The government loves to tell us scientists how good we are at doing ‘more with less’. Over at the Guardian, I’ve posted yesterday about how the UK’s core research budget is again under threat, with the possibility of up to 40% cuts to be announced at the Spending Review in November.
I’ve also summarized how things hav Continue reading
I’m sorry, this is yet another piece of writing in the wake of the Tim Hunt debacle. I find I am still very angry. We are, I hope, reaching the end of the saga yet little in the way of concrete actions which will actually help women in science has emerged or is likely to; this is why I am angry. All those shrill commenters who shrieked ‘sexist foul Continue reading
Technology and hands-on exhibits make the Canadian Museum for Human Rights accessible for visitors of all ages
When I last visited family in the city of Winnipeg, Canada, I had the opportunity to do a tour of the outside of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), as it was not yet opened for the public. On this visit, 2 years later, this one- Continue reading
Posted in Assiniboine River, Canada, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, education, Forks, Holocaust, Holodomor, human rights, Manitoba, Red River, Winnipeg, women's rights
I’m not sure if it’s unconsciously deliberate, but this year – as last – I took a fascinating book about our countryside to read during my week’s holiday away from Cambridge. This year I went to the south end of the Lake District, to a part that was mercifully free of coachloads of trippers. Indeed it seemed devoid of even serious walkers and the p Continue reading
Sometimes when you look at something from a different angle, you see something you’d never otherwise have noticed.
We’ve been trying to grow melons in the greenhouse, without much success: hundreds of female flowers have unfurled, but only a handful have set fruit. Meanwhile, we haven’t been very good about keeping the vines tidy Continue reading
There is momentum building behind the adoption of pre-print servers in the life sciences. Ron Vale, a professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at UCSF and Lasker Award winner, has just added a further powerful impulse to this movement in the form, appropriately of a pre-print posted to the BioarXiv just a few days ago.
If you are a research Continue reading
The Government talks about ‘naming and shaming’ to close the pay gender pay gap, aspiring to close it within a generation. It is perhaps worth remembering when the Equal Pay Act came into force – 1970! 35 years on and we’re still only aspiring to close the gap within another 20 years. This is not aspirational thinking, to say the least. Why do gend Continue reading
The big day is finally arrived: in just a few hours, we are about to get our closest look yet at Pluto. Call it what you will – planet, dwarf planet, even the last word in that classic American solar system mnemonic (“My very educated mother just served us nine pizza-pies” – sung to the tune of “Swannee River“) & Continue reading
As of Friday, Toronto and places near it are officially in the throes of the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. And I find myself with (a) a full media photographer’s credential, (b) access to every single competition venue, and (c) a distinct lack of time to take advantage of it.
My involvement is the end of a somewhat confusing story involvi Continue reading
Technical glitches during talks are all too common, but never easy to cope with. Recently I had a simple talk to give, one which could safely be brought along on a memory stick to the event: I was giving a brief talk to a CUSPE meeting on ‘Effective Policy to Bridge the STEM Skills Gap’ in which I had only a handful of slides with some relevant da Continue reading
For those who were involved with any aspect of REF2014, it had similarities to a slow speed nightmare. For those embroiled in preparing the submissions, not only was it extremely, ridiculously time-consuming, but it was also a heavy burden of responsibility because the potential financial stakes were so high. I have no idea what it was like to be o Continue reading
This angry question, uttered repeatedly by the protagonist of Bualem Sansal‘s courageous and thought-provoking novel, translated into English as “The German Mujahid,” has been permanently etched in my brain.
The story follows the day-to-day chaos in the life of Malrich, a young and poorly educated Algerian immigrant in a Parisian Continue reading
Those of us academics working in UK universities will be familiar with the requirement to fill in forms every so often, accounting for how we spend our working week. Somehow we are supposed to account for every minute of that (ha ha) 37.5 hour week the Research Councils believe we work. When I attempt to do this I always feel defeated by the catego Continue reading
It’s that time of year when all clear-thinking people die a little inside: the latest set of journal impact factors has just been released.
Although there was an initial flurry of activity on Twitter last week when the 2015 Journal Citation Reports* were published by Thomson Reuters, it had died down by the weekend. You might be forgiven for thinki Continue reading
I miss my home town. I miss the sound of cicadids on a summer evening. I miss the construction of a fine, Southern sentence. I miss running around in bare feet. Continue reading