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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Still no analysis here


...but there are community views all around.

Andy Lawrence:
If you were expecting a whitewash, think again. Its pure Semtex.


Stuart at the Astronomy Blog is looking to the future:
I hope the situation improves soon and everyone can get back to doing some real science.


Chris Lintott seems unsure of the criticisms levelled the executive:
And that’s it; the conclusion is nasty - calling for substantial changes in the way the STFC is run, and questioning Keith Mason’s ability to carry out these changes. I know that others will jump on these, and who knows, they may be right to do so. It’s a difficult call from my position, but to be honest I don’t care who is in charge. If we can just hang on until the Wakeham review, then the report would have done a great deal of good.


Short and sweet from Chesneycat:
Hell, YEAH!

and
Abso-bloody-Word.


e_pepys with a view from the inside:
I am impressed by how they seem to have grasped the essential issues and make excellent recommendations (and not just those that say we should be fully funded).


My take?

I think the report does a good job of getting to the root of the problem.

Yes I have lambasted STFC and its embattled CEO but the issue has always been bigger than that; I have often described it as a two pronged problem.

On the one hand you had the major cock-ups in handling the situation by STFC and on the other you had the settlement from DIUS and their inability to recognise the problem at any stage throughout this process.

In the comments to his latest blog post Andyxl had this to say:
You could see all this as a classical tragedy. The fall is determined both by the characters intrinsic flaws. and the historical dilemma they find themselves in.

which has merit as a description of the situation.

There are plenty of good recommendations in the report that should be followed up, though I am uninspired by the initial two responses from STFC, the first from the CEO and the second from council (on which the CEO also sits). I was particularly gobsmacked by this:
The report calls for changes to STFCs management structure. This was addressed in February when our new executive board was announced. A restructuring of STFC is being implemented by Professor Richard Wade, STFC Chief Operating Officer
You see the report says:
We do not have any confidence that rearranging the responsibilities of the existing staff will solve STFC’s problems. There is, as noted earlier, immediate need for a Communications Director. However, the management failings at STFC go deeper than this. The events of the past few months have exposed serious deficiencies within STFC’s senior management, whose misjudgements could still significantly damage Britain’s research reputation in this area, both at home and abroad.
See paragraphs 106 and 107.

Note that the committee is saying that the rearrangement done in February was not enough. Yet in rebuttal to this Keith offers the argument that he has already addressed this by rearranging the management team in February.

Can he not see how ridiculous that is? I would love to see how John Stewart of the Daily Show would cover this.

My only conclusion from Keith's response is that he is treating the report with the same scorn that many in the community feel he treats us.

Anyway, there you go, you got a little bit of analysis from me after all.

More to come I am sure...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The wait is almost over...

...and anyone expecting a detailed analysis of the IUSS report at 00:02 BST from me is going to be sadly disappointed.

I have seen said document and I am likely to comment on it at some point tomorrow but I am not going to be preparing anything until then.

Quite frankly I have been busy doing some exciting research and having pleasant out-of-work time doing different things.

I shall sit back and enjoy the potential shit-storm that might (or might not) materialise tomorrow. I wonder whether Newsnight will do a follow up piece?

It's the final countdown (do-le-do dooo, do-le do do do)

Quite a few physicists (and other scientists) in the UK have been anxiously waiting for the report from the IUSS select committee inquiry into the science budget allocations.

Well the wait is almost over, and just to help crank up the tension I present the IUSS report countdown clock:




And for those of you who fail to get the reference in the title (shame!), a special treat can be found here. For those of you who do get the reference, spare yourselves...

Monday, April 28, 2008

A grand day out

So last week we went wandering across a frozen lake; on Sunday past we went blasting across one on snowmobiles!

We headed through some light wood, across a frozen lake and then through some thicker forest before stopping for lunch at the top of a high hill.

The view was quite special. That big white expanse was the lake that we were crossing in the previous picture.

One minor drawback of staying out here is that you rarely get to see the horizon because of all of the trees; for someone who grew up by the sea and lives near there now. this can be an issue.

The view from the top of the hill solved that bit of yearning for a bit!


Anyway here is where we stopped for lunch; a shelter and fire-pit for public use with a well kept woodstore and even an out-house!

Do such things exist in the UK? Do they remain vandalism free? I guess that if they are remote enough they would.

The fun did not stop there, we also had sauna and cut a hole in the ice for ice swimming. More of that later.

Ice fishing


I mentioned last week that I had been ice fishing.

Here is photographic evidence!

Photo courtesy of our host here in Finland who deserves better than to be associated with this blog!

I'm wearing the hat not because it was cold (note the discarded coat behind me) but because it was very bright and my skin likes to go red very quickly.

Especially the skin in my rapidly growing bald spot...

Tee hee

Long time readers of this blog (helloooo, are there any?) who remember the early days and my (now dwindling) fascination with US politics (ah the much missed Cabal days) will understand why I love the idea of this and why each post just makes me giggle more.

Of course I have just been in the Sauna with a few beers so I may have more of a predilection to giggle than usual.

By the way, if you have come here looking for comment on the IUSS report on Science Budget Allocations then you can wait until Wednesday.

There ain't no way I'm breaking that embargo!

Friday, April 25, 2008

And. They're. Off! Yippee Kay Yay mother f*****

This has got to be one of the most disturbing news items ever written:

Die Hard star Bruce Willis is tipped to play Formula One commentator Murray Walker on the big screen.

This is the most bizarre casting ever:


Famous action movie star Bruce Willis relaxing after a hectic day's shooting










Renowned racing correspondent Murray Walker enjoying his retirement.







OK, OK, I get it, all bald men look alike.

I really want to know if Bruce can pull off Murray's distinctive voice. And whether he will be fine saying line after line of dialogue in a Walker stylee.
I will be very impressed if he can capture that almost-wetting-himself excitement if it looks as if two cars might be within 1 foot of each other. And if he gets to smack the actor playing Nigel Mansell on the bonce.

Anyway the story just gets worse.

'How much worse?' I hear you ask; this much worse:

In the film, the character is expected to narrate the tale as well as feature alongside Schumacher.

AHHHHHHH! He's retired, he was good but not that good! How would a story like this interest an American audience who hardly care about F1 anyway? Especially given that their biggest memory of Schumacher is probably when he cocked up the finish of the 2002 US grand-prix by gifting it to Barichellos

Willi Weber, a former Formula One champion and Schumacher's agent said: "Bruce Willis would certainly do Murray justice."

What? On which plane of existence? Is it because of the striking similarity in muscle tone, build and bone structure? Or just because they are both bald?

And worse:
Weber added: "A Hollywood producer is interested. It would be called The Michael Schumacher Story, with him as the main actor."
AHHHHHHHH!

And the only voice of sanity in this? The man himself, Murray Walker:

Walker admitted to being a bit "shell-shocked" when he found out that Bruce Willis was going to play him in the film.

He said: "I had to make sure when looking at the calendar that it was April 25 not April 1."

He said jokingly: "I always regarded Bruce Willis as a mirror image of myself, don't you know...a much younger version though."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

St. George's Day

Traditionally this is the day when all true Englishmen simply ignore that it is St. George's day and do nothing to celebrate.

In fact if you want to truly revel in your Englishness it is helpful to completely forget that it is the day of your patron saint and go about business as usual.

Of course it is essential that you get completely rat-arsed on St. Patrick's day!

For the record...

Things on the STFC funding crisis front have quietened a bit in recent weeks.

Obviously the ad-hoc advisory panels are busily sifting their way through the mountains of submissions they have received in an attempt to provide community input to the decisions on what facilities (and programmes) to close down.

But although it may be quiet it is not silent out there.

Paul Crowther has a very nice article in Research Fortnight entitled Trail of ineptitude. In this he sets the record straight over a number of things claimed by the STFC executive at the meeting at NAM. Some confusion over the claim of a 40% increase in academics is cleared up (there wasn't one according to the figures available from STFC)

So, why the factor of 10 difference? It seems that the figure of 40 per cent was taken out of context from a letter to astronomers from Cruise. The letter records that “the academic staff in the groups reviewed [for ‘rolling grant’ applications in 2007] has increased by 37 per cent since the last grant round for these groups.” This is not an illustration of an unsustainable increase in the number of astonomers, as Mason implied. The figure simply reflects a shift, among less than one third of astronomers nationally, towards bids for long-term ‘rolling’ grants instead of short-term responsive ones.


Assuming that Paul's figures are accurate this was quite a silly mistake to have made when trying to 'explain' the roots of the problem to a room full of your stakeholders. Actually, silly is too weak a word, this was a terrible mistake; I'm not sure how a cock-up like that would be viewed in industry.

Paul articulates well the annoyance many of us have experienced with regard to the 'spin' we see coming from both government:

The Prime Minister’s office responded to the e-petition earlier this month, arguing that claimed reductions in funding were simply unfulfilled “aspirations”. This was unwelcome ‘spin’ for the hundreds of scientists and engineers at the STFC’s laboratories who had been offered redundancy, and for the users of new facilities that faced the prospect of immediate closure.

and STFC:

[The STFC press release] noted that “funding for physics exploitation grants would remain broadly level in the next financial year [2008-09]”. The announcement led many observers to believe that there had been a U-turn over the planned reduction in grants of 25 per cent, which is part of the package of cuts. But it was nothing of the kind [RF 20/2/08, p18]. ...The result [of the astronomy grants round] was a dramatic reduction in the number of post-docs and a frank admission, from Mike Cruise, chairman of the STFC’s Astronomy Grants Panel, that severe damage had been done to “STFC’s ability to deliver its mission”.

Paul also tackled a subject close to his heart, the treatment of Gemini, by contrasting John Womersley's stalk warning of the dangers associated with the community's public complaining*
with Keith's claim that

“you were all ‘had’ by the Gemini Board”

Considering this statement was made in an open forum that contained scientists (who talk to their colleagues), journalists and bloggers this was a crass comment to make. As Paul implies, it will hardly endear the UK to our international colleagues, especially when Mason's version of events does not seem to match the public record, which is all we have to work from.

Remember that Prof. Rowan-Robinson corrected the claim that STFC was responding to the RAS report on our withdrawal from Gemini on the spot**. Yet another gaffe that should have been avoided?

Paul manages to end on a better note by cautiously praising STFC and the government for making those small steps that show they have started to respond to the massive concerns of the community. Though he wisely points to the continuing worries that we have in the way in which our input is being sought.

Panel members are uneasy about this topsy-turvy approach to decisions over scientific priorities but, without any alternative, they feel obliged to embrace any opportunity to reshuffle the rankings for projects within their area of expertise.
His last short, but simple, plea will resonate with many in the UK scientific community:

Please, though, no more spin.


For me this article has highlighted a deeper issue. Given the litany of cock-ups, gaffes, spin and patronising attitudes how can I, or anyone else in the community, have any faith in their actions from here-on out?

What can STFC really do now to address this lack of trust? It will take more than claims that they are listening and the baby-steps towards consultation, engagement and transparency that they are making. It will take time and even then 'once bitten, twice shy'. It is one reason why many scientists want big changes in the make-up of the upper-echelons of STFC.


* I am still trying to figure out when our complaining stopped being useful and became potentially very dangerous to our future. It was that momentous epoch that the advice from STFC (essentially we should be quiet) went from being very wrong to very right.

**To be clear Mason said that the RAS report was the first that 'he' had heard about it. He did not attempt to correct Rowan-Robinson so we can only assume that the President of the RAS' interpretation of Keith's meaning was correct. However Keith could argue that the STFC statement that the RAS were responding to went out without his knowledge. I find that immensely difficult to believe and, if true, it would constitute a major cock-up in the way STFC handles international agreements and relationships.

Monday, April 21, 2008

MST vs. GMT

What on Earth?


Muslim scientists and clerics have called for the adoption of Mecca time to replace GMT, arguing that the Saudi city is the true centre of the Earth.*

What does that even mean??? Centre of the Earth?

It gets better though:

One geologist argued that unlike other longitudes, Mecca's was in perfect alignment to magnetic north.


What does 'perfect alignment' mean?

How does the fact that the position of the magnetic north pole varies throughout the day fit with this wonderful theory?


Or what about the fact that the measured position of the pole suggests it is merrily whizzing across the polar cap from Canada towards Siberia?

It doesn't look as if it is following a particular longitude that might be in 'perfect alignment'. What do you think?
(Image pinched from the Natural Resources Canada website: www.nrcan.gc.ca)





* To be fair I feel that although strictly accurate in that the scientists calling for the change were Muslim, the reporter could almost be giving the impression that 'all' Muslim scientists were making this demand.
I know this sounds pedantic but there are really stupid people out there who cannot tell the difference between some and all in this context as it fits their preconceived notions.
And I don't actually mean who you probably think I mean.

So I'm looking...

...out of my window of my temporary office and marvelling that this whole observatory is within a forest. I don't mean that they made a big clearing and built the observatory, rather the observatory is actually within the forest, trees throughout partially concealing the different buildings on the site. It's very beautiful.

At the moment there is snow everywhere and it has been sunny and hot (in the sun). I notice that it has now clouded over for the first time., I am not sure whether this heralds snow or rain. Anyway I am up here for 4 weeks working on exciting collaborations and pumping out the papers, all paid for by the EU on the LAPBIAT programme. We have just had a productive meeting discussing our science ideas and who needs to talk to whom to do what. All good stuff and lots of potential.

It seems that I have picked an interesting time of year to come. Sadly it is unlikely that I will see much aurora as the background sky is too bright. It will need to be very intense emission and happen soon as the sky is only getting lighter at this time of year. However, it is likely that I will see most of the snow disappear during my time here with the rapid onset of spring. Unfortunately I might also catch the start of the mosquito season...

C&H homage

Having been a fan of Bill Watterson's work for many, many years this cartoon made me laugh out loud.

It captures the spirit of the strip perfectly with a great pay-off at the end.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Experiences

Today I:

  1. Walked across a frozen lake
  2. Caught three Perch whilst ice fishing
  3. Roasted sausages and fish in the open air then ate them
  4. Ate some delicious Moose.

Shame I forgot my camera!

By the way I am in Finland now and will be here for a month

More soon.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

STEREO

There is a nice article on the BBC about STEREO, the twin satellites that monitor the Sun from positions up and and down orbit from the Earth. This gives them a unique view of the solar wind that buffets the Earth's magnetosphere and the impressive transients it contains.

There is a great movie of a coronal mass ejection (CME) being belched off the sun and ripping the tail from a comet.

This is a great mission that has only really just begun. STEREO will be really great when used in conjunction with other instruments both looking at the Sun and around the Earth. We can now track features in the solar wind to a level that is unprecedented and observe their effects on the Earth. Why does one coronal mass ejection cause one effect in the Earth's magnetic environments whilst another does something different? Well with STEREO we might be able to answer that by understanding the differences in those magnetic clouds.

Very cool.

This was reported at the European Geosciences Union annual general meeting in Vienna. This is one of the major meetings for solar-terrestrial physicists and it is why there is always some concern over whether MIST goes to the RAS NAM meetings as they often seem to collide. That is something that needs fixing!

Making best use of the available Space

An interesting article by Paul Rincon at the BBC:

The British National Space Centre (BNSC) was set up to co-ordinate civil space activities across government.

The BBC has learned that staff will be moved to Swindon to sit with the agencies that fund UK space science.

BNSC will also lose some industrial duties to an agency tasked with fostering innovation in the UK economy.

How does this fit into the current STFC funding crisis debacle and the STFC trend towards space technology? Well this is interesting:

He commented: "This decision is in line with the Lyons review to de-centralise public sector activities outside London.

"As part of the move, the government is proposing to transfer some areas of management and funding of current DIUS-funded space programmes to the Technology Strategy Board."

This all needs some very careful watching.

For light relief this bit made me snigger:

The BNSC came in for robust criticism last year in a report by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.

The committee said the centre lacked leadership and co-ordination; a low profile and poor resources contributed to the problems.

Remind me, who chairs the UK Space board of BNSC?

OK cheap shot, I know.

Monday, April 14, 2008

STFC at the NAM

Over a week has passed since the end of NAM 2008 and the STFC forum.

Obviously at that meeting it was requested that we cease criticising the STFC management and this blog took that to heart hence the lack of posting here.

Naw, not really. I have just been busy working and relaxing. For those who were not able to attend the forum and want to hear what was said then you can listen to the mp3 (one of several) recording of the event. My impression was that the panel got something of an easy ride, yet still managed to put people's back's up. A number of things bothered me about the forum and I'll try to articulate them here (not in chronological order).

Keith started with a 5 minute tutorial on DIUS accounting as it applies to STFC. Amusingly he later said that to understand the STFC figures a week's course is needed. His argument that he is sparing us having to look at the minutia in hordes of spreadsheets is illogical. By making them available there is no demand that anyone has to look at them; we are requesting that they are made available so those who want to look at them can look at them. Keith pointed to a problem himself by commenting that when STFC provide summary information someone jumps up and says that does not add up and hence the merry-go-round continues. Of course if it doesn't add up then someone will complain. That is the best argument for making it all available on-line Much kudos to Prof. Rowan Robinson for taking up Keith's offer to inspect the books (or should that be calling his bluff?).

Keith's answer to Andy Fabian regarding fEC does not seem to have settled much based upon the discussions I overheard outside of the forum. There is real worry that this is an issue of government giving with one hand whilst withholding with the other. Keith may be sure that this is new money going into the system but others seems just as convinced that money is going to be drained from elsewhere. To be fair to Keith this may be a question for DIUS and the Treasury.

Of course a colleague has posited that STFC are using fEC as 'smoke and mirrors'. There was some emphasis that we should be lobbying hard to get hold of this money within our universities. But this will not really help with the shortfall in grant funding. No grant = no fEC.

John Womersley needs to work on his comic timing as he seriously mis-judged the audience. As Chris Lintott said in his commentary he seemed to be the 'attack dog', and he came across as immensely patronising (as Andy Fabian pointed out) - an image that goes against the one that I had formed from the positive comments people had made about him. I understand that the vice chair of science board, Jenny Thomas, had this role at the HEP meeting in the same week.

If I remember correctly Womersley led the charge about us stopping criticising the STFC folks. Warned us that government is less likely to give us money if we make STFC management look bad. This bothers me a great deal and I think that this guy has it right:

The take home message from the leaders of the STFC? "Don't point out that we've messed things up or the Government will take even more money away." What was that Bill Clinton said about the politics of fear?

This came straight out of the Bush-Blair PR handbook. You see our criticism has a point - there is mistrust in the current management of STFC from a wide portion of the community (and a few members of the select committee have signed the EDM calling for Mason's resignation) and real anger at the way things have been done thus far. And nothing STFC has said has mollified that. Yes we can see some changes for the better though these have been offset with knee-jerk reactions such as the whole copyright cockup (STFC have, to their credit, now released those documents on line). The management reshuffle did little to assuage fears, same people are still in at the top though their titles have changed a bit. If Womersley is correct that by making the current STFC management look bad we risk cutting our future funding even further perhaps the simplest solution is to consider that word 'current'. Better that than a self-imposed gag and blind-eye to the problems we perceive.

Yes, as a community we can be more constructive and offer suggestions on how to do things better but we also have the right to voice our displeasure in the actions of the management. I happen to know that the consultation exercise resulted in some suggestions on how to do things better, such as the peer review process.

Oh yes peer review. The infamous Times article was mentioned and the anonymous sources came in for heavy fire. I don't think I blogged about it at the time (too lazy to check my archives) and nor did I have anything to do with it. Paul Crowther has a nice summary in his FAQ section where he offers a plausible explanation for how the high correlation between PPAN members and the PR rankings came about. I would suggest that the additional familiarity with those projects would potentially also have a subconscious effect. Conflicts of interest are properly dealt with in the process but the minutes of PPAN meetings tell us that they all give presentations on their work to each other; this could have the unintended consequence of boosting those projects in the eyes of their peers - an opportunity that I do not think others have. Something for them to consider before the next PR.

Also we were charged with attacking peer review and warned off.

This was a gigantic red herring!

People have not been complaining about peer review, we have been complaining about what passes for acceptable peer review in STFC. And STFC knows this so it is disingenuous to suggest otherwise. Without the advisory panels and only a small number of people from a limited portion of the STFC science portfolio it is understandable that the community does not trust the system. PPAN are not miracle workers and their tough job was made tougher without those panels. I thought Keith was playing a neat game of pass the buck there. He told us that it was PPAN's fault that there were no advisory panels though at least threw them a bone that the limited time frame made it difficult (sounded like a concern troll).

I wonder who dissolved the old PPARC panels? Surely with some foresight it would have been obvious that given the upcoming CSR and programmatic review (which they knew was happening) it made sense to keep those panels in place until a new system was devised. That was a major oversight. But Keith has made it clear that the buck stops well short of his office.

The only people who came out of that panel looking halfway decent were Walter Gear and Mike Bode. Monica Grady has the potential to be great strict school mistress given her telling off of the community for wanting PPAR back PPARC is gone!. Of course then we heard from her that although PPARC is dead STFC still has PPARC's research strategy and the current strategy has followed on from PPARC's strategy.

Listening again now I am not sure how a lot of what the panel said really does hang together in a logical and consistent fashion.

Oh well.

There have been a number of interesting reports from the BBC on this.
Susan Watts presented a piece on Newsnight that summed things up beautifully in terms of capturing some of the anger and emotion in the community (when watching the interview with Keith my dad commented that he would not buy a used car from him).
Paul Rincon has had a number of pieces reporting on the science at NAM and the forum. Two interesting articles gave an opportunity for Keith to have his say as well as for a typical astronomer (Paul Crowther in this case).

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.

How to Kill a Blog?

Stop posting for a while and watch the readership dip...

Did I tell you all that the day before going to MIST@NAM last week my work computer decided enough was enough? All the capacitors on the motherboard gave up the ghost which for some reason meant that the fan would sometimes go into overdrive and at other times would not come on. Both times the computer would seize.

Brilliant timing of course. Anyway I now have a new machine but am having to set it up (adobe, ghostview, idl, matlab, cygwin, SSH, Xwindows, etc) and get used to Vista. So far so good, even managed to get my mail back and transfer my old hard drive into the machine with minimal problems. Fingers crossed.

Anyway, still want to write about NAM and the STFC show. Of course now Gordon has replied to all of us who signed the petition. I say Gordon, I'd bet real money STFC was involved in drafting it.

More soon, I hope.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Back from the Spring MIST

Got back from Belfast last night and we had some very interesting talks including an exceptionally good joint NAM-MIST session on 'Magnetospheres throughout the universe'. I only managed to dive into the other joint session ('Atmospheres of solar and exo planets') at the last minute but it looked well attended. It is good to see that even though the community has been hit hard by STFC's cuts we can still muster some highly interesting science. I'll try and do a round up of what I particularly enjoyed soon.

Lots of politics also got discussed and there were a number of small positive discussions about the way forward that were encouraging.

Words from STFC folk in the forum were less than encouraging and some of the attitudes on display will have won them few friends. Talking down to a room full of scientists as if they are school children is less than likely to be a popular move. I happen to know that a number of PhD students who attended (and for who this could be their first experience of our senior colleagues in the council hierarchy) came away with a very dim view.

Some claims that were made also don't seem to hold up under scrutiny (at least not with previously released information). I'll talk about this some more later but for now you can read Chris Lintott's live blog of the forum and see this BBC article. I was hoping to have a formal chat with the journalist before and/or after the forum but activities dictated otherwise. A colleague of mine was interviewed for Newsnight, which will appear early next week we believe (along with a host of others scientists).