AMRC Opus 125

I can't think of a better way to end the week than to announce our 125th member charity.  'Autistica' is the largest UK charity raising funds for medical research to improve diagnosis, advance new treatments and discover the causes of autism. The charity has been funding medical research for 6 years, and funds project grants, programme … Continue reading AMRC Opus 125

Charity donations stutter to life in recession; medical research remains most popular cause

At our AGM last week, I held a workshop with our newly launched small charities network.  When asked their top concern, they almost all pointed to the difficulties of raising funds in the current climate.  Funds and fundraising are always the top headache for charities but in this sort of economy the difficulties are accentuated. … Continue reading Charity donations stutter to life in recession; medical research remains most popular cause

Where medals and medallions are forged

Whether you like your scientists to be medallion wearers or medal winners or indeed both is I suppose a matter of personal preference.  In one of those strange juxtapositions in life I chanced across news of this month's US GQ feature (no, I don't read it) on 'Rock Stars of Science' shortly before leaving my office … Continue reading Where medals and medallions are forged

The Public health white paper – a new school of thought

'Healthy Lives, Healthy People,' the White Paper on public health has been published and is available on the Department of Health website. The news release sets out the Secretary of State's 'ladder of intervention' - from the rather refreshingly titled  'do nothing' up to 'eliminate choice altogether' - which sound like the different states of readiness one … Continue reading The Public health white paper – a new school of thought

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 … Continue reading Earl Howe's Speech at the AMRC AGM

When good medicine is the casualty of hype and ignorance

I have just returned from the Financial Times' offices, where I was the guest for their regular science podcast hosted by Clive Cookson and Andrew Jack (it will appear here later today).  The theme of the discussion was 'Selling Sickness.'  Andrew was reporting on a recent conference of the same name that took place last month in Holland.  … Continue reading When good medicine is the casualty of hype and ignorance

Capability Dave announces cluster therapy for research

Monday saw the Science Mnister, David Willetts, and Health Minister, Earl Howe, announce what are being called therapeutic capability clusters (research consortia)  at the ABPI/BIA conference in London.  PharmaLetter has an article on it and what I think is the formal news release can be found on Pharma Live. Don't be fooled by the PR … Continue reading Capability Dave announces cluster therapy for research

Guest Blog: Dame Bridget Ogilvie on the spending review

A change is as good as a rest they say.  So I am delighted that our former Chair (as well as former Director of the Wellcome Trust), Dame Bridget Ogilvie, took up my invitation to give us her perspective on the spending review and its implications.  Its closing sentiments about the development of young scientists … Continue reading Guest Blog: Dame Bridget Ogilvie on the spending review

CSR and science funding: that morning after feeling

So understandably the debate goes on whether we should be drinking champagne or lucozade this morning after yesterday's announcement.  But I rather liked this sobre assessment by Jenny Rohn, originator of the Science is Vital campaign which has appeared in The Guardian. The New Scientist has also published a detailed analysis penned by Imran Khan … Continue reading CSR and science funding: that morning after feeling

The good, the not so good and the uncertain

I can only think of turning the last few hours of trying to absorb today's announcements and figures in the following way: The good Surely even the harshest critic would have to acknowledge that, comparatively speaking, science fared well in today's spending review.  It was certainly spared the savage cuts that we are seeing elsewhere … Continue reading The good, the not so good and the uncertain

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

Public, private and charitable research: the spillover effect

RAND Europe and the Office of Health Economics (OHE) last week published this rather fascinating occasional paper from a seminar in May.  It examines the spillovers (wider benefits) from biomedical and health research and seems highly salient given what is going on.  I thought some of the diagrams were helpful in visualising the multilying effect of … Continue reading Public, private and charitable research: the spillover effect

Government in danger of misunderstanding charities at their peril

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 … Continue reading Government in danger of misunderstanding charities at their peril

Ciencia recortes en España

It means 'Science cuts in Spain' and I thought this Nature piece on cuts in the Spanish science budget announced yesterday was an interesting comparator. Roger Highfield has written an excellent piece in today's Daily Telegraph about the prospect of further British Nobel prize winners should the science budget be cut in the UK. As … Continue reading Ciencia recortes en España

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

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 … Continue reading Science at the Conservative Party Conference – avoiding the herd mentality

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 … Continue reading Science at the Conservative Party Conference