Education – broad or deep?

Posted in Teaching on June 6th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Karlin Lillington’s recent column (‘Graduates must bridge divide between arts and science’, Business Opinion, June 4th) is just the latest in a growing list of articles extolling the value of broad-based, multidisciplinary undergraduate education …” (more)

[Greg Foley, Irish Times, 6 June]

Tags: , , , ,

Pioneering science in Ireland: students can follow in their footsteps

Posted in Research on May 26th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Communication is, arguably, the biggest problem facing science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem). It’s not always easy to grasp the complex and technical detail of scientific research. That’s slowly changing, with a growing number of researchers making efforts to reach out to the public and show what they’re doing …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 26 May]

Tags: , ,

Will traditional science journals disappear?

Posted in Research on May 18th, 2015 by steve

UK“The Royal Society has been celebrating the 350th anniversary of Philosophical Transactions, the world’s first scientific journal, by holding a series of meetings on the future of scholarly scientific publishing. I followed the whole event on social media …” (more)

[BishopBlog, 17 May]

Tags: , ,

Let’s build additional supports to get women into science

Posted in Governance and administration on May 17th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“We need to bridge the gender gap in schools – especially in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects, writes Julie O’Neill …” (more)

[Julie O’Neill, Independent, 17 May]

Tags: ,

Ireland’s narrow research focus on commercial technology is short-sighted

Posted in Research on April 30th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Research funding remains almost exclusively targeted at certain technological areas that are considered important. A recent letter to The Irish Times, signed by more than 1,100 scientists, noted that funding for scientific research in Ireland has become increasingly focused on the commercialisation of technological applications …” (more)

[Cormac O’Raifeartaigh, Irish Times, 30 April]

Tags: , , ,

‘University research scientists as knowledge workers: contract status and employment opportunities’

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on April 10th, 2015 by steve

IrelandAbstract: University research scientists epitomise knowledge workers who are positioned to avail of the employment conditions associated with ‘boundaryless careers’. Yet while employment flexibility has been hailed as a positive feature of knowledge work, relatively little is known about the forms such flexibility may take or its impact. This article considers the factors shaping the employment conditions of 40 research scientists working in five university research centres in Ireland. The findings suggest that, for knowledge workers such as research scientists, contract employment can deny them access to many of the employment conditions and opportunities that govern their long-term success as researchers.

Harney, Brian and Monks, Kathy and Alexopoulos, Angelos and Buckley, Finian and Hogan, Teresa (2014) University research scientists as knowledge workers: contract status and employment opportunities. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25 (16). pp. 2219-2233. ISSN 1466-4399.

Tags: , ,

Funding of scientific research

Posted in Research on April 6th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Prof David McConnell (Opinion, April 2nd) eloquently supports the case made in an earlier letter signed by many Irish scientists who argued for greater funding for basic research in the Irish higher education system. There is little doubt that balanced and sustained investment of public funds in both basic and applied scientific research yields significant economic and social dividends over time …” (more)

[Aidan Kennedy, Irish Times, 6 April]

Tags: , , ,

Science is in crisis and scientists have lost confidence in Government policy

Posted in Research on April 2nd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Government university funding has fallen dramatically and the rules by which SFI funds individual research scientists have drastically altered. Readers may have seen the letter now signed by about 1,100 Irish scientists and engineers asking the Government to restore confidence in the Irish scientific research system …” (more)

[David McConnell, Irish Times, 2 April]

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Third Level Funding – Basic Research in Science

Posted in Research on March 27th, 2015 by steve

IrelandDeputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills her views on the open letter from over 900 scientists to the Government (details supplied); her plans for the successor to the strategy for science, technology and innovation 2006 to 2013; and her further views on increasing funding for basic research across all scientific disciplines …” (more)

[Dáil Éireann Written Answers, 25 March]

Tags: , , ,

Research Funding

Posted in Research on March 26th, 2015 by steve

IrelandDeputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the steps he plans to take in response to the unprecedented move by over 900 scientists expressing concern regarding the Government’s research policy and over-concentration on commercial research …” (more)

[Dáil Éireann, 26 March]

Tags: , , , ,

Scientific Research

Posted in Research on March 26th, 2015 by steve

IrelandDeputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the steps he is taking to ensure Science Foundation Ireland continues to fund basic fundamental scientific research; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil Éireann, 26 March]

Tags: , , , ,

Priority Questions: Scientific Research

Posted in Research on March 26th, 2015 by steve

IrelandDeputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation his policy on capturing the long-term benefits of scientific research, following an open letter by over 900 scientists (details supplied); his strategy for the funding of applied research and basic research; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil Éireann Questions, 26 March]

Tags: , , , , ,

Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Posted in Governance and administration on March 25th, 2015 by steve

UKBronwyn McGahan (Sinn Féin): Go raibh maith agat. I beg to move: That this Assembly expresses concern that men outnumber women by nearly three to one in high-level science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) posts; welcomes the statement by the Minister for Employment and Learning on 4 June 2013 reiterating the importance of women in the STEM sectors; and …” (more)

[and for continuation of debate see here]

[Northern Ireland Assembly debates, 24 March]

Tags: , , , , , ,

Is slack science reporting letting down the public?

Posted in Governance and administration on March 24th, 2015 by steve

UK“The Los Angeles Times recently ran the following headline: ‘Another reason to drink coffee: It’s good for your heart, study says’. It all sounded very cheery – except that the carefully researched scientific study, published in the journal Heart, didn’t say that at all …” (more)

[Lucy Ward, Guardian, 24 March]

Tags: , ,

The scientists are mad as hell, so show them the money

Posted in Governance and administration on March 23rd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“A letter signed by 800 scientists frustrated at lack of funding for basic research comes just as the Government calls for submissions on a new strategy for science, technology and innovation. Talk about timing …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 23 March]

Tags: , ,

Basic Research and ‘That’ Letter

Posted in Research on March 23rd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Governments always want some sort of tangible return from academic research. But since the financial crisis began in 2008, the prevailing view in Ireland has been that the primary or even the only role of academic research should be to generate economic growth through product innovation and the creation of start-ups …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 22 March]

Tags: , ,

Funding basic research in science

Posted in Research on March 20th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“A chara, – In response to the Irish scientists concerned about current Government policy in relation to basic research in Irish universities (March 18th), I feel it is imperative we have a response from industry …” (more)

[Patrick Gallagher, Irish Times, 20 March]

Tags: , ,

Two tribes? Science and art are more like than unalike

Posted in Research on March 19th, 2015 by steve

UK“The case for research funding in the humanities is stronger if we recognise the similarities, argues David Eastwood. Making the case for the humanities, and more specifically making the case for research funding in the humanities, matters …” (more)

[Times Higher Education, 19 March]

Tags: , , , ,

Some 800 of our best scientists spell out how to achieve the right balance for Irish research

Posted in Research on March 19th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“A properly functioning scientific research strategy is an essential for any country seeking to become a world player in this complex and highly competitive sector. Research takes place across widely differing organisations and for widely differing reasons …” (more)

[Editorial, Irish Times, 19 March]

Tags: , ,

LERU calls for fundamental change to the financial model behind journal publishing

Posted in Research on March 18th, 2015 by steve

EU“LERU universities embrace Open Access and endorse the European Commission’s advocacy of open, wide dissemination of research outputs in its Science 2.0 (Open Science) agenda. Across Europe, universities are making progress in delivering on this objective. A number of challenges remain …” (more)

[League of European Research Universities, 18 March]

Tags: , , , ,