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Early-career researchers were subject of Willetts/Nurse meeting yesterday

October 27, 2011

Update on our previous post: we heard back from the Royal Society, and the meeting between David Willetts, Sir Paul Nurse and others took place yesterday. The RS spokeswoman said:

Paul Nurse and David Willetts did host a research careers roundtable at the Royal Society [on Wednesday]. It was a closed meeting, so no journalists were in attendance. Our policy team hopes to post a blog reporting on the discussion as soon as possible.

It came out of discussion that the Minister and Paul had back in April and wished to continue with a wider group of stakeholders. The aim was to draw on the experiences in academia, industry or both of the researchers at the roundtable and discuss the issues they perceive affect young researchers.

So, it was primarily focused on young researchers, which, given the plain-and-tower structure of science we’ve discussed previously, makes sense as a part of the research career to focus on. Already we know that the recession has hit young people, across the economy as a whole (and not just in the UK), more strongly than older people.

And I would hypothesise that young researchers will be the most hard-hit by any additional contraction in hiring that comes along with the spending freeze–so it has to do with funding in a way as well. This is one of the threads we’ll be following through over coming months. And we’ll let you know more about the outcome of the Willetts/Nurse meeting when we have the details.

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