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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Newsnight and the STFC

The much anticipated report on the funding crisis by Newsnight was just shown. Good stuff and with more on the website. I am sure this will be spun away as more 'whining scientists' not understanding how jolly lucky they all are. I almost expected the minister to say that all us space scientists and astronomers could start doing world class research with diamond. I think it may be the first time I have seen/heard him speak without uttering the words "13.6%".

A 'leading' space scientist was shown (you know who you are!) and even though they did not state he was talking about STP he still made some good points that hold up for astronomy.

The interview with Keef was interesting. Usually he seems a tad more unflappable; that was the first time I had head a quiver in his voice, he sounded distinctly flapped. Then again if I was being interviewed for Newsnight I would be bricking it as well.

We know that Keef isn't going to resign and we did learn that our anger is because we are scared of change - we knew that line was coming it went round like wildfire at NAM. I'm glad that Prof. Rowan-Robinson got in there and brushed such a stupid thing aside.

STFC say things like that about us and then tell us to stop calling for accountability and wonder why we get upset. See, I am not angry because I am scared of change, I am angry because of the crap job STFC have done since day one. And they may scold us and ask whether we could have done better but that just misses the point. It is their job to do better than this! Simple as that.

It is probably my natural bias but my impression was that the interviewed scientists came over much better than either the politician or the civil servant.

Oh and Brian Cox, for God's sake don't grow your hair that long again! 1997 must seem like a looong time ago.

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