After yesterday’s publication of the results of the Research Excellent Framework (#REF2014) comes the post-mortem, introspection and then inevitable debate about REF2020. We will have to wait a wee while before we learn more about the impact assessment aspect of #REF2014 and the overall story it tells us about how research in higher education instiutions… Read More In support of the Rome Declaration on responsible research and innovation
It is no surprise that, in death as in life, Nelson Mandela has caused us to gaze upon humanity with warmth and optimism. I am sure I am not alone in having taken a great deal of pleasure from reading the celebrations of his life and reflecting on how different tomorrow would look were it not… Read More A nod to Nelson Mandela on the eve of the G8 Dementia Summit (agenda published)
I spoke at the Clinical Discovery 2012 conference yesterday about the future value and impact of clinical research. This is one of a number of similar events I’ve presented at over the last month or so. On reflection there generally seems a more ‘upbeat’ conversation among conference-goers about clinical research in the UK compared to this time last… Read More GSK’s Witty remarks are easy to swallow from a patient perspective but the rest of the flock must follow
Just in case you had missed it, it’s all about patient experience from now on! And a good thing too. Or, at the very least, it seems the intention is to ask people more questions about their experience. A lot more questions in fact. In the new world, I wonder, will we be met by NHS ‘chuggers’… Read More Are you a patient? Then, I’m holding you for questioning. You have the right to…..
Good Guardian blog yesterday giving a lay summary of the ‘open access’ debate vis a vis papers published in scientific journals. There’s also been a healthy exchange of letters in The Times this week but ironically that’s behind their paywall. However, at least The Times is available in all good newsagents at a reasonable price. Unsurprisingly, I… Read More The public interest argument must extend beyond open access…here’s a sort of lay summary
There was an online discussion hosted by The Guardian this morning about commercially sponsored clinical trials in the NHS. You can get the jist here.
The summer break has clearly done the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, a world of good. From beating a lone path as the libertarian Claudius in the face of a centralised health service, he has resurfaced this week as the man for all seasons to launch a competition for the best ideas for… Read More From I Claudius to iLansley…phone apps in the new NHS
So there I was this morning talking about peer review, when what should come through the Ovarian Cancer Action letterbox but our certificate of best practice from the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) for our peer reivew practices. It’s great to have this ‘quality-mark’ for all that we do as a research funder. If… Read More From peer review to clinical trials
The NHS Future Forum – the recently announced exercise by the Department of Health to get the NHS reforms back on track – has today published a list of its members. Further names are likely to be added it seems. It includes a few ‘researchy’ people as we tend to call them here in the office… Read More Are you researchy?
I begin with a public information announcement….If you are following the debate about the Health and Social Care Bill then you really must come to AMRC’s workshop on 29th March to discuss its impact on research and what’s to be done about it. If it is anything like the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Research… Read More Health and Social Care Bill and other reasons to switch-on
Well, we won’t have too long to wait to know whether this is true but the Guardian is reporting this evening that science spending is to be frozen in tomorrow’s CSR for a review period, representing a 10% reduction in real terms over that time as inflation reduces the spending power of departments. …and further… Read More CSR press reports: science spending to be 'frozen'
Language is everything in politics. We hang of every word of our politicians for any hint of a change in tone or content that might indicate whether a batlle is lost or won. The same is true of those campaigning for change. Just read my blogs from all three party conferences. It feels in this eleventh… Read More Government in danger of misunderstanding charities at their peril
They say that if you want to see your hometown or nation in a different light you should walk with a stranger who is seeing and experiencing it for the first time. I probably learnt more about England during my spells living abroad than I have in the years before or since. So I was… Read More Vince Cable on Science: a home-spun piece from afar
You may be interested in this call to arms by Evan Harris on The Guardian blog today. His essential point is that scientists and their supporters need to focus their attention on HM Treasury from this point onwards. Geoff Brumfiel makes a similar call in his article today also in The Guardian. That is certainly… Read More Evan Harris and cuts to science funding
Last night I was contemplating how to make the remaining half of my net-worth last for the rest of the month, when thoughts inevitably turned to the announcement by 30 US billionaires last week that they intend to give at least half their wealth to charitable causes. The charge of the billionaires is being led… Read More The 'new' philanthropy and medical research
Here are a few loose ends from this week if not before. First, I’m delighted that the Journal of Ambulatory Care Management have published our paper about AMRC’s ‘Natural Ground’ project on patient public involvement in their July issue. But I am afraid it looks as though you have to pay to download it. Nonetheless,… Read More Loose ends on Lansley, Godlee and AMRC
As a follow-up to my post yesterday before the formation of the Conservative/Lib Dem Coalition Government, you might want to look at this article by Geoff Brumfiel at naturenews which looks at the coalition agreement published today and speculates what it might mean for science. Interestingly I noticed on the Downing Street website this evening… Read More The Coalition Government and Science
Today I hotfooted it (literally in the 30c+ heat!) to the World Conference for Science Journalists (WCSJ) taking place at Central Hall in London. I was taking part in a debate on the question: ‘Is the growing influence of PR on science journalism in the public interest?’ The other speakers included Ben Goldacre from the… Read More Charities and the media
I was quite pleased with the media coverage that we got yesterday for our press briefing on the effects of the economic downturn on medical research charities. I felt that we had got the difficult news out but had also managed to convey some positive messages about what our members are doing and what the public and… Read More Charities in the recession part 2