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CaSE Diary

The Case Diary includes the latest information on our activites. The Diary archive, available via the links on the left, includes diary entries as well as all the information from our What's New section.


September 2004
23/09/04 Research Assessment Exercise
SBS today welcomed the House of Commons Science Committee's report on the Research Assessment Exercise and urged the Higher Education Funding Councils to act "without delay," as the report demands, to help universities plan for the future.
"Having studied the issue in details, the MPs agree with SBS that it is crazy that universities will not be given any indication in advance how their scores in the RAE game will be turned into financial rewards," said Dr Peter Cotgreave, Director of SBS. The referee is not telling the players the rules of the game until after it's all over. In fact, the referees, in the form of the Funding Councils, say they're not even going to decide what the rules are until the game is over. It's like living in Alice's Wonderland and the Funding Councils have been told by the MPs that it's not good enough. We just hope they listen".


14/09/04 Science in Scottish schools
Children in Scotland are missing out on science lessons because of a lack of equipment, according to a major survey published today by Save British Science today. "We found that 73% of Scottish schools do not have enough mone for larger pieces of laboratory equipment, and around half of them are cancelling practical classes because their labs are not kitted out properly," said Rosemary Davies of SBS. "This is a real problem, because the Scottish Executive has a strategy of a rejuvenating the economy by building a Smart Scotland. It won’t succeed if teachers can’t deliver high quality science lessons because they don’t have the equipment they need."


press release


10/09/04 Policy research in Scotland
SBS today welcomed the Scottish Executive's drive to ensure it has the research base on which to develop sound public policy, but cautioned that different research funders muct coordinate to avoid other kinds of research missing out. In its response to the Executive's consultation on biological research, SBS praises the Environment and Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD) for increasing the proportion of its research that informs policy-making, but points out that other departments must sign up to the same strategy. In particular, as funding is removed from blue-skies projects, the slack needs to be taken up by a strong budget for the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council.
"The public needs and demands focused research on issues like GMOs, global climate change and mad cow disease, so we were shocked that SEERAD was only spending 25% of its research budget on policy-led research, and delighted that it is increasing this figure," said Peter Cotgreave, Director of SBS, "but as that shift takes place, SHEFC needs to retain a high research budget. Otherwise the policy of increasing policy-led research runs the risk of robbing Peter to pay Paul."