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Science is Vital

Postby jon_12091 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:11 am

http://scienceisvital.org.uk/

Petition against impending cuts to science funding by the coalition government.
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Postby cathy » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:25 pm

Thanks have signed it. Where is the rally next week? It doesn't say.

See also the front of todays guardian and pages 14 and 15- 'scientists quit Britain in new brain drain.' Academics taking jobs abroad as major scietific research cuts loom. Tellingly it says while we're cutting:

USA science funding will rise in 2010 budget,
Germany all round cuts in economy apart from the federal science budget which will increase,
Canada plans to invest $800million and a further $2.8billion into green tech initiatives,
France has earmarked 5.3% increase in spending on higher education and research,
Australia plans to invest $A2.9billion as part of it's LONG TERM fiscal stimulus and further $A5.7billion into green technology.

Then again this is the Cameron and his tea boy Clegg-not hot on long termism or science are they. Also looks like some universities may end up excluded from research altogether as limited funds get transferred to more internationally recognised institutions. Who knows what that will do to the already struggling areas of science education. Still we'll always have creation science-that doesn't need much money just some imagination and the ability to lie convincingly.
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Postby cathy » Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:10 pm

Is anyone else going to the science is vital rally/protest tomorrow. Charles street 2pm. Will be in London tomorrow anyway so will wander along to have a look. Haven't been to a protest for years.
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Postby Kekerusey » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:27 am

I've signed it ... I've also mailed my MP with the following letter (adapted from the Science Is Vital site):

Dear Hugh,

I am one of your constituents (perhaps one of your more vocal constituents, LOL) and I would like you to:

- sign EDM 767 – Science is Vital (http://bit.ly/edm767)
- sign the Science is Vital petition – (http://scienceisvital.org.uk/sign-the-petition)
- and attend a lobby in Parliament on 12 October (15.30, Committee Room 10).

The evidence is clear that investing in research brings a range of economic and social benefits, and that severe cuts at the very moment that our competitor nations are investing more could jeopardize the future of UK science:

We live in an increasingly technological age and the evidence strongly supports the following:

1. Cuts will harm the economy
2. Cuts will waste the investment already made in facilities and people
3. Cuts will hurt world-class research, not eliminate waste

The Science is Vital [url=[http://scienceisvital.org.uk/][http://scienceisvital.org.uk/[/url]] coalition, along with the Campaign for Science and Engineering [http://www.sciencecampaign.org.uk], are calling upon the Government to set out a supportive strategy, including public investment goals above or at least in step with economic growth. Without such investment and commitment the UK risks its international reputation, its market share of high-tech manufacturing and services, the ability to respond to urgent and long-term national scientific challenges, and the economic recovery.
I have signed the petition at http://scienceisvital.org.uk/sign-the-petition/. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

James C. Rocks
"Science, Just Science" Campaign (http://www.justscience.org.uk)


I keep sending him mails and he keeps replying ... bet I'm getting on his nerves :)

I also sent copies to my family and friends by email and posted it on several relevant sites (including Atheists' Heaven and SJS) ... this is important!

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Postby cathy » Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:37 am

Did anyone else go to the rally? It was the most civilised protest I'd ever been to! Evan Haris compered it and was excellent cos he actually stuck to the point in hand for a change(last few times I've seen him on tv he's ignored whatever topic was being discussed-the popes visit and religion in politics-and slagged off faith schools instead). The woman organising the whole thing is from UCL-she was good. There was Ben Godacre, Colin Blakemore, Simon Singh, a couple of comedians, a cancer surviver, a lady whose mother had had alzheimers and some singing and some other speakers. It was about two hours long. I tried to film some of it on my camera but it isn't very good and I didn't catch some of the best speakers (Blakemore was the best) cos my arm got tired. Apparently Osbourne was in his office so should have seen us all. There was about 2000 there. Will send a letter as well.
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Postby cathy » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:05 pm

Details of the science rally are now on the new scientist website, in current issue. You can hear all the speeches and see video of Evan singing.
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Re: Science is Vital

Postby Roger Stanyard » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:58 pm

jon_12091 wrote:http://scienceisvital.org.uk/

Petition against impending cuts to science funding by the coalition government.


Looks like the science budget is not going to be cut.
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Postby cathy » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:39 pm

So it was worth the two hours stood shouting up at Osbourne then. The only science prof I know had already been offered a job in USA cos he was worried and will prob go as soon as his daughter finishes her A levels in two years anyway. Looks like university science courses will be funded as well but not arts or humanities? Haven't heard all of the spending review yet. Will have to go a find out now. How did it look to an economist? Good or bad? Schools look safe but universities sound screwed.
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Postby Roger Stanyard » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:41 pm

cathy wrote:So it was worth the two hours stood shouting up at Osbourne then. The only science prof I know had already been offered a job in USA cos he was worried and will prob go as soon as his daughter finishes her A levels in two years anyway. Looks like university science courses will be funded as well but not arts or humanities? Haven't heard all of the spending review yet. Will have to go a find out now. How did it look to an economist? Good or bad? Schools look safe but universities sound screwed.


Ask an Economist? You'll get a different answer from each and every one of them.

Me? I'm a Keynesian. Does that answer your question?
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Postby cathy » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:39 pm

I'm not an economist so no :? . Actually yes it does answer and I would guess that you're not impressed on economic grounds? Don't think I am either. Keynes sounds way more logical for the long term though I speak from a level of total ignorance. Cannot see how public sector cuts won't impact on the private sector and welfare cuts won't work with unemployment set to rocket. We've been fairly reliant on cars and chocolate round here (in our little birmingham satellite) so have been hit hard recently anyway. Do economists consider social costs cos there seem to be rather a lot in there? I haven't seen anything that hasn't rattled me for the future even with protected science. And with religion plugging the social gaps-can't wait! Still my job is safe I suppose :( .

And have seen a load of economists on the news and yes they've all given different answers. Thats why I did science.
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Postby Roger Stanyard » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:29 pm

cathy wrote:Cannot see how public sector cuts won't impact on the private sector
They will impact, big time.

cathy wrote:and welfare cuts won't work with unemployment set to rocket.
We're heading for 25-30% unemployment. [/quote]

cathy wrote:Do economists consider social costs cos there seem to be rather a lot in there?

Just to infuriate you, the answer is "yes" and "no" depending on what you mean and the context involved.

cathy wrote: And have seen a load of economists on the news and yes they've all given different answers. Thats why I did science.


Surprisinly that's why I did economics. It allows one to come to one's own conclusion irrespective of what others think. There are no "right" answers in economics. It's like asking 10 different civil engineers to design a bridge. You'll get 10 different designs.

In science you also get paradigms and paradigm shifts. In economics, there is no equivalent. The nearest is a change in the zeitgeist. That seems to change about every 30 years as old ideas get pushed beyond the point where they work.
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Postby cathy » Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:06 pm

Did unemployment reach those levels during the last tory recession? Has any country ever recovered from that without going to war with somebody? Surely social costs will always impact on economic issues and therefore should be considered. Surely even the tories can see that decimating the public sector (for largely ideological reasons I'm sure) to this extent will impact so badly on the private one that even their cronies will suffer. I'm usually too indecisive to reach conclusions quickly :? .
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