LONDON / BOSTON – 3 January 2013

Early results of an international survey of researchers’ attitudes to laboratory safety were made available today. The survey was conducted by Nature Publishing Group, commissioned by the University of California Center for Laboratory Safety and BioRAFT, a web-based laboratory safety and compliance management system. Early results are reported in this week’s issue of Nature, and the UC Center for Laboratory Safety are analysing the data further for future publication.

The survey attracted over 2000 anonymous responses, and is the most comprehensive international study to look at the culture of lab safety to date. The three partners are clear that the results are preliminary starting points for further study, and that many questions remain.

“One of the key challenges in lab safety is how to get people not just to comply with lab safety guidelines but to care about lab safety,” said Nathan Watson, CEO and President of BioRAFT. “The results of this survey provide a helpful starting point in tackling this sensitive topic.” Digital Science invested in privately-held BioRAFT in June 2012.

According to the Nature news report, ‘The biggest barriers to improving safety in the lab were “time and hassle” and “apathy”, scientists said. “If I could have selected apathy three times over, I would have,” one scientist wrote.’

Topline data from the survey are available on Figshare at http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.105431.

The Nature news story is available here: http://www.nature.com/news/safety-survey-reveals-lab-risks-1.12121. A related editorial is also in this week’s issue of Nature: http://www.nature.com/news/safety-catch-1.12118.

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About BioRAFT

The BioRAFT suite of research management software modules significantly improves laboratory safety, compliance processes, researcher productivity, and management oversight. BioRAFT enables researchers to focus on their research by managing compliance for training, biosafety, hazardous chemicals, radiation management, MSDS, and other laboratory safety requirements. BioRAFT has secured an investment from Digital Science, a new technology company out of Macmillan Publishers Ltd. For more information, visit http://www.BioRAFT.com

About Digital Science

Digital Science is a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd., launched in December 2010 to provide technology solutions for researchers. From intelligent knowledge discovery tools to software applications for the laboratory and decision-support systems for managers, Digital Science combines world-class technology with a resolute focus on scientists and those who support the research process. For more information, visit www.digital-science.com.

About Nature Publishing Group (NPG)

Nature Publishing Group (NPG) is a publisher of high impact scientific and medical information in print and online. NPG publishes journals, online databases and services across the life, physical, chemical and applied sciences and clinical medicine.

Focusing on the needs of scientists, Nature (founded in 1869) is the leading weekly, international scientific journal. In addition, for this audience, NPG publishes a range ofNature research journals and Nature Reviews journals, plus a range of prestigious academic journals including society-owned publications. Online, nature.com provides over 6 million visitors per month with access to NPG publications and online databases and services, including news and comment from Nature, NatureJobs plus access to Nature Network and Nature Education’s Scitable.com.

Scientific American is at the heart of NPG’s consumer media division, meeting the needs of the general public. Founded in 1845, Scientific American is the oldest continuously published magazine in the US and the leading authoritative publication for science in the general media. Together with scientificamerican.com and 14 local language editions around the world it reaches over 5 million consumers and scientists. Other titles includeScientific American Mind and Spektrum der Wissenschaft in Germany.

Throughout all its businesses NPG is dedicated to serving the scientific and medical communities and the wider scientifically interested general public. Part of Macmillan Publishers Limited, NPG is a global company with principal offices in London, New York and Tokyo, and offices in cities worldwide including Boston, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Delhi, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Madrid, Barcelona, Munich, Heidelberg, Basingstoke, Melbourne, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul and Washington DC. For more information, please go to www.nature.com.

Contact:

Grace Baynes
(Corporate Public Relations)
 Nature Publishing Group
T: :+44 (0)20 7014 4063
E: g.baynes@nature.com