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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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