Category Archives: Science Policy

The true impact of ‘Pathways to Impact’

On January 13, 2015

The ESA’s Rosetta mission has achieved several firsts in the field of space exploration, but the one that has recently got people talking is the landing of the Philae probe on Comet 67A/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 12 November. This is the first controlled touchdown on a comet nucleus, and it has captured public attention – even if […]

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 […]

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 […]

Physics Focus: Our first year

On April 3, 2014

It’s our birthday: Physics Focus first began publishing a year ago today. Since then, we’ve run 78 articles from 27 different writers, and attracted more than 500 comments from readers. We’ve covered everything from supernovae to storytelling, and from nuclear to nonsense. Here are some of the highlights from our first 12 months.

Where are the scientist politicians?

On March 4, 2014

The other night I attended a talk in Cambridge given by the local Liberal Democrat MP, Julian Huppert. The talk was entitled ‘Science in Politics’, and so, being a scientist who wants to see more of them in politics, I was greatly looking forward to it. After all, how often do we get to hear […]

The spirit-crushing impact of impact

On December 6, 2013

A couple of years ago I contributed a chapter entitled “Science as a Public Good” to a book called A Manifesto for the Public University, edited by John Holmwood, a colleague in the School of Sociology and Social Policy here in Nottingham. As a prelude to the following diatribe   cri de coeur reasoned dissection of […]