‘It’s hard to work in the UK, here there’s a fresh attitude’

“Almost a year ago, Neil Turok announced that he was leaving the University of Cambridge, where he had worked alongside Stephen Hawking for 11 years, to move to Canada. He didn’t go quietly: as he left, he gave a scathing account of the problems blighting British academia in general and science in particular. But now that the professor of mathematical physics has settled into his new post as director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, based in Waterloo, Ontario, have his views of a sector throttled by red tape and hobbled by underfunding mellowed at all? The short answer is ‘no’. ‘It’s amazing to have come to a place that has such fresh attitudes, unencumbered with the history and tradition of the UK,’ Professor Turok said. ‘British science has become very project-oriented. You have to say, ‘in the next three years I am going to hit milestones one, two and three’ …” (more)

[John Gill, THE, 19 February]

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