Engaging with the climate enemy

In the November edition of Scientific American, Michael Lemonick discusses the subject of climatologist Judith Curry, who has made herself unpopular among colleagues for engaging with sceptics in online debates hosted on blogs such as Climate Audit. Engaging with the enemy is, say Curry’s detractors, a waste of time and effort. Needless to say, she […]

Read More →
Journalism – here, there and nowhere

Two news items of interest from the latest issue of the National Union of Journalists‘ organ creatively titled The Journalist. The first concerns the domestic situation in Britain… “Jobs in mainstream UK journalism have shrunk by between 27 and 33 percent over the last decade to around 400,000… Conversely, the number of journalism university graduates […]

Read More →
Lazy TV researchers

The PSI-COM email list is a community forum for science communication professionals, but these days it is often used by people looking for help with various media projects, as well as general announcements and job postings (mostly internships and poverty wage positions). Requests for assistance from lazy and barely literate researchers employed in the production […]

Read More →
Liberté, égalité, austérité

Fraternité went out the window long ago. Over at Harry’s Gaff, American contributor Gene muses on the contrast between French and British approaches to economic austerity. In his post, Gene quotes from an article in the Washington Post by its London correspondent Anne Applebaum, who argues that, in the current climate of public spending cuts, […]

Read More →
Maintain your bicycle and you will never need to walk

“I am a bicycle fixer, fixing bicycles People come to me from dawn til dusk Not even for a moment, from dawn til dusk, am I free If you maintain your bicycle, you will never need to walk.” As marketing blurb this has a simple truth to it, and will no doubt ensure that the […]

Read More →
Should we fear a scientific brain-drain?

Recent wailing and gnashing of teeth within the UK science community has in the past couple of days been tempered by leaked indications that the funding cuts to be announced later today will impact relatively lightly on this sector of British society. Still, cuts there will be, and that will mean jobs not being replaced […]

Read More →
Battle cry of la petite-bourgeoisie

I recall watching a television documentary a few years back about the culture and economy of modern France. The focus of this programme was the French obsession with tradition and entitlement, and it illustrated these aspects of the national culture with examples taken from industries in decline, yet which insisted on their right to continued […]

Read More →
Squeeze them til they squeek

My old friend from university days Martin Veart has expressed his unease with the Liberal Democrats’ support for higher education cuts in England. Martin is an active member of the party which is the junior member of the UK coalition government. Martin fears that we will end up with… "…a core of excellent and well-financed […]

Read More →
Lecturer or university teacher?

In all the current hoopla over university finances and student funding in England, one largely overlooked output of the Browne review concerns the teaching credentials of university lecturers. Lord Browne’s panel is recommending that all new lecturers obtain a teaching qualification similar to that required of school teachers. This would involve a significant time commitment […]

Read More →
Science funding cuts

Just for the record, I have nothing to say about anticipated cuts in state funding for science and engineering research in the UK, about which we will know nothing until later this month when the government’s comprehensive spending review is made public. Nor have I anything to say about a report from the research councils […]

Read More →
fff