Wednesday, 27 May 2009
CaSE has canvassed major and minor political parties alike in the run up to the European Elections on 4 June, asking them to provide details of their science and technology policies. The organisation plan to do the same over the next few months, trying to ensure that science, engineering and technology are a key part of each party's manifesto in the run-up to the general election expected in spring 2010.
Nick urged the learned societies and academies represented around the table to work together to influence the development of party manifestos, creating a clear statement about what science and technology policy should aim to deliver over the coming years. The election offers an opportunity to engage new people with science policy: and one which the scientific community can seize adequately only by working together.
Hustings featuring the spokespeople for the major political parties could offer one means for the scientific community to openly question politicians about their parties' policies on research and development, science education and skills needs. Nick singled out the 'Science '08'' debate, called for by the science academies and universities in America during the US Presidential Election, as an effective way to raise the profile of science, engineering and technology and to encourage candidates to make their positions clear.
Overall, Nick encouraged the science community to work together - and work with CaSE - to make sure that whichever party is called on to form a new Government in 2010 demonstrates a strong commitment to science, engineering and technology.
Policy Lunchbox is an informal network of individuals working in science policy. Find out more about the network and future events we have planned.
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Find out more about the Society's work on women in science.
Emily Thornberry MP website
Monday, 18 May 2009
In his speech Janez Potočnik reflects on the work of the European Commission in addressing the issue of the leaky pipeline and the need for a plumber. He stresses the importance of enthusing children's enthusiasm for science at an early age through means such as 'enquiry-based education'. Stakeholders such as teachers, parents, research managers and research-funding agencies have important roles to play in raising awareness. A new report, which was launched at the conference, looks at the role of research funding agencies as 'part of a systematic effort to map the European research funding landscape from a gender perspective.'
Janez Potočnik calls for proper data upon which grounded and sensible targets can be developed, highlighting the Commissions 'She Figures' reports which bring together data from all Member States. In developing this important resource further, harmonisation of definitions e.g. "academics" is needed.
In looking forward to the future of the Commission's work in this area Potočnik said, "Women and female scientists do not need favours or special conditions. What they need, what you need, is a fair, just and trustworthy environment and consistent policies.
Read Janez Potočnik's speech in full.
Thursday, 14 May 2009
Is it a waste of time and resources when two groups are working on the same thing, unbeknown to one another? Does more than one group working on a topic increase accountability and increase the rigour of results? Is a survival of the fittest ethos the right way to manage global science?
Read Alexis' essay in full.
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
The deadline for submitting views is Friday 5 June 2009.
Friday, 8 May 2009
We wish to recruit a talented individual who will lead the Education Team, managing and further developing an existing portfolio of activities in support of science education and managing 1-2 staff. Educated to at least A Level standard (although a degree in science, communication or education would be desirable) the successful candidate is likely to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills together with the ability to work independently. Budgetary and event organisation skills would be particularly helpful.
Does this sound like you or someone you know? Find out more
Find out more about the Society's education work.
Thursday, 7 May 2009
Despite broad approval from the science community, some aspects of the directive could still cause problems such as continued protection for the tiny juvenile forms of cephalopods and the push for compulsory data sharing on all projects. Final decisions on the amendments to the animal-research directive may not be made for up to 2 years.
Read the ScienceInsider article in full.
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
Read the evaluation in full.
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
The Interim Council of the Society of Biology now seeks to recruit the first Chief Executive for the new organisation. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to lead and shape an organisation that must quickly deliver the key aims of:
- representing all who are committed to the practise of biology in academia and industry, and to biological education and research,
- facilitating the promotion and translation of advances in biological science for national and international benefit, and
- helping the wider public to engage with the subject.
The successful candidate will have demonstrated that he/she can lead and manage an organisation with drive and success. He/she will be expected to share the vision for the future of the Society developed by the Interim Council and have the ability to deliver it effectively.
Friday, 1 May 2009
The THES reports that recently the number of MPs who attend has dropped to nine ‘making it one of the smallest select committees and, on average, just six MPs attend each committee session’.
Brian Iddon, Labour MP for Bolton South East and member of the IUSS committee suggested that ‘the committee‘s remit was too broad, covering science as well as higher and further education.’ However it vital that the committee functions properly, he added ‘the select committees are the only way now we can scrutinise the executive in detail’.
Read the THES article in full
Up until this point councils had been unprepared to require all council-funded researchers to use openly available repositories to deposit their work. Instead individual councils had created their own positions on the matter. However, the survey undertaken by SQW Consulting had found that open access is proving more and more popular with UK researchers. In a statement the councils said: ‘(we) have agreed that over time (we) will support increased open access by building on mandates on grant-holders to deposit research papers in suitable repositories within an agreed time period, and extending support for publishing in open-access journals, including through the pay-to-publish model’.
Read the THES article in full
Research Councils are to manage £106 million in savings from the science budget in order for these to be reallocated to ‘support key areas of economic potential’. In the current economic climate John Denham, the Universities Secretary, said the budget was ‘a good settlement'.
So far no detailed information has been provided as to which programmes may be affected and councils have not been given specific targets. Research Councils UK told the Times Higher Education that the ‘bulk’ of the money would be found by reprioritising research funding. There would most likely be a reliance on co-funding research with the private sector alongside administrative cuts.
Read the THES article in full