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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Where have I been???

Not so much on the blogging front in recent weeks. This is mostly because I have been pretty busy doing the research I am paid to do as well as a spot of travelling.

I went to the Space 08 meeting in London a few weeks back. That was, in my opinion, something of a mixed bag; some interesting things, some pointless things. The panel session was interesting, especially the chap who had an entertaining rant at the government. Also space weather got a big mention as an essential component of any endeavour to increase our presence in space.

Then I went to China for a week, a counry I have never had a huge desire to see. The meeting was something of a mixed bad (deja vu?), but I learned a thing or three and managed to scrape a few ideas into my head.

China itself was... interesting. Not a country I could fall in love with, though Shanghai was impressive. Of course I was a bit biased against as I spent my 32nd birthday travelling (and lost hours due to time zones). The best bit that made up for it was that I got to see my friend David who has been living in China for a couple of years now. Big Highlight.

Also, did you know that there is a Hooters in Shanghai?

I have, of course been keeping up with all things 'STFC-crisis'; sadly it has not been fixed or gone away, rather it has been bubbling away under the surface. You can see an example of this in Andy's blog; he starts on one topic and it rapidly skews around to STFC. I think some people still underestimate the strength of feeling out in the community about this. Some give the impression (intentional or not) that we should shut up and get on with our research; which is a wee bit rich coming from someone busily engaging in the discussion.

Anyway rumour has it that the Wakeham review of Physics will be made public today. That would be nice given it was presented to RCUK and DIUS a couple of weeks ago.

Lots of whispers and scuttlebut about that; particularly suggesting that recommendations were stronger but have since been watered down. Of course, there is little in the way of solid substantiation so who knows. We shall just have to wait and see what aria the fat lady chooses to sing and any other comments the Wakeham review panel might make.

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