As you may know, embattled STFC CEO Keith Mason was grilled by the IUSS select committee on the 4th. It can be viewed here.
Hopefully I will have some comments to follow (child allowing) but for the moment I offer my first impressions:
- the committee is still very interested in what went on and what is going on
- the committtee do not seem to have a very high opinion of STFC
- Keith seemed defensive from the word go (understandably perhaps)
- the committee thinks the review of STFC was a whitewash
- the committee is very distrustful of STFC's ability to communicate
- Keith has an annoying habit of avoiding questions by twisting them so that they sound like attacks on the integrity or intelligence of others
- Keith does not realise how really bad it sounds when he says how 'relaxed' he is about things
- Keith did say one good thing - he highlighted the danger of directed research at the cost of basic research, it almost sounded like a defence of his old discipline. Novel.