CaSE Blog

The CaSE blog compiles comment and opinion from across the science and engineering policy sector.

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Changes to ‘Exceptional Talent’ visas

On Tuesday a new accelerated visa endorsement process for researchers who have been awarded senior and intermediate-level fellowships was announced. Read More »

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The Medical Research Pledge

On Tuesday leading UK medical research charities and organisations launched a campaign to ask British MEP candidates to pledge their support for medical research ahead of the elections in May.

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Beautiful science

Last month saw the opening of an interesting new exhibition at the British Library: “Beautiful Science: Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight”.

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Running for Nick

Many of you in the science policy community will know that last year Nick Dusic, a former Director of CaSE, died of a rare cancer called Burkitt’s Lymphoma at just 34.

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UK science and growth: doing more with the same

Sharing scientific kit is not primarily about cutting costs but is giving universities and their business partners access to state-of-the-art research equipment.

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Putting learned societies at the centre of the ‘policy community’

2013 marked the 30th anniversaries of the first significant number of AIDS cases reported in Britain, and the UK’s first scientific meeting on what was then a terrifying new disease. Read More »

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How to meet demand for engineering skills

Engineering drives UK economic growth and lies at the heart of our quality of life. From advances in prosthetics, to developing the next ‘big thing’ in electronics, engineers contribute £481 billion to the UK economy, working in every sector imaginable. Read More »

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Inspiring the next generation of engineers

Engineering cannot be taught successfully without an industrial and research context.

If UK higher education is to deliver the quality and quantity of engineering graduates the country needs (and the numbers were demonstrated again last week in Engineering UK’s 2014 report on the State of Engineering), the funding of science and engineering needs a long term cross-party commitment. Read More »

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Raising the profile of science in the Northern Ireland Assembly

All-Party Group on Science and Technology

The formation of the Northern Ireland Assembly All-Party Group on Science and Technology, in February 2012, heralded the start of a new and developing relationship between the science and engineering community in Northern Ireland, Members of the Assembly (MLAs), and the Executive.

The All-Party Group (APG) is chaired by Basil McCrea MLA and managed by the Royal Society of Chemistry, the world’s leading chemistry community. It meets three times a year with the principle objective of bringing together MLAs and others with an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in Northern Ireland. Read More »

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CaSE cross-party debate summary

In October, CaSE brought together the science spokespeople from each of the main political parties to debate the future direction of science and engineering in the UK. The event, kindly hosted by the Royal Society and chaired by Pallab Ghosh, gave us the opportunity to hear from each party on issues ranging from the use of scientific advice in Government through to research funding and matters around diversity in science and engineering. Read More »

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CaSE at the 2013 Party Conferences

Round-up by CaSE Director Dr Sarah Main

It’s time to draw breath after a busy conference season. The Campaign for Science and Engineering was represented at all three major party conferences in Glasgow, Brighton and Manchester this Autumn.

One long-time observer commented to me that there were more scientific fringe events at party conferences than ever before and that they were increasingly well attended. This must be good news for all of us and particularly for CaSE in its mission to raise the political profile of science and engineering. Read More »

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Credibility Across Cultures

At a time when scientific authority is both in high demand and hotly contested, the relationships between science advice, evidence, expertise and policy have been magnified by debates over what should succeed the Millennium Development Goals. Read More »

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Inspiring girls to take up STEM

Once again, this year’s A level and GCSE results show that girls are good at science. Of those that took STEM subjects, girls were more likely than boys to get a top grade. The challenge is to get more girls to choose science, maths and technology – especially when they make choices at 16, in order to increase the pipeline of female talent entering the STEM workforce. Read More »

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CaSE reaction to 2013 GCSE results

Science GCSEs are changing

Today’s results reflect the complex set of options that students and schools face in science education at GCSE level.  We are in a transitional stage which must be difficult to navigate.

Among the options for a science education are Science and Advanced Science (worth 2 GCSEs if both are taken or 1 for Science alone); single subject sciences of Biology, Physics and Chemistry; International GCSEs, which appear to be preferred by some independent schools and academies.  To further complicate matters, this is the first year of examinations for the new Science and Advanced Science syllabus which is intended to be more demanding. Read More »

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Students choose science – CaSE reacts to 2013 A-level results


The Campaign for Science and Engineering welcomes the continued rise in the number of students choosing to study science and maths subjects at A-level.  This upward trend over the last five years has seen increases in both the absolute number of students taking sciences and maths as well as the ‘market share’ of the total.  The sciences and maths stand out as the only subjects seeing significant growth against a background of decline in A-level student numbers.

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Vacancy: Assistant Director

Vacancy: Assistant Director

Central London. £30-36k p/a pro rata – 0.8 – 1.0 FTE

After almost two years, our current Assistant Director Beck Smith is leaving CaSE.  She said:

“I’m sorry to be leaving such a brilliant organisation, but I’m sure that CaSE is only going to go from strength to strength with Sarah as its new Director.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at CaSE and have learnt so much.

However, I am delighted to be joining the Shadow Universities and Science Minister Shabana Mahmood’s team as a Senior Policy Advisor focusing on science policy.   It’s going to be a hugely exciting time and I can’t wait to get started.”

CaSE Director, Dr Sarah Main said:

“We are very sorry to be losing our hugely talented and enthusiastic Assistant Director, Beck Smith.  Beck has led on CaSE policy for the last two years and has made substantial contributions to research funding and innovation policy. She ably steered the organisation as Acting Director between March and June this year.  Beck will be greatly missed at CaSE.  However, I am delighted for her that she is moving on to an exciting new era in her career as a senior policy advisor.”

Full details about the role of Assistant Director and how to apply are below.

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Welcome infrastructure investment – but where are the engineers?

Today, we welcome the government’s long-term commitment to infrastructure investment.  Notably, the infrastructure announcements made by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, in his speech today are all underpinned by engineering.

From building of roads, schools and hospitals; to investment in high speed rail networks, nuclear power stations, flood defences and shale gas; to provision of high speed fibre optic communications for all.

The announcement follows yesterday’s Spending Review, which sets out Government spending for the period 2015-16.  CaSE has produced a briefing paper on what the Spending Review means for science and engineering.

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Inquiry into future of the Science Museum Group

The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee has decided to hold a inquiry into the future of the Science Museum Group.

The Group consists of five museums – the Science Museum in London, The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, National Media Museum in Bradford, National Railway Museum in York, and the National Railway Museum in Shildon, County Durham – which are largely funded by DCMS.

Reductions in grant funding from the department, and the possibility of further cuts in the upcoming Spending Review next month, have raised concerns that one or more of these museums will be forced to close. Read More »

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CaSE pays tribute to former Director Nick Dusic

We at the Campaign for Science and Engineering are devastated to learn of the death of the former Director of CaSE, Nick Dusic, at the age of 34.  Nick was Director of CaSE from 2007 to 2010 and was well loved by those who worked with him here.  He had been suffering from Burkitt’s Lymphoma.

Past and present members of the CaSE staff and Board who knew and worked with Nick have contributed their thoughts and memories.

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CaSE welcomes Chancellor’s commitment to science

Yesterday was a day of positive signals from the Chancellor, George Osborne, about his intentions to make investment in science a priority in the forthcoming spending review.

After holding a breakfast meeting with Science Minister David Willetts, the Presidents of the Royal Academies, and representatives from leading academic and business institutions, Osborne tweeted,

“Breakfast with scientists in No11. Talked breakthroughs, opportunities for British industry and spending – where science is a priority” Read More »

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