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

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!)

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is ‘a good egg’ and that’s the issue

Science historian and Guardian science blogger, Vanessa Heggie (@HPS_Vanessa) has written a fascinating piece about how AIDS activists among others changed the way we run clinical trials and persuaded researchers to adopt new methods. That's certainly the history lesson passed down to me as Chair of INVOLVE by previous members.  They will tell you that, before we ever talked … Continue reading The Medical Research Council (MRC) is ‘a good egg’ and that’s the issue

A few more ‘£s’ and I’ll be opening my own Wellcome Collection…just keep those surveys coming

If only petrol was as plentiful a resource as public attitudes.  There is no end to the extent to which we can mine what the public thinks about this, or that. Occasionally a survey will hit a rich seam of information and insight.  Then again, so numerous are those who are drilling into the public mindset nowadays, that I … Continue reading A few more ‘£s’ and I’ll be opening my own Wellcome Collection…just keep those surveys coming

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

Stem cell research and charities

The world has gone consultation mad.  Another two dropped into my inbox yesterday.  I'm seriously considering booking myself into consultation rehab.  A few days off next week will at least allow me to undergo an intensive consultation detox programme in the meantime.   For those of you who have set aside today to write a response to … Continue reading Stem cell research and charities

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

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?

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

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

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

UKCMRI and other news

In Manchester at the Lowry Centre today for the NHS R&D Forum conference. I have fond memories of Manchester having spent some of my childhood growing up near Wilmslow.  Indeed, it was on a hot sunny day such as this that I remember myself and umpteen other seven year olds sitting on a gym mat listening to … Continue reading UKCMRI and other news