News & Views Index
January 2008



CSIRO Staff Association Urges Carr to Honour Promise of Charter.    (30/01/08)

    They voice apprehensions concerning the delivery of the charter for CSIRO which "was a small election promise that could easily slip off the "to do" list. [More]


Canadian Government Dumps National Science Advisor.    (29/01/08)

    Canada's conservative government led by Stephen Harper has terminated the office of the national science adviser, less than four years after it was created by the Liberal government of Paul Martin. [More]


A Conspiracy of Stagnation?    (25/01/08)

    The US National Institutes of Health Director, Elias Zerhouni, has enlisted demographers and actuaries to predict the ageing of the Institutes' future principal investigators. [More]


Citation Metrics Continue to Make News and for the Wrong Reasons.    (24/01/08)

    Are scientists publishing more duplicate papers? An automated search of seven million biomedical abstracts suggests that they are. [More]


Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Announced Review of Australia's National Innovation System.    (23/01/08)

    In announcing the review Senator Kim Carr, DIISR's minister, said in part: "In today's economy, innovation policy is industry policy... [More]


A Bit of Recent History -- Maths-wise.    (22/01/08)

    A laudatory article in today's Guardian, "Celia Hoyles: The magic numbers: As 'maths tsar' Celia Hoyles tried to persuade us that her subject is useful and beautiful. The mission continues," brought memories of a TFW piece of 2¼ years ago. [More]


88-day Strike of Senior Israeli University Faculty Ends.     (21/01/08)

    Representatives of the senior faculty of Israel's seven universities and Israeli Minister of Finance, Roni Bar-On late Thursday accepted a compromise brokered by Histadrud labour federation chairman Ofer Eini. [More]


Some Observations on Citation Metrics.    (18/01/08)

    It's the 200 kg. gorilla lurking in the room which shows little signs of being moved on by the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. [More]


Group of Eight Issues Its Statement on Freedom to Publish.    (18/01/08) [More]


Senator Carr Writes of a Coming "Magna Charta" to Give Publicly Funded Researchers Freedom of Expression.    (17/01/08)

    The controversy that erupted when DIISR issued its edict that media statements of consequence emanating from publicly funded research institutes must be cleared with the Department, Minister Carr or possibly the Prime Minister, may have culminated in some positive action. [More]


Senior Israeli Academics Continue Strike Now Nearing 80 Days.    (16/01/08)

    The prolonged suspension of classes has now reached a critical stage and there is the very real possibility the coming semester will be cancelled. [More]  


King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Goes the Next Step.    (15/01/08)

    Yesterday the university announced the appointment of Choon Fong Shih, currently vice-chancellor of the National University of Singapore, as its foundation president. [More


Government Told Not to Bowdlerize State of the Environment Reports.    (13/01/08)

    A statement on the SoE website reads: Content on this web site is being reviewed. It currently provides information about programmes formerly administered by the Department of the Environment and Water Resources. [More]


French President Nicolas Sarkozy's Reform of Higher Education and Public Funding Research Moves Forward.    (12/01/08)

    Despite protests the bill was pushed through and in consequence November and December saw student organized occupations and strikes at almost half of France's universities [More] 


UK's Labour Party Backs New Nuclear Plants, Royal Society Gives Cautious Backing, Opponents Claim Hidden Subsidies.    (11/01/08)

    Gordon Brown's Labour Government has approved the building of new nuclear fuelled power plants for the United Kingdom. It has given public assurances that private companies intending to build new plants would be responsible for the entire cost. [More]


Indian Prime Minister Announces Unprecedented Funding for Science Education and Research.    (10/01/08)

    Overall the funding he outlined will require a fivefold increase in the education budget for 2007–12 [More]


Flinders Centre for Science Education in the 21st Century Set Up to Help Arrest Decline in Interest in the Sciences.    (09/01/08) [More]


Senator Carr's Clanger Continues to Reverberate as Julian Cribb's Analysis Attests.    (09/01/08)

    In an extended opinion piece Julian Cribb suggests the machinations could be the basis of a G&S operetta. [More]


Kim Carr to Announce Members of New ARC Advisory Panel.    (07/01/08)

    The Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR), Kim Carr is set to appoint a six member advisory panel for the Australian Research Council, ostensibly with the aim of nurturing the independence of the council. [More]


Christopher Scanlon's Views on Educating Creative Thinkers.    (05/01/08)

    In today's Business Spectator Christopher Scanlon, a research associate with RMIT University’s Globalism Institute points out some home truths which ought to be self-evident to our political masters but haven't been for some years. [More]


When All Else May Succeed, There's Always the International Space Station.    (05/01/08)

    So far no US aspirational presidential candidate has vowed to ditch funding further development of the International Space Station... [More]


US National Academy of Sciences Releases Revised Edition of Science, Evolution and Creationism.    (05/01/08)

    In 1984, the US National Academy of Sciences, published a volume on the evidence supporting the theory of evolution. [More]


The Education Revolution Then and Now.    (04/01/08)

    In Mr Rudd's maiden speech to the Federal Parliament on November 11, 1998 the education revolution was a key issue for the newly anointed member for Griffith. [More]


Science and US Presidential Candidates -- Donald Kennedy States his View.    (04/01/08)

    The editor in chief of the journal Science in his first editorial for 2008 has some cogent comments on the forthcoming US presidential election as regards science and religion. [More]


Kim Carr Shines a Glimmer of Light at the End of the Tunnel.    (03/01/08)

    The Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Kim Carr said yesterday: "[We now have a] unique opportunity to reposition Australia in the global research community... Over time a Rudd Labor Government wants to see a doubling of our research and development effort across the public and private sectors." [More]