An invitation from the Health Research Authority (HRA): #patientsasregulatorypartners

Invitation to contribute to workshops about the Health Research Authority’s  Public Involvement Strategy The Health Research Authority is running two workshops to give people interested in our strategy an opportunity to discuss it and how we put it into action. We would like these to include researchers and research funders as well as patients and […]

Ridding ourselves of the 'red tape' worm

If you believe the Government – any Government in fact – we are all entangled in webbing made of regulation red tape that makes us look like one of those mummies emerging from a tomb in a 60s Hanna Barbara cartoon.  However, I can’t help but agree on this occasion.   I don’t know about you, […]

mICRA, PROSPERO, Beddington and Bell

Announcements are like buses.  There are none for what seem like days and then several come all at once.  My job is to make sure you get on the right one… NIHR has several announcements out today which AMRC and its members have had some involvement or interest in.  The first is the launch of the new […]

Rawlins Review: Academy lays down law on health research regulation

Over the weekend Professor Colin Blakemore said he hoped the Academy of Medical Sciences would come up with radical proposals to end the regulatory mess that holds up UK health research such as clinical trials. I am not sure whether he will feel today’s report by the Academy lives up to that aspiration, but I do […]

Regulating research – Blakemore/Deer comment pieces + AMRC background

Ahead of next week’s Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) much anticipated report on medical research regulation I see  The Times and Sunday Times (both paywall) have published pieces this weekend by scientist Professor Colin Blakemore and journalist Brian Deer respectively, offering different perspectives on the issue of regulation. If you are looking for further background on […]

The not quite white paper on growth

UPDATE: You can find the Growth Review document published jointly by HM Treasury and the Department for Businesss here.  A quick skim through its pages suggests a collection of ‘already known’ initiatives with a short section at the back announcing a sector-by-sector consultation on barriers to growth.  From what is in the document, it is […]

Earl Howe's Speech at the AMRC AGM

 I thought you may be interested in this extract from the Health Minister, Earl Howe’s, speech to out AGM on Wednesday: It also gives me pleasure to note [that] AMRC member expenditure on research having exceeded £1 billion for the year for the first time. Given the economic circumstances, I think this is something about which […]

Briefings on the impact on science of a cap non-EU migrants, data protection etc

A quick pass-by to alert you to the fact that we have a new briefing available on the impact on science of the proposed cap on non-EU migrants…and that we have published our response to the Ministry of Justice consultation on the current legislative framework for data protection. On the former I believe that the […]

Science at the Conservative Party Conference – notes from a large fringe

Stumbling half-asleep across my hotel room this morning I overheard a spokesman from the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on the TV saying that every £1 invested in arts in the city generated a further £29 in economic activity. Or something along those lines. As Orwellian visions filled my mind of a day to come where every […]

Science at the Conservative Party Conference – avoiding the herd mentality

I read in the Birmingham local press that about 14,000 people are expected at the Conservative Party Conference.  It certainly seems busier than the preceding two, even on a Sunday evening.  Each conference has its own feel but common to them all is the herd of grey-suited buffalo (including myself I suppose) that migrates from one […]

Science at the Conservative Party Conference

Two down, one to go.  Here’s science related ‘matter’ at the Conservative Party Conference which starts in Birmingham tomorrow. Birmingham University was of course the venue for the Science Minister, David Willett’s, first speech after taking office.  I am looking forward to being one of the hosts when he joins us for a roundtable breakfast […]

Science's reputation will be easily cracked, and will never mend well

Forgive the headline which is a version of Benjamin Franklin’s: ‘Glass, china, and reputation are easily cracked, and never mended well.’  If you haven’t seen today’s Guardian splash on science cuts then you should really take a look.  There is a wealth of detail but the human stories are the most absorbing aspect of the […]

Coming down to earth – regulators, dementia taxes, collaboration and new generation politics

I think it was Simon Carr in the Independent who said that Ed Milliband opened his arms at the beginning of his speech as if welcoming the assembled earthlings to his world. I certainly feel as though I have come back down to earth today.  An early train back to London from Manchester to a […]

Science at Labour Party Conference – Vital Signs

First, a general observation.  Less than one day here and I have met four ‘Eds’ already – more than in the previous ten years travelling the breadth of the UK. Strange that.  But perhaps when you are faced by David Willetts you need as many ‘Eds’ as you can get. I came expecting a muted, […]