Category Archives: Principled Action

Biology4Good Charity Focus | Marine Conservation Society

As a Marine Biologist by training, salty water and the things that live in it are close to my heart, which is why I’m happy to be supporting the Marine Conservation Society with their fundraising through my Biology4good project. They do great work on education, outreach, beach cleanups and campaigns. A current (har-har) area of focus is marine conservation zones, which connects neatly to Option G4: Conservation of Biodiversity.

If you like the resources here and like the work they do, please make a donation on my JustGiving page.

Biology4Good Charity Focus | Save The Children

Thanks to Abi from Save the Children UK for getting in touch with links to resources to showcase some of the amazing work Save The Children do – I’ve had a monthly standing order donation with them since Freshers’ Week 1999 (must have been a cute volunteer outside Queen’s University Belfast), and I know they put money to great use.

The slogan is simple: No Child Born To Die. Watch the video below to see some of their accomplishments over 2011 alone, none of which is possible without donations. Their work includes IB Biology-relevant work on vaccinations, development and nutrition, as well as post-tsunami recovery work here in Japan and tireless work at home in the UK.

If you think their work is worthwhile and like what you use here at, you can donate on my JustGiving page here.

Biology4Good Charity Focus | Mines Advisory Group

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Hesty, Stephen & Cockermouth

Mines Advisory Group (MAG) started in a caravan in my hometown of Cockermouth in the UK, and has blossomed over the last two decades into a major worldwide organisation dedicated to making war-torn areas safer by surveying and removing landmines and unexploded ordnance. They were co-recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for their work on the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and are well-deserving of all the funds we can raise.

Here is a 23-minute film, “Surviving the Peace“, which focuses on Laos and outlines how they work and the lasting impacts their work has on the lives of survivors of war. If you want to support them, please make a donation via my Biology4Good page for MAG, on JustGiving.

Updated for International Mines Awareness Day 2013 (4 April), here is a new video on “Surviving the Peace: Angola“:

From the MAG Website:

“After more than 27 years of civil war (1975-2002), Angola is one of the most landmine-affected countries in the world.

These deadly weapons don’t discriminate between soldiers and civilians, nor between adults and children.


• cause death and injury to people carrying out their everyday activities;

• deny communities access to their farming land and water sources;

• cause food insecurity and poverty;

• deny movement, leaving communities socially and economically isolated;

• prevent refugees and internally displaced people returning home;

• hamper rehabilitation and post-conflict reconstruction;

• leave populations living in fear.

MAG is removing the threat of injury and death in Angola, and helping to alleviate economic devastation.”


Make a donation here.

Biology4Good Charity Focus | Medecins Sans Frontieres

MSFLogoDualThanks to Maryam from Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), for getting in touch with links to these two videos that explain the excellent work MSF do in responding to natural and human-caused disasters. Many of you using this site will be thinking about medicine or the health sciences as a career. As IB students you are global-minded, caring and principled young adults. Watch these, get inspired and maybe ten years from now we’ll see you on their videos.

If you want to support MSF, please visit my Biology4Good JustGiving page.

Biology4Good Charity Focus | Tree Aid


Yesterday I moved my Biology4good donations to a team. Since then, some of the charities have got in contact to share resources to encourage donations. First up: Tree Aid. Thanks Tom for the emails and for uploading this video to show the work they do – it is truly amazing and I am happy to be supporting them.

Serendipitously, the video focuses on the nutrional benefits of planting moringa trees to benefit communities, which ties in closely with the final unit for my own class, Option A: Human Nutrition & Health.

If you like what you see, please visit my TreeAid page and make a small donation.


Two Million Views on!


This week saw push past two million page views. It now gets around 4,000 views per day, which is a lot of teachers and students looking for resources. This week also saw the closure of*, who had been processing charitable donations for Biology4Good.

So this week is the perfect time to re-launch my appeal for donations to charity through Biology4Good on a bigger service,  JustGiving



These IB Biology presentations, Essential Biology worksheets and other resources are available to you to use for free, but please consider making a donation to one of my chosen charities via Biology4Good (powered by Hopefully they have saved you time and stress as a teacher or grades as a student – please consider the huge effort this takes and  let them make a difference to others, too.

JustGiving guarantees that 100% of the donation is passed on to the charity.


*This project started first on Gifts4Good, which has sadly closed. “Offline Donations” mentioned on the team page refer to donations that were processed in the old incarnation of Gifts4Good. 


Growing Green in the South Bronx

Stephen Ritz gives a hugely energetic TEDx talk about his class project with at-risk kids in New York’s Bronx, which went quickly from green walls to something much bigger. It really is amazing. See if you can keep up!

Biology4Good – Please pay it forwards!



So it’s D-Day for the Bi-ologists! 

There has been a run of new site records here this week,  with 6,941 views on 16 May, 11,709 on May 17 and 15,982 on May 18.  That’s cool and thanks for the support of the site. Now before you go (and many of you never visit the site again once the exams are done), please take a minute to flick through the presentation below and think about making a donation to one of my chosen charities.

The resources here are free, though take many many hours of work. If you feel they have been worth your time, please think about donating the cost of a revision guide. All the money goes to the charities – I do not collect any.

Best of luck, and try to get some sleep between papers 2 and 3!


So is the Earth full or is abundance our future? #TED2012

TED 2012 is underway and they have been posting some of the talks to their website. Here is a pair of talks which showcase different views of where we are in the world right now – each of them linking to our units on Environmental Science. You can also follow them on the Guardian’s liveblog.

In the first, Paul Gilding states that “The Earth is full,” but that it takes times of real crisis for us to create solutions and climb out of the hole we have dug for ourselves.

In this one, Peter Diamandis argues that we are living in a time of abundance and that human ingenuity will get us out of our problems.


EDIT – 4th March

These talks which have also been published are relevant to the issues we are studying in class. Have fun watching them!

Daniel Pauly: The ocean’s shifting baseline

Paul Snelgrove: A census of the ocean

UNICEF Photos of the Year 2011

Each year, UNICEF and GEO Magazine host a photography competition which aims to highlight the living conditions of children around the world. As teachers and students in the privileged setting of international schools and the IB World, we can be isolated from the realities of the lives of those around us. In many cases our schools and communities are oases of luxury, with poverty outside the school gates.

This photo, “Waste Export to Africa” by Kai Löffelbein, was this year’s winner. It links closely to my last post about the story of electronics. Do we ever really think about the final destination of our high-impact goods? In many places children are forced to work on piles of smashed-up and dangerous electronic goods, trying to recover precious metals and components.

"Waste Export to Africa" by Kai Löffelbein. Hosted at the Guardian.

"Waste Export to Africa" by Kai Löffelbein. Hosted at the Guardian (click for gallery)

For more photos of children’s situations around the world, visit the UNICEF Photo Essays page. They might inspire you to take your own photos or kick start some action in your own school. They also have a photo of the week page.


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