News & Views Index
November 2005



Monash University's Vice-Chancellor Comments on the Cat Tossed in Amongst the Pigeons.    (30/11/05)

        Richard Larkins is vice-chancellor of Monash University and in an article in The Australian's higher education section he evaluates the university model made public a fortnight ago by Glyn Davis, vice-chancellor of The University of Melbourne. [More]


The Plight of America's Public Universities.    (29/11/05)

     The US magazine Nation was founded in 1865 and may be described as assessing "news and analysis on politics and culture from the left."  Its editor since 1995 is Princeton graduate Katrina vanden Heuvel. [More]


Robert May's Last Address to the Royal Society as President.    (29/11/05)

    Lord May of Oxford will be delivering his presidential valedictory address to the Royal Society at the end of the month but to coincide with the opening today of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change the Society has released some of his key points. [More]


There are Reforms... and Then There are Reforms.    (26/11/05)

    Today is the fourth anniversary of Brendan Nelson being sworn in as Federal Minister for Education, Science and Training. [More]


Michigan Universities Up Enrollments a Bit.    (25/11/05)

     Tuition increases announced this fall put the average annual cost of attending Michigan's state universities at just under US$6,700 per annum. [More]


New Report Indicates Profound Problems Face UK Science Education.    (22/11/05)

    The University of Buckingham yesterday released a report by Professor Alan Smithers and Dr Pamela Robinson from the Centre for Education and Employment Research. [More]


Could It Ever Happen Here.    (18/11/05)

    Science reports that Paul Martin's Canadian government as part of its bid for re-election come next year's election is "buying" academics' votes. [More]


Australian Academy of Science Publishes Research and Innovation in Australia: a Policy Statement.    (18/11/05)

    The Australian Academy of Science (AAS) has released it's twelve page policy statement regarding support by government and the private sector for research and innovation. It comes down particularly hard on the lack of support by the private sector. [More]


UK Academic Groups Protest Blair Antiterrorist Laws A Challenge to Academic Freedom.    (18/11/05)

    Some ten days ago the UK vice-chancellors' group, Universities UK, warned that the Terrorism Bill is a threat to academic freedom because ďthe Bill risks criminalising librarians and scientists going about their daily work. [More]


Scientists at Westminster -- MPs Visiting the Labs -- the Royal Society's Version of "Science Meets Parliament".    (17/11/05)

    Robert May, President of the Royal Society, is to host a reception for UK MPs and scientists today as part of the Royal Society's fifth annual "Westminster Week". [More]


Criticism Grows of Dr Nelson's Invocation of His "Star Chamber".    (16/11/05)

    Professor Glyn Davis, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Melbourne and Chair of the Group of Eight, has said that the Group of Eight share deep concerns about lack of  transparency in public funding for competitive research grants, and concurrently, Stuart Macintyre, professor of history and dean of arts at The University of Melbourne has written a blistering opinion piece for The Age. [More]


Criticism of Dr Nelson's Quashing of ARC Grants Mounts -- Seen as Increasing Political Interference in Decisions About Research Projects.    (14/11/05) [More]


Dr Nelson Serves Up the First Course of a Dog's Breakfast to Make Voluntary Student Unionism More Palatable.    (14/11/05)

    It worked to get the Australian Democrats to vote for a mongrelled GST whereby a taxation scheme that was to be introduced to simplify the taxation of goods and services and reduce illegal tax avoidance would pass the Senate. [More]


US National Science Board Develops Draft for Public Comment on 2020 Vision for the National Science Foundation.    (13/11/05)

     During the US Senate budget hearings in February 2005, the National Science Board (NSB), in its role as policy making and oversight body for the National Science Foundation (NSF), was asked to prepare a report on the future of the NSF. [More]


MIT's President Discusses What's Her University For.    (12/11/05)

    This past Monday, MIT's president, Susan Hockfield, delivered in the institute's Kirch Auditorium the Miller Lecture on Science and Ethics. [More]


Australian Research Feels the Ever Tightening Noose of Dr Nelson's Lariat.    (11/11/05)

    First the Research Quality Framework (RQF) black comedy returned for a command performance before Senate Estimates and then Dr Nelson, in a follow up to his melodramatic histrionics at the University of Sydney has undertaken a repeat engagement at second guessing the Australian Research Council's (ARC) grant awards and quashed some half dozen grant approvals. [More]


CSIRO Honourary Fellow Addresses the Crisis of Australia's Ecological Problems.    (10/11/05)

    The Nov/Dec 2005 issue of Australasian Science features a hard hitting contribution, Large-Scale Experiments Needed to Save Australiaís Biota, by Charles Krebs, retired Professor of Zoology from the University of British Columbia and Honorary Fellow at CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems. [More]


Polymeric Optical Fibre Development Wins 2005 Australasian Science Prize.    (07/11/05)

    Alexander Argyros, Dr Martijn van Eijkelenborg and Dr Maryanne Large of The University of  Sydney's Optical Fibre Technology Centre (OFTC) have been awarded the sixth annual Australasian Science prize for their development of a potential replacement of silica-based optical fibres. [More]


"Iím from Missouri and I am well aware of the old adage that sometimes to get a mule to move, you first have to whack it over the head with a two-by-four."    (04/11/05)

    Former University of Michigan President James Duderstadt calling on US Midwestern universities and colleges to pressure legislators for funding to help move the region from a manufacturing-based economy to one thatís knowledge-based. [More]


UK's Chief Science Advisor Writes to Nature.    (03/11/05)

    David King is currently Chief Scientific Advisor to H.M. Government and Head of the Office of Science and Technology. When not being a bureaucrat he is Professor of Chemistry at Cambridge working on "understanding at a molecular level the relationship between surface structure and molecular reactivity, focusing on catalysis." [More]


When ASIO Goes Recruiting Remember This.    (02/11/05)

    When the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation begins to set about hunting for those 980 new recruits to double the size of its staff, it seems reasonable to ask where does it (or Prime Minister John Howard) expect to find them. [More]