News & Views Index
November 2006



Oxford Dons Vote "No" to Plan to End 900 Years of Academic Self-Rule.     (30/11/06)

    By a vote of 730 votes to 456 Oxford dons yesterday rejected plans that would have brought academic self-rule to an end and handed decision-making at the university to outside business leaders. [More]


The Hwang Affair -- Science Receives the Committee's Report Assessing How the Journal Dealt With the Fraudulent Research Papers.    (29/11/06)

    On September 15, 2006 the Editor in Chief of the journal Science, Donald Kennedy, was sent the following letter. [More]


The Science Network in Association with the Crick-Jacobs Center, The Salk Institute Hold a Forum on Beyond Belief.    (29/11/06)
    The Science Network in association with the Crick-Jacobs Center brought together a group of scientists and philosophers to explore if Religion has a place in the universe, and if so, what? The conversations took place at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, California from November 5-7, 2006. [More]


Where to for Canada's Universities.    (27/11/06)

    The perception of often cutthroat competition between Canadian universities for students, operating funds, faculty and even senior administrators is back in the news. [More]


How to Get A$125 Million in Government Grants to Help Build a New Radio Telescope... If You're Dutch.    (27/11/06)

    Astron, the Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy is building LOFAR, the low frequency array, which is designed to open up a new part of the electro-magnetic spectrum to astronomical inspection. [More]


Pearls of Wisdom from Ministerial Advisors.    (25/11/06)

    It takes neither a rocket scientist nor a brain surgeon to come to the conclusion that federal governmental decisions are driven because the prime minister wishes it so... [More]


A Word from the Hill.    (24/11/06)

    Over the the last six years Republican Sherwood Boehlert has served as chair of the US House of Representatives  Science Committee. This week he gave  Science a long interview in which he explained that when a scientist meets a representative he better get his message across pretty quick smart and much of that message should be why is it of immediate benefit. [More]


Australian Parliament's Debate on Cloning of Human Embryonic Cells Makes Science.    (24/11/06) [More]


97 Not Out and Still Scoring Runs for Science.    (23/11/06)

    1986 co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for the discovery of growth factors Rita Levi-Montalcini now 97 and an Italian "Senator for Life" is still very much making her presence felt in Italian science policy when she sees that matters ought to be put right. [More]


Not So Happy Footed Penguins Get Treatment.    (23/11/06) [More]


The Productivity Commission -- the Minister for Education, Science and Training -- and the Research Quality Framework.    (22/11/06)

    The Research Quality Framework has become a rather unfunny running gag with its being touted by the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop, as being the mechanism that will be "an important reform for Australian research..." [More]


Nuclear Fusion and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Project.    (22/11/06)

    The US$12 billion worldwide attempt to generate power from nuclear fusion was signed into existence today by ministers from the project's seven international partners--China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the United States. [More]


Have They Come to Praise Nuclear Power in Australia or to Bury It?    (21/11/06)

    Prime Minister John Howard's taskforce to evaluate Uranium Mining, Processing and Nuclear Energy Opportunities for Australia? promulgated its 152 page draft report this morning. [More]


A Critical Appraisal of the UK Blair Government's Commitment to Science.    (20/11/06)

    David Sainsbury's decision to step down as the UK Labor government's science minister after eight years in the job engendered immediate and almost universal praise for the man and his furthering of UK science, but... [More]


Science Asks the Recently Appointed Chair of France's High Council for Science and Technology 3 Questions.    (19/11/06)  [More]


Nature's Emma Maris Poses a Few Questions About Science Policy to the Probable Democratic Chairman of the US House of Representatives Committee on Science.    (18/11/06)

    Come January 20 the chairmen and chairwomen of US Senate and House of Representative committees will pass to senior Democrats. In the case of the House Committee on Science Representative Bart Gordon of Tennessee will replace Republican Sherwood Boehlert. [More]


Bishop Ignores Productivity Commission's Caveat, Flags Intent to Implement RQFDAG's Preferred Model.    (15/11/06)

     In a media released issued yesterday the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop announced "The Australian Government will implement a Research Quality Framework (RQF) which will strengthen the assessment of research carried out in Australia." [More]


Beijing Earth Science Conference Told Carbon Emissions Now Rise By 3.2% p/a -- Up From 0.8% p/a 1990-99 Level.     (14/11/06)

    Australia's Prime Minister, John Howard, looks increasingly like a legacy from the 19th century as he continues to straight-jacket development of alternative carbon-free and renewable energy sources and belittles assessments like the Stern Report. [More]


In the UK He is Lauded, in Australia the Prime Minister Would have Accused Him of Going Native.    (13/11/06)
    The Guardian reported on Friday "Academia hails 'scientists' science minister'". [More]


Revamping the RAE Continues to Cause Angst in UK Academe.    (13/11/06)

     While plans to change the UK's labour-intensive Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) after 2008 have wide support in Britain's universities there are serious concerns that the government's preferred option - based entirely on research income and excluding peer review is an appropriate alternative. [More] 


Britain to Dangle New but Small Carrot for Business to Up Investment in R&D.    (10/11/06)

     Last week Britain's Labor Government announced a significant administrative change which it hopes will entice its private sector to move its commitment to research, development and innovation from its current 1.2% of GDP to 1.7% by 2014. [More]


CSIRO Manufacturing Materials Technology Produces a Potential Multi-Million Dollar Winner -- and it's Technology for the Public Good.    (10/11/06)

    As Australians become increasingly alert to the importance of saving water in the home, CSIRO researchers have found a way to use a third less water when showering just add air. [More]


Americans' Views on Global Warming - Nature Reports -- The Wentworth Group Has Its Say.    (09/11/06) [More]


Melbourne University VC Cautions "Mind the Gaps: how should we fund public universities?"    (08/11/06)

    On November 3 The University of Melbourne's vice-chancellor, Glyn Davis, addressed "Making the Boom Pay", a conference hosted by the Melbourne Institute and The Australian, where he addressed the issue of how should Australia fund public universities. [More]


Oxford Dons and Vice-Chancellor Square Off on Governance Issues.    (08/11/06)

    Oxford's professors are preparing to challenge Vice-Chancellor John Hood over the plans to transform the way the university is run. [More]


Political Correctness Hits Gene Nomenclature.    (08/11/06)

    Many genes were initially discovered in the fruitfly Drosophila, and their names were then transferred to the versions later discovered in humans. [More]


A Snapshot of the Productivity Commission's Draft Report on Pubic Support for Science and Innovation.    (04/11/06)

    The 700 page draft report on the state of governmental support for Australian science and innovation and what should be done about it is divided into 11 sections and each is introduced with a set of Key Points plus an initial summary set. [More]


Britain's PM Extols Science at Oxford in "Our Nation, Our Future".    (04/11/06)

    Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, on Friday at Oxford University delivered his speech on the importance of science as part of the British government's Our Nation's Future lecture series. [More]


Stem Cell Research and the Comment of the Chief Scientist.    (03/11/06)

    A couple of days ago TFW sent an email to the Office of the Chief Scientist asking for clarification. [More]


When Those Around are Panicking but You Remain Calm, Mightn't it Mean you Haven't Grasped the Situation.    (03/11/06)

    With the publication of the Stern Report on climate change and what to do and when about it Australia's Prime Minister has reacted predictably. [More]


Productivity Commission Issues Draft Research Report on "Public Support for Science and Innovation.    (02/11/06)

    The Australian Government Productivity Commission's 700 page draft report on Public Support for Science and Innovation was released today. [More]


Royal Society and Australian Academy of Science are Strongly Supportive of Stern Report on Climate Change -- Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering Appears Somewhat  Guarded  While Australia's Chief Scientist Maintains Silence.    (01/11/06) [More]