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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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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Don’t wear new shoes on the first day of a new job. That was my first lesson of the day after a stop for plasters before even reaching the office. But, once arrived, I was welcomed by sunshine, coffee and the fabulous CaSE team. Read More
We regret to announce that the CaSE Science Policy Debate – set for next Tuesday 30th April - is having to be postponed, due to a last minute scheduling conflict. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
We expect a new date to be confirmed very shortly and will contact all registered attendees with this information.
If you any further queries please get in touch.
Last week She Figures for 2012 were released by the European Commission. Published every three years, they provide a wealth of data on the gender breakdown at different levels, and in different sectors, within research and innovation. The numbers bring mixed news, with hints of progress largely obscured by the depressing reality of the widespread underrepresentation of women in research, particularly in STEM fields.
In September of 2010, a grassroots group of concerned scientists and science supporters – Science is Vital – sprang into being and joined forces with CaSE to campaign to stave off threats to the research budget. With the UK’s excellent science and engineering reputation already running on less funding compared to many of our competitors, rumours of cuts in the neighbourhood of 20% or more meant the stakes were high. Our message was simple: healthy science and innovation is a vital component of a strong economy.
Yesterday CaSE attended a Parliamentary debate at Portcullis House, looking at the “key drivers of the UK’s innovation system”. While the question framed at the outset was “Which contributes more to British innovation, research tax credits or universities?”, the discussion rapidly took a different angle, focusing instead on how best to incentivise innovation across all research environments – from large companies to research laboratories, recognising that each plays a different role in driving innovation.
“Campaigners welcome government support for research, but insist more must be done”
The Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) welcomes the announcement in today’s Budget of the expansion of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) – something we called for in our 4Growth campaign – and an expansion of the R&D tax credit scheme.
However, a new analysis published yesterday by CaSE shows that the shortfall in research capital, which stood at nearly £1.7bn following the 2010 Spending Review had now been reduced to just over £300m. Today’s Budget leaves this shortfall unchanged.
New analysis by CaSE shows that the £1.7bn shortfall in research capital the Research Base Budget faced following the 2010 Spending Review (SR10) has been reduced to just over £330m following a string of additional commitments.
CaSE’s paper (Public Funding of UK Science and Engineering – March 2013 update) shows that additional commitments to research capital now total over £1350m.
The UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable, last week suggested that more women should go into engineering to help solve the skills shortage. He highlighted the vital role that women represent in engineering and the need to shift the mindset and reputation the industry has about engineering being a ‘dirty hands’ business suitable only for men.
CaSE has published its March 2013 e-bulletin, giving a summary of all CaSE’s activities over the last month. These include:
- Last month CaSE wrote to the Government, warning that its proposals to introduce a ‘sunset clause’ for the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) could damage the science and engineering sector. Now a new report published by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) – the Home Office’s independent advisory group on immigration – has agreed with our concerns and advised against the introduction of a ‘sunset clause’. Read More