Patients and carers will tell you that all that is good or bad about health research can usually be traced to its source. That place where the idea is first formed by scientists. Eureka moment it might be, they will say, but having patients and carers involved from the beginning can save embarrassment for all … Continue reading Patients have long been working their way upstream in drug research. At last they are up the creek with a paddle. #publicinvolvement #patient-centricity
A colleague in the office sent me this rather good blog on New Philanthropy Capital. In it, Angela Kail talks about, or rather asks the question, why charities generally don't do more to promote the real evidence of their effectiveness rather than rely - or allow others to rely on - anecdotes. My belief is that research … Continue reading Uniting fact and fiction in the name of science
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
Last night saw the annual dinner of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Research. The guest speaker was Dr Venki Ramakrishnan. Venki was awarded the the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and gave an incisive and refreshingly down-to-earth summary of the challenges and opportunities faced by UK science. The ensuing discussion was chaired expertly by … Continue reading The science base in parliament
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
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
It normally grates on me when someone makes passing reference to football or their favourite team in search of the common touch. So forgive me for doing the same just this once. It does serve a purpose.....of sorts. I am sure that those familiar with football punditry - and even those who are not - will have … Continue reading What defines medical research charities?
A Happy New Year to you all. Given that we are all likely to have to suffer several months of phoney elections wars not to mention the odd leadership coup that isn't I thought it would be refreshing to start the year off with a hard, solid fact. In 2008-2009, AMRC's member charities funded 166 … Continue reading Clinical Trials
Last week I was in Scotland to host a meeting of some of our member charities about how we might support their work to ensure science and research is firmly on the agenda of the Scottish Assembly. Held in a curtained-off room in a Starbucks cafe I couldn't help wonder whether this was how it felt in … Continue reading Medical research in Scotland
While the Home Office struggles to recover from its Nutt allergy the rest of us have been busy funding and promoting good science. Our communications officer, Sara, tells me that if I use more searchable terms in my blog headlines I will get more visitors. 'What, more than the million or so I receive each day?' I said. Anyway, … Continue reading A Wellcome round-up to the research week
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
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
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
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
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
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'
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
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?
Hats off to the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) who were the only science organisation as far as I know to approach the political parties about their policies on science ahead of this week's European elections. And no, I am not just saying that because I happen to sit on CaSE's Executive Committee. There … Continue reading Science in Europe