News & Views Index
January 2006



A Pathway to Independence for Young Researchers -- NIH Announces New Grants Scheme.    (28/01/06)

    In 1980 the average age of a PhD investigator winning his or her first NIH R01 research grant was 37. This past year it was 42. How come? [More]


An Australian Portia Assumes the Education, Science and Training Portfolio.    (27/01/06)

    The federal member for Curtin, Julie Bishop, was sworn in today as the Minister for Education, Science and Training and Minister for Women's Issues.  It is far from clear how she perceives the role of universities in the fabric of the nation. [More]


 Awarding of Australian of the Year Shows Off Prime Minister's Disingenuousness.    (26/01/06) 

 "It is a reminder that excellence in Australia is to be found not just in sport, not just in business but also very much in medical science." [More]


Bipartisan US Senate Committee Completes Protecting America's Competitive Edge (PACE) Act.    (26/01/06) 

    Just before Christmas TFW reported on legislation, introduced by a bipartisan group of senators in the US Congress, The National Innovation Act of 2005. Now a bipartisan group of nineteen US Senators worried about U.S. innovation have offered an additional package of bills calling for a US$9.5 billion boost in 2007... [More]


"HIGHER EDUCATION is to Massachusetts What the Citrus Industry is to Florida."    (23/01/06) 

    The president of the Association of Independent Colleges & Universities in Massachusetts has that attention getting opening to his opinion piece in last Saturday's edition of the Boston Globe. [More]


Ten German Universities Short-listed in Competition for Millions of Extra €s.    (22/01/06) 

    Almost exactly two years ago German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder proposed setting up a small number of elite universities similar to Harvard, Stanford, Oxford or Cambridge. [More]


Moving Back from Melbourne to San Diego.    (20/01/06) 

    Science reports the lure of California has proven irresistible for two U.S.-born stem cell scientists now based in Australia. [More]


 Will He, Won't He, Will He Join the Dance?    (20/01/06) 

    We thought we'd better report this today because it may hold no interest by Monday. [More]


What do Macquarie University and the Whitehead Institute of Medical Research Have in Common?    (18/01/06) 

    A couple of weeks ago we reported on the viewpoint David Page, the new head of the Whitehead, takes toward marshalling the research staff. [More]


They Seek Him Here, They Seek Him There, Those Ministers Seek Him Everywhere... or Do They?    (18/01/06) 


    It's mid-January and being the Southern  hemisphere the silly season is still upon us. [More]


International Alliance of Ten Research Universities sign Agreement at Inaugural Singapore Meeting.    (15/01/06) 

    In August last year TFW reported on an alliance of eight, possibly ten, research universities from three continents which was initiated by the National University of Singapore and the Australian National University with the VC of ANU, Ian Chubb as chair pro tem. [More]


Angelides Vows to Roll Back Student Fees at Universities  --  ALP Urges Tax Relief for Poor Singles.    (14/01/06) 

    "Who the Hell's Angelides?" Labor MP Craig Emerson asked. [More]


Let's Play Questions.     (13/01/06) 

    If the first two issues of the year are an indication, Science has introduced a new feature of what might be termed "ask three questions of the new guy in the job". [More]


A Piece of Advice From Julian Cribb.    (11/01/06) 

    Julian Cribb edits R&D Review and Science Alert and is adjunct professor of science communication at the University of Technology, Sydney; he has been engaged to take a fortnightly turn in writing an opinion column for The Australian. He's titled his first effort "Show them what you do". [More]


Responses to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada's Open Letter Asking Canada's Federal Leaders to Outline Their Higher Education Priorities.    (10/01/06) 

    On December 16, 2005 TFW reported on an open letter which the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada sent to the leaders of the four principal Canadian political parties; their replies have now been published. [More]


New York State Governor Pataki Vows Additional Support for Maths and Science Teaching.    (09/01/06) 

    Last Wednesday New York State Governor George Pataki called for new math and science high schools and scholarships for future math and science teachers. [More]


Evolution vs Intelligent Design as Science in the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Judge John E Jones III Presiding.    (09/01/06) 

    The introduction to the 139 page decision handed down by Judge John Jones III in what had become a test case with regard to the teaching of Intelligent Design as science in the public schools of the United States reads... [More]


An Answer to Make Dr Nelson and Cabinet Colleagues Sneer in Disgust.    (09/01/06) 

    But it really isn't of any consequence; it was uttered by an American academic in answer to a question put to him by the journal Science. [More]


Katharine Lyall and Kathleen Sell ask --The True Genius of America at Risk: Are We Losing Our Public Universities to de Facto Privatization?    (06/01/06)   

    Katharine Lyall, the University of Wisconsin System's President Emeritus, and Kathleen Sell, its former chief budget officer through their just published book, The True Genius of America at Risk: Are We Losing Our Public Universities to de Facto Privatization?, have opened a candid public policy discussion about the future of public higher education in America. [More]


Dependency on University Tuition Revenue from Overseas Students Rears Its Head Once More.    (06/01/06)

    Figures divulged through Senate Estimates indicate that university revenue derived from international students increased 142% between 1999 and 2004. Over $1.9 billion came from overseas students in 2004. [More]


Recently Elected Dover, Pennsylvania School Board Rescinds Disclaimer of Evolution.    (06/01/06)

    On January 3 the newly constituted school board of Dover Pennsylvania voted unanimously to repeal a directive requiring students to be informed about Intelligent Design (ID) as an alternative to evolution. [More]


New Ethical Code for Scientists.    (06/01/06)

    The Council for Science and Technology (CST) have issued a new ethical code for scientists and in a statement just released the Royal Society says it "provides a useful basis for producing more detailed codes of practice for specific disciplines". [More]


Australia's Engineers Shortage Noted by Popular Media.    (05/01/06)

    An analysis by a group led by Professor Bob Birrell, Director of the Centre for Population & Urban Research at Monash University, as reported in The Sydney Morning Herald has found that "Severe shortages of professional engineers are now evident in Australia; yet the Australian Government has shown no interest in expanding domestic training levels." [More]


New Report: UK Universities are Finding it Tough to Recruit Science Lecturers.    (04/01/06)

    A new report by Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) shows that "[f]or the past 10 years universities have been trying to cope with rising student numbers by hiring more foreign academics. All the while personnel in engineering and the enabling sciences have fallen significantly. [More]


What to do For and With the United States' Public State Universities.    (03/01/06)

        On September 19 U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced the formation of the Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education. The nineteen member commission has been charged with answering questions such as: "How can [America] make sure [it] stays the world's leader in academic research? And, how can [it] make sure opportunities for quality higher education and the best jobs are open to all students?" [More]