Category Archives: Science & Politics

Grim resolve at the House of Commons on the scientific priorities for Brexit

On Tuesday morning last week MPs, MEPs, and representatives of various organisations with a stake in post-Brexit UK science gathered in the Churchill Committee room at the House of Commons for the launch of  the “Scientific priorities for Brexit” report, … Continue reading

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President Trump – first response

This morning I was asked for a comment on the implications of the US presidential election for the scientific world. This was my immediate response: Unlike the day after the EU referendum vote, when I was bitterly upset, I just … Continue reading

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Higher Education and Research Bill – Letter to my MP

Science is Vital this week launched a campaign to seek amendments to the Higher Education and Research Bill 2016. The bill is a rather dry and procedural piece of legislation but hidden amongst its many sections and schedules are real … Continue reading

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ICYMI No. 6: What is the meaning of Brexit?

Today EMBO Reports has published my commentary on the implications for scientific research of Britain’s recent decision to leave the EU. It’s free to read. The piece is trying to be more analytical than the more personal response that I posted at … Continue reading

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This week – reading, thinking and linking

This past week I have been doing so much reading and writing for work that there has been no time to prepare anything substantial enough for a proper blog post, even if I have been stirred by the excessive protests … Continue reading

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Things to know about policy, science and the public

There has been a flurry of articles of late listing important things that scientists, politicians and the public should know about each other. I am logging them here because I enjoyed each of the pieces and think it likely that … Continue reading

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Debating Open Access

Twelve months after the publication of the Finch Report, during which the new RCUK policy on open access has been published, dissected, debated (including by committees in both Houses of Parliament), revised and implemented, it seems an apposite moment to … Continue reading

Posted in Open Access, Science & Politics | Tagged , | 46 Comments

Open Access: journey without end?

The Science and Technology Committee of the House of Lords, the second chamber in the UK parliament, met this week to hear evidence from various stakeholders on the implementation of government’s policy on open access. In three separate sessions, which … Continue reading

Posted in Open Access, Science & Politics | Tagged , | 21 Comments


The Christmas holiday has unmoored me. End of year exhaustion segued into a bout of ‘flu that knocked me onto my back, where I lay and ached, semi-detached by illness and medication as around me my family made preparations for … Continue reading

Posted in Libel Reform, Open Access, Science & Politics, Scientific Life | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

“You can’t read this book” but you should

Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games spread a warm glow through liberal hearts. His imaginative sweep over British history and culture, which managed to be both reverent and irreverent, was filled with a human chaos that constituted a nicely … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Libel Reform, Science & Politics | Tagged , , | 22 Comments

UK Government Goes For Broke on Open Access

Well that was quick. Less than a month after the Finch working group published its recommendations on the future of open access, UK science minister David Willetts has responded, saying in effect “Let’s go for it.” The government has taken … Continue reading

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