Monday, 31 March 2008

Cash boost for applied infection research

A total of £16.5 million has been made available for research that helps to deal with the health threats posed by viruses and bacteria, largely earmarked for consortium grants. This funding is the second wave of cash from the UKCRC Translational Infection Research Initiative through a partnership of seven funders: the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Health Departments in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust. Proposals are particularly encouraged from those aiming to facilitate natural collaborations with industry.

Existence of glass ceiling confirmed

New research from the School of Economics at the University of East Anglia has shown that '25 percent of the gender gap in promotion from senior lecturer to professor cannot be explained'. The research found that female scientists do face glass ceilings, although they happen at different stages in careers in higher education and research institutes. Within research institutes women were found to have more difficulty and face most discrimination moving from postdoctoral scientists to senior scientists, where as in universities the transition from senior lecturer to professor was found to be the most difficult.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Dr Andrew Wakefield takes the stand

Dr Wakefield today takes the stand at the General Medical Council, to defend the research which led to a large drop in MMR vaccination rates and public trust in the medical profession. Accused of 'abusing his position as a doctor, failing to obtain the necessary ethical approval for his research on children or of going beyond it or of not being qualified to carry out the procedures he undertook'. If found guilty, he faces being struck off the medical register.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

The appearance of women in science

Research released at the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (UKRC) at their annual conference concluded that the media do a disservice to women, frequently paying unnecessarily close attention to what they are wearing. Author of the study, Professor Jenny Kitzinger (Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies) is quoted by THES as saying, '"Journalists write as if there is a fundamental oxymoron between being a scientist and being a woman"', she concludes that 'the failure to take them seriously, the trivialisation of their work and the perpetuation of sexist stereotypes could harm their career progress'.