Tag Archives: Guest Article

Revitalising primary science

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Research funding and the Scottish referendum

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Making the case for skills

Lord Baker calls it ‘The Skills Mismatch’, Lord Adonis ‘The Fractured Economy’ and now The Prince’s Trust has coined ‘The Skills Crunch’, but whichever snappy name grabs your attention they all boil down to the same thing: Britain is struggling to align its education system with the skill needs of the economy. Read More »

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Help shape the BIS Science and Innovation Strategy

The new Science and Innovation Strategy, which will be published later this year, is an important deliverable for government, because it will set out how we ensure UK capabilities remain world-leading while at the same time contributing to economic growth and scientific excellence.

Science and innovation are key drivers of economic growth and jobs in the UK: for every £1 we spend on research, 50p is generated for the economy each year thereafter. Read More »

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Inspiring the next generation of female engineers

The QEPrize is a global £1 million pound prize that rewards and celebrates the engineers responsible for an innovation that has been of global impact on humanity.

The inaugural prize was awarded to the five engineers who made seminal contributions to the creation and proliferation of the Internet and World Wide Web: Louis Pouzin, Vint Cerf, Bob Kahn, Tim Berners-Lee and Marc Andreessen. As nominations have now closed, we are working on inspiring young people, especially girls, to become engineers. Read More »

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Royal Society Vision

However hard people try, it is clear nobody can predict exactly what will happen in the future. But we can be sure that in five, ten and twenty years time science and mathematics will be at the heart of everyone’s lives, and skills in “STEM” areas will probably be even more essential in order to get a job and to to participate fully in society as a citizen. Read More »

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Addressing the Gender Balance in Northern Ireland

The STEM Business group in Northern Ireland recently launched a report called ‘Addressing Gender Balance- Reaping the Gender Dividend in Science, Technology Engineering and Maths’. Read More »

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Diversity and Science – WiSET

The WiSET team within the Centre for Science Education at Sheffield Hallam University have been addressing the barriers in science (and technology, engineering, maths and built environment) for under-represented groups, particularly women, over a number of years. Read More »

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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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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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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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Opportunity or ability in education?

A few months ago, Education for Engineering (E4E), the body representing the professional engineering community on education and skills matters, published the first in a series of reports on pupils’ participation and attainment in science and mathematics qualifications at key stage 4 in England.

The first report, entitled ‘Opportunity or Ability?’, examined national and regional GCSE results, as well as differences in participation and attainment in science and mathematics between co-ed and single sex schools in both the state-maintained and independent sectors. Read More »

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A science policy for Labour?

In the next two years, Labour will need to develop the policy detail to underpin its commitment to a fairer capitalism and a rebalanced economy. So how can science policy support this agenda?

Labour is now committed to an active industrial strategy that focuses on high performing sectors. Research and development-intensive sectors, including automotive, life sciences and aerospace are likely to be included. The TUC has long called for a sector led industrial strategy, so we welcome this commitment. Read More »

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Help steer the Research Councils

Each year the Research Councils invest around £3 billion in UK research

On Monday, Research Councils UK announced that six of the Research Councils were looking to fill vacancies on their governing Councils.  It probably isn’t the most engaging of our announcements but it could be classed as one of the most important.  Why?  Read More »

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Physics for future jobs

The figures announced this week showing that UK employment has hit an all-time high are obviously welcome.  If the UK is to recover its economic standing, and prosper in the future, then creating private sector jobs will be essential. But what kind of jobs should the UK be creating?

It is clear that if we are to rebalance the economy of this country away from the financial sectors, businesses that are built on science, engineering, and particularly physics will have a significant role to play.  The Institute of Physics (IOP) has launched a report, in concert with Deloitte, that demonstrates how critical physics is to the continued existence of sectors of the economy that support more than a million jobs in the UK.   Read More »

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Party Conferences: Speaking up for science

When I decided to give a speech to the Labour Party Conference on science funding I didn’t expect much of a reaction. I anticipated that people who knew me would give polite congratulations and perhaps a few strangers interested in the topic would comment but apart from that I had resigned myself to the fact that it would probably go more or less unnoticed.

I am delighted to admit that I was wrong. Read More »

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