Including government and parliamentary news and appointments, public policy and more
A list of open consultations relating to the interests of the Science Council and Member Bodies is available on the Science Council website.
The Science Council responded to the Higher Education Commission’s inquiry into postgraduate education in May. The submission and responses from Member Bodies can be accessed from the Science Council's education pages.
You can also follow Future Morph on its very own Facebook page.
Starting in September to tie in with the launch of the new-look Future Morph website, we will be starting a blog aimed at parents and teachers, covering topics from work experience opportunities to financial assistance for students; and upcoming events to finding appropriate speakers for your school. If you have any suggestions for topics that you would like to see raised, or names of people we should consider asking to contribute as a guest writer, contact Holly Margerison for further details.
We are looking for 21 technicians to take part in some Q&A interviews in partnership with icould.com/ films to highlight the roles of technicians, and talk about their daily role and skills required with no trick questions!
From aeronautical technicians to dental technicians and everything in between. Contact Holly Margerison for further details.
The campaign is calling on the Chancellor George Osborne to reverse his decision announced in this year’s Budget which announced plans to cap personal tax relief on charitable donations. The campaign is supported by nearly 3,500 organisations, societies and charities across the UK. To support the campaign, visit the Give It Back, George website. We can use good examples to strengthen the case for change and raise awareness of the campaign.
If Member Bodies have good examples of where the proposed cap would affect your fundraising abilities, where forthcoming projects may not proceed without major donations, or where a major donation has been critical to the successful completion of a project please contact Oliver O’Hanlon.
Professor Paul Hardaker, Chief Executive of the Royal Meteorological Society has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the Institute of Physics from September 2012. He will take over from Dr Robert Kirby-Harris who retires at the end of June 2012.
Professor Sir Peter Knight, President of the Institute of Physics, urges medical schools to consider making qualifications in physics a prerequisite to entry in a comment piece for The Lancet.
The Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) has announced the appointment of Rosemary Cook CBE to the post of Chief Executive Officer. She has been Director of the Queen's Nursing Institute for the last seven years. She will take up the post in August 2012. Her appointment brings the number of women at the top of the 37 Science Council Member Bodies to 12.
The Society of Biology announced that it will be holding its inaugural Biology Week from 15th- 20th October 2012. Events during the week include a launch event in Parliament, hosting practical experiments in schools across the country, and a citizen science ecology project. The week will culminate in an awards ceremony for the Society’s science communication and photography competitions.
In collaboration with Member Bodies, the Science Council will be hosting a fringe event at each of the three main political party conferences.
The fringe event dates and venues are confirmed as:
● Liberal Democrats: 6.15-7.30pm, Tuesday 25th September, The Hilton Metropole, Brighton
● Labour Party: 5.30-7.30pm, Tuesday 2nd October, The Midland Hotel, Manchester
● Conservative Party: 5-7pm, Tuesday 9th October, The Hyatt Hotel, Birmingham
Over the forthcoming months we will keep Members informed about the fringe event themes, panel speakers and how Member Bodies can be engaged in the conferences. For further information contact Oliver O'Hanlon.
The Green Party Annual Conference 2012 will be taking place from 7th-10th September at the Council House in Bristol. If you are interested in participating or co-hosting a fringe event at this year’s Green Party conference, please contact Oliver O'Hanlon to discuss options. For more conference information visit the Green Party’s conference website.
Business Secretary Vince Cable announced the appointment of Dr Paul Goby CBE as the new chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
This year’s Queen’s Speech included plans to introduce a UK-wide Small Donations Bill, which would aim to reduce burdens on charities by enabling them to claim top-up payments on small donations up to £5,000. Also included was the Defamation Bill. The Bill, which had its first reading the day after the Queen’s Speech will only be applicable in England and Wales.
The House of Commons Education Select Committee has published its report on attracting, training and retaining the best teachers. The Committee concluded that proposals to introduce more widely the 'Chartered Teacher' status would not bring about necessary changes required to teachers' CPD and career progression opportunities.
The House of Lords Science & Technology Committee has published its report on ‘Science and Heritage’. The report is a follow-up to an original Committee inquiry into science and heritage undertaken in 2006.
The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has published a report on Sustainable Food. The report highlights concerns that the UK does not have a strong enough science base to deliver long-term sustainable food production.
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts spoke at the Publishers Association annual general meeting on the Government’s approach to open-access research.
Two reports commissioned by the Joint Information Systems Committee on behalf of the UK Open Access Implementation Group have been published which aim to highlight the benefits of open access to published scholarly research for voluntary and charitable sector organisations and to public sector organisations.
The Chief Executive of Ofqual, Glenys Stacey gave an interview to the Daily Telegraph setting out her initial thoughts on reforms to A-level and GCSE examinations. Ofqual will be opening a formal consultation on higher education involvement in A-level and GCE qualification requirements beginning in late June 2012.
An Ofqual report into ‘Perceptions of A levels, GCSEs and other qualifications’ found that while overall confidence in A-levels and GCSEs remains unchanged, there is low awareness of alternative qualifications. One of the reasons cited in the report is that the majority of teachers and parents believe that vocational do not have equal status to academic qualifications.
Professor Patrick McGhee, Vice-Chancellor of the University of East London has been appointed as the new chair of Million+, the group of post-1992 universities. Professor McGhee will officially take up the role from 1 May, replacing Les Ebdon, who stood down in February after being named the next director of the Office for Fair Access.
The Science Community Representing Education (SCORE) has published results of its research into mathematics in the sciences. The report found that assessment of mathematics requirements across biology, chemistry and physics A-levels in 2010 AS and A2 examination papers were limited or not assessed at all.
The Nuffield Foundation has published analysis of the degree of mathematical and statistical content of Business Studies, Computing, Economics, Geography, Psychology and Sociology 2010 A-level examination papers. The research identified significant variations within individual units of assessment, and across different Awarding Organisations in the assessment of mathematical content.
Sir Tim Wilson has been appointed the new Chair of the Higher Education Better Regulation Group (HEBRG).
Former Labour Minister Alan Milburn has published his report on ‘Fair Access to Professional Careers: a Progress Report’. The report is the first of three commissioned by the Government looking at issues of social mobility and access to the Professions.
The Institution of Environmental Sciences has published a salary guide to gender in the Environmental Science Sector.
Skills Minister John Hayes announced the formation of a new National Council for Careers, a service to raise careers advice standards. Dr Deidre Hughes OBE has been appointed as chair. She is a Commissioner and member of the Executive Board of Directors at the UK Commission for Employment & Skills (UKCES).
The Bow Group, a centre-right think tank has published a report which looks at the experience of black students in higher Education. Looking at perceptions of employment, “Race to the Top: The Experience of Black Students in HE’ identified that a large proportion of black students have low career expectations. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of knowledge networks for parents of to understand career opportunities open to their children.
The Education and Employment Taskforce has published a report on the impact of work experience on career aspiration and progression. The report finds that good work experience can be an effective way of shaping the direction of young people’s further study and their career aspirations.
Jonathan Bruin has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the British Pharmacological Society, with effect from 6th June 2012.
Phillip Whiteman, Chief Executive of the Semta Sector Skills Council retires at the end of May. His successor has not yet been appointed.
The Royal Society has published, ‘People and the Planet’ a report which identifies the links between global population and consumption.
The Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME) is seeking 3 new members to serve on the Committee. Applications must be received by Friday 18 May 2012. Contact ACME for further information.