Blog Archives

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 […]

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 […]