Patients have long been working their way upstream in drug research. At last they are up the creek with a paddle. #publicinvolvement #patient-centricity

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 →

The science base in parliament

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 →

Clinical Trials

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 →

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 →

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 →

Science in Europe

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 →

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