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 →

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 →

Filling the void

It's not like me to blog twice in as many days.  However, this is just a short piece you will no doubt be pleased to know.  All I wanted to do was alert you to the launch of the 'Research Mental Health' Declaration and campaign yesterday.  The initiative is aimed at pushing the need for... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

'….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 →

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 →

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 →

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