In his role as chief scientific advisers (CSA) to Defra, Bob Watson has £1 million with which to commission research on any issue containing science that he wishes to challenge. When GO Science worked on its foresight study of food and farming, Watson tested the robustness of its projected food prices. “I use my £1 million to challenge where I think there are significant uncertainties,” he said last October as he gave evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee during its inquiry into the role of CSAs.
The Lords eventually recommended that all CSAs are allocated “a dedicated, ring-fenced fund by their departments to enable them, where they judge necessary, to commission research or to convene groups of experts”.
The BBC is running a postgraduate student journalism innovation award – and PST has made the shortlist!
The winner will be announced at the Connecting Communities Conference on May 24 at BBC Media City in Salford. Maybe we should check out how the graphene commercialisation project at the University of Manchester is coming along while we’re up there…
Thanks to the entire PST community for your support, your tweets, your comments, your input, your opinions – the whole nature of this blog is based around the community discussion, so thank you.
We’ll let you know how we get on come May 24. For now, stay tuned for some delicate science funding news tomorrow…
Full details of how the £180m Biomedical Catalyst will work have appeared, with events planned for real-life networking between scientists and the business people who hope to commercialise their research.
It sounds just like the latest film from Aardman Animations, only with business owners in the role of the pirates.
Scientists are political, just not very active. That’s one of the contentions that has been put to me recently as I conduct my research for a series of articles that will begin on the Guardian website tomorrow. The series will explore how science gets into parliament, but here I wanted to pick up on the funding implications of scientists not being very active.
This means that, as always, I’ll be collecting opinions and stories from the science policy community. I’m very excited about how PST readers and @PSTtweets followers will be able to help.
More news next week!
Part 2: MPs question experts on how to bridge the scientific research commercialisation valley of death
Here’s the latest on the debate over the nascent Science for the Future lobby group and its forthcoming protest against the EPSRC, planned to land in Parliament Square on May 15. The words below constitute a kind of mission statement I received from Professor Stephen Clark, who’s one of the two directors of the new group.
Much of the discussion on your blog seems to revolve around the issue of why we need a new campaigning group. Clearly, the spark that has ignited the current campaign is the EPSRC Capability Shaping exercise, but for many of us involved in forming Science for the Future our dissatisfaction has been brewing for a very long time.