Could the new Life Sciences Strategy be a bit too Basic for the UK’s needs?

First, the positive. Last week the Medical Research Council (MRC) announced that Professor Andrew Morris had been appointed Director of the new UK health and biomedical informatics research institute. Why should this matter to you and I? Because this is the second occasion in less than six months when a senior research leader in the UK … Continue reading Could the new Life Sciences Strategy be a bit too Basic for the UK’s needs?

There is indeed method in our ‘madness’ – being METHODICAL about public involvement

Polonius: [Aside] Though this be madness, yet there is method in't. Hamlet Act 2, scene 2, 193–206 If you are in some way connected to public involvement in health research then you get used to 'the look.' Sometimes it's a vacant stare or a gaze falling slowly across the face like the sun going down.  In other instances … Continue reading There is indeed method in our ‘madness’ – being METHODICAL about public involvement

Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy Trial testament to the cf community as a positive, patient and persistent partner in research

I hope you will have seen or heard the news today of the positive results of a gene therapy trial for people with cystic fibrosis. And this is how The Guardian is reporting it. Although it is early days and the improvement shown in patients only a modest one, it is nonetheless a very hopeful … Continue reading Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy Trial testament to the cf community as a positive, patient and persistent partner in research

MRC publishes new communications and engagement strategy (plus new film!)

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has published a refreshed communications and engagement strategy. There is a section on public involvement on P12 of the document which is the fullest narrative I have seen of their corporate intentions around this aspect of working in partnership with the public. It is a good document and important to … Continue reading MRC publishes new communications and engagement strategy (plus new film!)

Stop press: the BMJ goes ironic on us while MRC Network steps up

I was alerted to this piece by the excellent MRC Policy Watch bulletin. Great, that looks interesting I thought - a BMJ article about how research papers could be made more readable and interesting. Opening up research to the masses is what I'm all about. Particularly when the strapline is so good: Why do scientists … Continue reading Stop press: the BMJ goes ironic on us while MRC Network steps up

Committee gets a Crick in its neck about UKCMRI

So the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee has this morning published its latest report about the building of the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI) in London.  THES has a report here. The Committee seems rather oddly to have raked over old coals in its questioning of whether London is the most … Continue reading Committee gets a Crick in its neck about UKCMRI

International clinical trials day and a bit of mopping-up

It is International Clinical Trials Day today and The Cochrane Library has worked with the UK Medical Research Council's Network of Hubs for Trials Methodology Research to produce a set of new podcasts about clinical trials - well worth a listen. There was a conference in Vienna this morning organised by the European Clinical Research … Continue reading International clinical trials day and a bit of mopping-up

Some reflections on the vCJD blood test story

The BBC's Fergus Walsh wrote an excellent blog this week about the prototype blood test for vCJD (Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease). But there is another story implicit behind it that is worth telling - what has been achieved through the fortitude of patients and scientists working together in the face of insurmountable odds.  I can not do justice … Continue reading Some reflections on the vCJD blood test story

Science budget: where will the money go?

If you are looking for the detail of today's announcement by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on the science budget allocations for the spending review period then please look at the excellent summary by our policy and public affairs manager, Becky Purvis, here. Further perspective from me in due course.  But, given … Continue reading Science budget: where will the money go?