Author Archives: Imran Khan

Vacancy: CaSE Director (£47,000 – £52,000)

Science Minister David Willetts speaking at CaSE's 25th anniversary celebration in 2011

Science Minister David Willetts at CaSE’s 25th anniversary celebration in 2011

Central London – deadline 28th Feb 2013

The deadline for this position has now passed.

The Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) is looking for a strategic, articulate, and highly motivated individual who is passionate about science and engineering to lead the organisation.

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New trustees, departing director

Imran Khan

Imran Khan has led CaSE since 2010 and will be departing in March

As 2013 gets underway and we wish all of our readers, members, and colleagues a happy New Year, we’re also announcing some major personnel changes here at CaSE – the departure of our director, and the appointment of six new trustees.

Departing director

The first is that Imran Khan, our director since 2010, will be leaving the organisation in March. He is set to take over as Chief Executive of the British Science Association in April, succeeding Sir Roland Jackson who is stepping down after ten years in charge.

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CaSE backs Osborne’s science ambition

CaSE has today welcomed the Chancellor’s pledge of an extra £600m for new science funding as part of the Autumn Statement, the biggest single announcement of new research spending since the beginning of the coalition.

George Osborne

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Lord Heseltine delivers Annual Lecture 2012

John Russell: Campaign for Science and Engineering: Annual Lecutre with Lord Heseltine &emdash; Lord Heseltine, the former Deputy Prime Minister, used the 2012 CaSE Annual Lecture to call for science to help drive the UK’s economic growth.

Heseltine – who served in the Cabinet under Margaret Thatcher and John Major, and ultimately became Deputy Prime Minister – recently published his report ‘No Stone Unturned‘. The report, commissioned by George Osborne and Vince Cable, makes 89 recommendations for getting the UK back on the path to prosperity. Read More »

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Reinvest the 4G windfall in science and technology

4GrowthCaSE and Nesta have launched our  new campaign, ‘4Growth‘, which calls on the Government to invest the proceeds from the forthcoming 4G spectrum auction.

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Party Conferences: Did the leaders talk science?

Miliband, Cameron, CleggCaSE has analysed the speeches of David Cameron, George Osborne, Ed Miliband, Ed Balls, Nick Clegg, and Vince Cable for mentions of science, technology, engineering, maths, research, and innovation.

Vince Cable and David Cameron scored highest, with Ed Balls and Ed Miliband performing less well.

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Party Conferences: 4G for homes, or innovation?

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is today calling for a new short-term home-building programme and a two-year stamp duty holiday. The plan is intended to get the economy moving again, and would be funded with the sale of the 4G mobile spectrum.

We do need economic change, and home-building is a potential vote-winner. But – bearing in mind that it was an unsustainable property boom that helped to cause the financial crash in the first place – is it best use of the windfall? Read More »

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Lib Dem MP discusses new science proposals

Julian Huppert MP

“Science and research are critical to our future health, wealth and happiness. The UK has a proud history of leading the world in ideas and innovation that have changed our planet and way of life.

But in recent decades, the UK government has not sufficiently recognised the importance of research and development. This country spends less on R&D than we used to, and than other countries do now.

If unchecked, this decline threatens to hurt our economy, reduce employment, and render the UK ever more reliant on buying innovation from overseas at great expense.

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Slower gains, but still great news for science GCSEs

Triple Science GCSEs

'Triple Science' GCSE entries

It’s been another another good year for science GCSEs, with physics, chemistry, and biology each enjoying a 12.3% rise in entries compared to last year. Although less emphatic than last year’s rises of nearly 16%, the trend is vitally important.

There’s also good news for gender balance, with more of the increase coming from girls taking science than boys. Both of these changes now need to continue to filter through to students taking A-levels.

You can see the full results on the JCQ website.

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Vacancy: Project Officer (£26k p/a, 3 month contract)

Central London. £26,000 per annum, pro rata (£6,500 fixed-term 3 month contract)

The deadline for this position has now passed. Deadline: 9:00am, 30th August

The Campaign for Science and Engineering is the UK’s leading independent advocate for the STEM sectors. We are a charity with a track record of influencing policy and media at the highest levels, and focusing on the critical issues facing the UK. We want the UK to have world-leading research and education, skilled scientists and engineers, and innovative businesses.

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New science proposals from Lib Dems

The Liberal Democrats’ de facto science spokesman, Dr Julian Huppert MP, has published a paper outlining where he thinks the party’s science policy should be heading.

Developing a future” is the party’s first dedicated science policy paper since 1991 – and, more importantly, the first that has been developed while the party is in Government. As an added interest for CaSE, we took part in Dr Huppert’s consultation, and have been eager to see the outcome.

You can read the full policy paper here, but we’ve pulled out some selected highlights below.

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Lords echo CaSE concerns on higher education

The House of Lords Science & Technology Committee has published its new report on Higher Education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) Subjects, following an extensive inquiry to which CaSE submitted evidence.

Lord Willis, chair of the sub-committee responsible for the report, commented that “it is vital that higher education in the UK has a strong STEM sector and is able to produce the graduates and postgraduates hi-tech industries will demand.” Read More »

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New STEM Disability website launched

This week sees the launch of two projects aimed at removing barriers for disabled people in science and engineering.

The STEM Disability Committee, of which CaSE is a founding member, launched its new website. The site is set to become the sector’s main resource and portal for people studying or working in science and engineering.

CaSE director Imran Khan also opened a special event at the Royal Academy of Engineering, where a a new set of British Sign Language signs developed for the STEM curriculum were launched.

Speaking at the launch, Khan commented:

“The UK is going to need smart and driven scientists and engineers – and lots of them. We need to be including as many children as possible in science at school, and hopefully this BSL project will help take down some of the barriers which exist right now.”

“We’re still in the early days of really tackling the disability agenda in science, and hopefully the new website will be a big part of our efforts in the future. The resources on there should mean that there are fewer people who have to reinvent the wheel when working, or studying, in our sector.”

“The science and engineering sector wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for taxpayer support, so it’s crucial that our institutions improve accessibility for everyone.”

The STEM Disability Committee’s members are the Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering, Society of Biology, Royal Society of Chemistry, Institute of Physics, and CaSE. It was first formed in 2010, after a call for action from CaSE.

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Government confirms end of R&D Scoreboard

We’ve been told by Government officials that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will not be reinstating the Research and Development (R&D) Scoreboard, citing budgetary concerns.

The R&D Scoreboard was a leading source of information and analysis on the UK’s private-sector R&D activity. CaSE had registered our concern with BIS and worked with a number of our members to try and convince the Government to change its mind. When we’re trying to increase private-sector investment it’s important that we can see whether the Government’s strategy is working or not.

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CaSE calls for focus on research funding

We’ve welcomed the new activism group ‘Science for the Future‘, but want to reiterate the need for the research community to focus on the backdrop of cuts to the science budget. Our Director, Imran Khan, commented:

“It’s good to see Science for the Future mobilising researchers to have their say in the crucial debate over how research spending gets awarded, once again disproving the myth that scientists aren’t politically active.”

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Kitemark for science and maths education

CaSE Director Imran Khan has written in the ‘Times Educational Supplement’ on the need for a kitemark in the teaching of science and maths education. We’ve re-published it below.

For a full summary of CaSE’s work on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education see here.

“IN BRITAIN we’re okay at teaching science and maths. Not bad, but certainly not great. This should worry you. Our school-leavers deserve and need to understand the modern world around them, and as a nation we need to be able to compete in a global high-skills economy.

If this is to change, our science establishment should take it upon itself to do even more to promote and celebrate best practice in education.

Challenges Ahead

Despite the UK’s reputation as a beacon of excellence, with only the US possessing a longer list of Nobel laureates or Fields medallists, we really are mediocre at educating the next generation. The Programme for International Student Assessment’s (Pisa) 2009 survey of 65 nations ranked us 28th for maths and 16th for science – behind countries such as Estonia, Poland and Slovenia. A recent comparison of 24 advanced economies showed that England, Wales and Northern Ireland were the only ones in which fewer than one-fifth of students studied maths post-16. Read More »

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Latest immigration changes protect science and engineering

The Home Office has just released its latest ‘Statement of Intent’ on immigration. There are two bits of good news for science and engineering.

The first is that the Government will be keeping the overall limit on work-related non-EU immigration static at 20,700 per year. There had been some concern that it would be reduced, given the relatively low levels of visas actually taken up last year.

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CaSE welcomes immigration report and changes

Settlement

Today the Government has announced new provisions around settlement, making it harder for immigrants to stay in the country after having been here for five years. Immigrants now have to meet a salary threshold, or be forced to leave the country. When this was first suggested CaSE raised concerns with the Home Office, including via a well-publicised letter to The Times, that this would deter some of the world’s brightest talent from considering the UK as a destination.

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CaSE responds to Lib Dems on Science Policy

Last week we responded to two Liberal Democrat policy reviews.

Dr Julian Huppert, the MP for Cambridge, wrote to CaSE inviting us to contribute to his review of Lib Dem Science Policy. He is particularly looking to concentrate on money, people, and policy-making – click here for our reply to him. You can also send your own thoughts to libdemsciencepolicy@gmail.com.

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Good news for computing in schools

The Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) is today welcoming the Government’s plans to reform computing education in schools. The decision is an important one not just for the UK’s growing digital technology sector, but for wider society and economy too.

 

We’re really pleased that Michael Gove has listened to us and others in the sector on this issue. Computer literacy is becoming more and more critical in the modern world, and it’s now essential for a whole range of disciplines from healthcare to aerospace.

 

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