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Monday, February 18, 2008

Death of Big physics - the definitive answer

I notice that Ian Pearson MP has responded to the hard-hitting article in the New Statesman, Death of Big Physics. Sadly this looks to be a regurgitation of the same DIUS talking points that we have all had in all correspondence from DIUS. Light on substance, heavy in rhetoric.

I'm starting to repeat it in my sleep.

We are NOT stupid, stop treating us as if we are because it only makes you look stupid!

It seems that

[STFC] anticipates that the UK will remain at the forefront of global research.

This may be true, but our reputation will be trashed. Also it will be in-spite of STFC, because we have some damn fine scientists in this country even though they are under-supported by their research council.

Of course it talks about research in that segment of a sentence, not physics. Bit of double-speak perhaps?

Also the broadly level funding of physics exploitation grants, does that factor fEC in? If so they actually mean that there will be a reduction in volume of research. I am continuously impressed at the way in which STFC happily spins for its masters whilst spitting in the face of the scientists. Real nice.

By the way there is an interesting comment under the New Statesman article that purports to give a view from the inside:

05 February 2008

Looking from the inside the whole system is sick. 'Oversight' seems to only ever go one way. From the top down. All the mechanisms we had to set up a research-driven program of science have been systematically dismantled and replaced by a CEO model where the 'head' of STFC 'decides research priorities' and the rest of us are no better than robots. We need Mason to resign and even better, we need the control of the research agenda returned to the community of those who know what research is exciting and worth doing.

I can guarantee this would be a far better use of your tax money than rescuing investors in a failing bank.

Timely final sentiment.

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