Lies, damned lies, and Ofsted’s pseudostatistics

On July 23, 2014

It’s been a week since Michael Gove was unceremoniously given the boot from his role as Education Secretary. The cheers of teachers still echo around staff rooms and schoolyards up and down the country. Gove was variously described as incredibly unpopular, a hate figure, utterly ruthless, and a “toxic liability”. And that was just by […]

Independence could hurt Scottish science

On June 24, 2014

The nationalist administration in Scotland’s devolved parliament will, on 18 September, ask those living north of the border to vote on the question, ‘Should Scotland be an independent country’.  Scotland’s academics, like everyone else, are considering what is best for their research and teaching outcomes, what is best for Scotland’s universities as a whole, and […]

Physicist, 36, father of one

On May 27, 2014

More than 700,000 people do it every year, and more than 90% of those who do it are women. It costs those women between four and 27% of their salary, depending on how many times they do it. Taking a career break to care for your children can be a thankless task. I did it, […]

The laws of physics are undemocratic

On May 21, 2014

Yesterday saw the start of the Circling the Square conference at the University of Nottingham. This is a rather unusual meeting which has the lofty aim of bringing together social scientists, those in the arts and humanities, policy ‘wonks’ (for want of a better term), science communicators, and natural scientists (including physicists, of course) to […]