Science, charity New Year Honours and some perspective on the MRC in 2011

Research Fortnight have posted a blog I wrote prior to Christmas in which I gave my 'glass half-full' take on what the science budget allocations mean for the Medical Research Council (MRC).  Elsewhere..in today's New Year Honours, congratulations go to Adrian Smith, DG Knowledge and Innovation at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, who has been … Continue reading Science, charity New Year Honours and some perspective on the MRC in 2011

CSR and painting by numbers

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

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

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

Coming down to earth – regulators, dementia taxes, collaboration and new generation politics

I think it was Simon Carr in the Independent who said that Ed Milliband opened his arms at the beginning of his speech as if welcoming the assembled earthlings to his world. I certainly feel as though I have come back down to earth today.  An early train back to London from Manchester to a … Continue reading Coming down to earth – regulators, dementia taxes, collaboration and new generation politics

Unfinished business – clinical research

There has been much to dwell upon since our workshop for member charities 'Clinical research - working with NIHR' a fortnight ago. This is the fourth workshop on clinical research that AMRC has held in as many years.  Each has attracted more delegates than the one before - a fact indicative of the increasing interest among … Continue reading Unfinished business – clinical research

Research charities on the world stage

Occasionally I post things up on the blog simply to illustrate different aspects of how UK medical research charities work. Last week the office noticed this rather cool interactive research map produced by the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) which shows the different projects supported by MRF around the world.  A good example is its project … Continue reading Research charities on the world stage

Charity research in the recession

Today's article in the Law Society Gazette ('Charities may be in for a difficult year, but there remains cause for hope') prompts me to report on the results of AMRC's latest survey of its member charities and how they are faring in the recession. As you may remember AMRC's survey in March last year attracted … Continue reading Charity research in the recession

An Open Letter to David Cameron

Dear David, I was pleased to read your speech at the Royal College of Pathologists earlier this week setting out your vision for the NHS and your five priorities for a Department of Public Health were you to form the next Government.  Many us will be pleased to see you and your front bench colleagues … Continue reading An Open Letter to David Cameron

Time to open up about industry

Every so often a story and resulting furore crops up in the media about charities, patient groups and their closeneness to industry and, in particular, pharmaceutical companies.   Journalists and the public will quite rightly ask: is it in the public interest?  I can well remember my first encounter with big pharma in my early days … Continue reading Time to open up about industry

Dialogue by numbers

I am writing this while sitting in a cafe in the exhibition area at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton. Such are the wonders of modern technology! Gordon Brown's speech is over and the crowds have more or less dispersed. All the action has moved to nearby tv and radio studios where the debate will … Continue reading Dialogue by numbers

Recession profiteering v drop-down menu

An email popped into my inbox last night advertising yet another conference aimed at helping, guiding, supporting charities and other organisations survive, weather, capitalise on the recession, economic downturn, credit crunch.   The terms are interchangeable of course.  But you won't have much loose change left afterwards that's for sure.  The invitation I got yesterday cost over … Continue reading Recession profiteering v drop-down menu

Research of rare quality

The Government's Office for the Strategic Co-ordination of Health Research (OSCHR) will at some point in the next few months publish its 'National Ambitions' for health research.  Since communications has never been one of OSCHR's strengths it has been close to impossible to discern quite what this thing will look like, if and when it … Continue reading Research of rare quality

Not another article about partnership

The term 'partnership' is now scattered liberally through the narrative we all use for the way in which we work - either as organisations or as individuals.  The highly inventive among us occasionally substitute it with  'collaboration' or even the more arcane 'working together,' but partnership is in the ascendant in every sense. But I am beginning to … Continue reading Not another article about partnership

Sums and summitry

Yesterday 30 top scientists called for a tripling of Government expenditure on research into dementia - you may have heard some of them being interviewed on news programmes during the day.  Their call was timed to coincide with a day-long summit organised by the Department of Health and Medical Research Council (MRC) which brought together … Continue reading Sums and summitry

'….and charities'

A huge tome literally fell into my lap this morning.  So heavy was the 151 page brochure from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) that it broke through the botton of the envelope in which it was sent. Coincidentally as I began to flick through its glossy pages this morning, the Office for … Continue reading '….and charities'

Charities and the media

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 … Continue reading Charities and the media

Continental drift or moving target?

Science would seem to be on the move again. Last week's reshuffle saw the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) - including the science portfolio - merge with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) to become the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) under Lord Mandelson. Its worth reminding ourselves at this … Continue reading Continental drift or moving target?