It will explore other potential challenges of Brexit including loss of EU certification schemes and intelligence databases.

  • Work programme

    Approved: Cloud and edge computing

    A POSTnote on cloud and edge computing will look at the current role of cloud computing and the benefits it provides. It will explore security, resilience and data ownership concerns. It will examine how Brexit might effect cloud computing in the UK and how the UK can remain competitive

  • Work programme

    Approved: Natural mitigation of flood risk

    A POSTnote on natural mitigation of flood risk will focus on recent research on natural flood measures and climate change at the catchment scale (modelling and observational) that can inform flood management. It will examine the current evidence for the effectiveness of different land management measures on mitigating flood risk, such as riparian woodland, wetlands and flood meadows. It will look at barriers and opportunities for implementing land management-based solutions, including managing community perceptions of effectiveness.

  • Work programme

    Approved: Marine renewables

    A POSTnote on marine renewables will examine the different technologies that underpin marine energy, including tidal stream, tidal range, and wave power. It will focus on the potential for marine energy to contribute to the net zero target, and to a stable, low-carbon electricity supply. It will examine at recent progress in the research, development, and commercialisation of marine energy, and the potential for cost reductions with further deployment. It will also look at Engineering and environmental challenges associated with deployment and commercialisation of marine energy. Finally it will review the potential for policy support for marine energy in research, development, and deployment stages.

  • Work programme

    Approved: Machine learning for environmental remote sensing

    A POSTnote on machine learning for environmental remote sensing will focus on setting out the ways in which machine learning analysis adds value to remote sensing data. This POSTnote also examine the environmental applications of this interface. It will look at the challenges facing the effective use of machine learning and the effective policies for realising opportunities.

  • Work programme

    Approved: Testosterone and sports performance

    A POSTnote on testosterone and sports performance will focus on the scientific literature that describes the relationship between sports performance and testosterone. It will examine the implications for transgender athletes and athletes with DSD, and how this informs policymaking by sporting bodies. It will also consider options to facilitate inclusive participation in sports and the ethical debate concerning fairness in sporting competition.

  • Work programme

    Approved: Reformulation of food products

    A POSTnote on reformulation of food products will examine the technical issues that it raises for the food sector and review the progress made to date in the UK. It will compare the effectiveness of different policy approaches (such as voluntary agreements versus fiscal measures) and assess the evidence linking reformulation with the anticipated public health benefits at the population level.