Help, Industry save the UK science funding

(oh and yes I still blog)

I was going to write about Willetts and his speech – but really I missed the boat. I was going to write about a paper I published a few years back to let folk know about all of the wonderful research I do.

I was going to write about how the UK government seems to be turning into a purely rhetorical government. They are supportive of everything in principle, or really they are supportive of industry bailing them out of expensive commitments.

Industry is going to save save academic research income – with not many clear incentives for industry; or academics for that matter well except maybe a somewhat vain hope of money.

It sort of looks like:

Scared academic:
How do we save academic research in the UK?
Government: Easy, Go out there and find a cure for cancer!

Industry is going to save British small businesses too!
Remember Start-up Britain; Richard Branson thinks its cool
(but he isn’t giving up much cash, it doesn’t look like )

And there is the Big Society but a blog is not long enough to even get me started on the Big Society…

But I haven’t blogged about it, in fact I have blogged about hardly anything. Why? Well in part my job, I am setting up a new research group, at a new institution and am generating much stuff from scratch, which is oodles of new work (but good work, not complaining). I am, presently, obsessed by my new job. Don’t have a drink with me any time soon, its about all I talk about *yawn*.

I am also obsessed with what is going on with our UK government, particularly the bit of what is happening with science funding? Why does Willetts just SAY he likes Industry sharing the load (what if Industry doesn’t want to do that) instead of having a plan? I am not obsessed with fact the man said it, but rather

‘What is that supposed to mean?’

Being largely obsessed with my job – which at this stage for me is focused around building a research group – I am writing lots of grants. Grants, grants and more grants; for equipment, for students, for computers, lab kit. You name it I am writing for it. And who am I writing to – anywhere I can and that is available to me. I am by no means unique, this is what all academic scientists do, its part of the job.

What Willetts hasn’t provided is any kind of mechanism for academics interaction with industry, or really vice versa. Its a ships passing in the nights approach – so unless my research is the Titanic, well …. Maybe the Coalition government will come up with a plan for this soon, but for once I would like to see an actual plan, or even just a meagre semblance of a plan instead of just rhetoric.

About Sylvia McLain

Girl, Interrupting aka Dr. Sylvia McLain is a bio-physicist in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford (UK), but she blogs in a personal capacity. She is also a proto-science writer, armchair philosopher, amateur plumber and wanna-be film-critic. You can follow her on Twitter @DrSylviaMcLain
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2 Responses to Help, Industry save the UK science funding

  1. Grant writing – it’s good for the soul.

    Not.

    Good luck with it all, Sylvia. Glad you’re kinda sorta back. 🙂

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