Save The Children

Today’s ‘Vision for UK Research‘ document sets out the recommendations for the future of research in the UK. More worrying is the report that the raw material that will be turned into those researchers, a fifth of primary school pupils are failing in English & Maths. The Vision for UK Research document goes to great lengths to compare the UK to China, …

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Take Your Dad To School And Make A Mess

One of the great pleasures of having kids is being able to contribute to their education which I did last week at “Bring Your Dad to School Day” and ‘Whoopee – we were doing science. The lesson that morning was about which things dissolve and which don’t and why. The children were given a variety of materials, sand, sugar, salt, …

nanoSMILE Raises Few Laughs

My thanks to my colleague who masquerades as “The Nanoclast” for bringing nanoSMILE to my attention. Try to imagine a FP6 (or an FP7, for that matter) European Union (EU) project on the risks of nanomaterials first translated into a website that is supposed to be simplified language for the layman and then translated again via an online translator into …

UK Government Rebrands Arts As ‘Science’ To Fiddle The Figures

Part of the problem in engaging the general public about science is widespread scientific illiteracy. It doesn’t help when the UK Government doesn’t seem to have a clue what science is! According to this report The Government now includes as “science”, courses such as nutrition and complementary medicine, geography studies, sports science, nursing and psychology, even though in dozens of …

Europe Searches For A Chief Scientist

The European Union, or is that the European Commission, or maybe it’s just it’s President, well whoever it is wants to appoint a Chief Scientist for the European Commission/Union/etc but it’s unclear exactly why. The candidate should “be able to make a television appearance the moment something scientifically important happens — such as an outbreak of infectious disease, or when …

I’m Jonathan Miller And I Want To Know Why!

As expected, Jonathan Miller’s talk reflecting on “the biology of design didn’t disappoint, and was a object lesson in science communication. As a non biologist (my background is mainly physics, materials, surface science, music and finance) I found it fascinating, informative and quite inspiring. As Miller is a celebrated theatre director, scientist, author and a host of other things, the …

The Biology of Design

Al round polymath Jonathan Miller is giving a talk tonight reflecting on “the biology of design – why do we have faces, what are the forces that shape our symmetry and the patterns we see in nature?” It’s a fascinating subject, and as most of what we are doing in nanotechnologies is simply unravelling how various bits of nature work and …

Anti-Science and Politics

I’ve mentioned the negative views of science expressed by the ‘green’ movement, but according to the Guardian most politicians feel the same, with hardly any thought given to science other than the usual lip service of creating dynamic knowledge based economies, although unfortunately the result we ended up with was less like the Google campus and more like this: I suppose it says a lot about the …