A 'silver cloud' with a dark lining? – medical research charities in the recession

I suspect you may have seen the bleak forecast made by charity chief executives in the latest National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) survey published today.  97% of those surveyed said they expected economic conditions to be negative and 55% advised that they would be reducing their staff. Tough times indeed.  And so this seems an opportune moment … Continue reading A 'silver cloud' with a dark lining? – medical research charities in the recession

Science and the budget, peer review and a spot of crowd-sourcing

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

UKCMRI Task Gets Bigger

So the UKCMRI partners were in front of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee yesterday as were representatives of the local community.  Meanwhile the Science Minister, David Willetts, announced that the Government had agreed the business plan for the new centre as put forward by the Medical Research Council (MRC).   A good day all … Continue reading UKCMRI Task Gets Bigger

Making the EU work better for research charities

On the face of it you might think this a very Friday afternoon sort of article.  But, as a discussion of how European foundations operate in a research funding context, it is is extremely interesting.  The news peg for it is that plans are afoot by the European Commission to present a regulation for a European Foundation … Continue reading Making the EU work better for research charities

Getting touchy over the information revolution

Over the holidays I caught a BBC Radio 4 item about the days of the touch typist.  It was one of those gems of broadcasting which looked through a narrow lens to tell the listener much about how the world has changed.  It also brought back many memories of my time as a messenger at the old … Continue reading Getting touchy over the information revolution

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 … Continue reading Rawlins Review: Academy lays down law on health research regulation

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 … Continue reading Regulating research – Blakemore/Deer comment pieces + AMRC background

UKCMRI Gets Go-ahead…and news on CST

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

Times Letter on Charity Research Support Fund (CRSF)

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)

OECD Publishes Science Outlook Report 2010 inc. UK profile

So the OECD - which publishes a series of 'state of...' reports throughout the year - has today (Tuesday 14th December) published its Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2010. If you are a member of the public it looks as if you can only download a summary of the report at the moment.  Overall messages … Continue reading OECD Publishes Science Outlook Report 2010 inc. UK profile

An evening of industry – how the pharma business model is changing

So it's 10pm and I'm busy here putting the final touches to the AMRC/INVOLVE report of the workshop we held in November which drew together patient views on health research regulation.  This was at the invitation of the Academy of Medical Sciences as part of their review of regulation and governance but - and all … Continue reading An evening of industry – how the pharma business model is changing

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 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 … Continue reading The not quite white paper on growth

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