This is an extract from a talk I gave on Monday to the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of Newcastle. I tried to answer the following question: The life sciences are seen as fundamental to the nation’s health and to economic growth. But what is the public’s role in making this happen? The … Continue reading The life sciences, the public and the growth agenda…its not just about bums on seats
I see that Cancer Research UK last week put out a press statement about the need for the UK to have strategic vision for medical research. You can find further details on their blog and they also issued a document entitled 'Building the Right Environment for Medical Research.' Thoughtfully the announcement and document have been … Continue reading Cancer Research UK does not have all the answers..and that’s an invitation to the rest of us
Tomorrow is Budget day. Having just finished AMRC's own budget and business plan for 2011-2012 all I can say is: George you know where I am if you want to crunch some last minute numbers? The Financial Times is reporting today that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will announce a £100million cash injection for capital … Continue reading Science and the budget, peer review and a spot of crowd-sourcing
The news that Pfizer is to close its R&D facility in Sandwich in Kent has shaken us from our sleepy winter hollows. I've been watching the reactions and comments come over the wires as I am sure you have. This is clearly a company going through considerable transition as it tries to change with the … Continue reading Pfizer…and innovation emergencies
Dear Member of Parliament, This afternoon the Health and Social Care Bill will recieve its Second Reading in the House of Commons. The legislation sets out a far-reaching programme for reforming the NHS and the provision of patient care. The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and its 127 member charities believe that high quality … Continue reading Second Reading of the Health and Social Care Bill: An open letter to MPs
Those who visit this blog regularly will know that we've been following progress with the plans to build the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation in London ever since our first post. So, in what feels like an early Christmas present for science, it is good to be able to report that yesterday Camden Town Hall … Continue reading UKCMRI Gets Go-ahead…and news on CST
A brief but important mention of the letter in today's Times signed by over 100 cancer scientists and doctors. The letter cites Breast Cancer Campaign (an AMRC member) and highlights the importance of the Government-backed Charity Research Support Fund (CRSF) to the funding of research in universities by medical research charities. If you want a succinct but well-articulated case for … Continue reading Times Letter on Charity Research Support Fund (CRSF)
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
The news earlier this week that the National Institute of Clinicial and Health Excellence (NICE) is to lose its powers for deciding which drugs should be made available on the NHS (to be replaced by a new system based around GP commissioning) brought an alternative version of Adam Smith's remarks about shopkeepers to mind: "To found a … Continue reading 'A nation of General Practitioners' and other bits of philosophising
Former Government chief scientific adviser, David King, writes eloquently on the Nature blog today about his concerns over the cuts in science funding announced last week.
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
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
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
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
UPDATE The full spending review document can be seen here. Note the very explicit reference and commitment to the Medical Research Council (MRC) including expenditure growth in real terms (p52). We have just had a message through from NIHR which repeats the spending review document messages and is heavy on language about pulling through the … Continue reading CSR – AMRC reaction on science settlement
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 … Continue reading CSR press reports: science spending to be 'frozen'
We are packing up. No, no, no, not in that sense. It is just that we are moving office in a few weeks. I am ashamed to say that I am the last of our team to begin the task of separating the recently aquired detritus from the must-keep documents that tell something of our history. … Continue reading CSR and painting by numbers
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
Update at 4.30pm: Both The Guardian and The Times have been running reports this afternoon about an email from the head of Universities UK, Steve Smith, to the heads of higher eductaion institutions which has been leaked to the BBC. They are reporting that the email warns of a £3bn cut in university teaching budgets … Continue reading Today in The Times: AMRC charities voice concern over changing climate for UK science
Research Councils UK have published a report this morning written by the economist Romesh Vatilingam which looks at the economic impact of research in the UK. It states that a £1 billion cut in science funding will costs the UK £10 billion. The British Heart Foundation have put out a news release in response. The … Continue reading Science funding: it's the economy….!