Category Archives: Science & Politics

The unsustainable goal of university ranking

Ranking organisations are seeking to diversify the measures use to evaluate universities. But without addressing the fundamental flaws in their methods, they will crush rather than embrace the rich complexity of our institutions of higher learning When the Times Higher … Continue reading

Posted in Research Assessment, Science & Politics, Scientific Life | 1 Comment

How to value what cannot be measured?

This post is a transcript of my opening remarks at the a Great Debate held earlier today at the European Geosciences Union 2019 meeting in Vienna. The debate asked us to consider the question: What value should we place on contributions … Continue reading

Posted in Academic publishing, Open Access, Science, Science & Politics | 2 Comments

The March for Science: advocacy masterstroke or PR misfire?

Last night made my way to an upstairs room at The Castle pub near Farringdon to participate in a debate organised by Stempra on the forthcoming March for Science. The panel (Photo by Anastasia Stefanidou) The question before the panel and … Continue reading

Posted in Science & Politics | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Science & Politics | 7 Comments

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

Posted in Science & Politics | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Communication, History of Science, Science & Media, Science & Politics | Comments Off on This week – reading, thinking and linking

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