Archive for December, 2011

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Transparency bad for science?

The Index on Censorship is a leading UK organisation promoting freedom of expression, founded in 1972. But I’ll be honest, as a physicist, it had been off my radar until this month. It is now hosting an incredibly timely digital debate on science and transparency, which kicked off in December with a panel event on data entitled ‘Is transparency bad for science?’

Looking forward to Christmas

In the West, it’s relatively easy to get caught up in the euphoria of Christmas, isn’t it? Regardless of one’s beliefs in the origins of the Universe and humanity’s place in it, countless millions of us succumb to the fake snow and the artificial sentimentality. The twinkling lights, the shops full cotton polymer resin reindeer, the children’s (and adult toys), chocolate goodies, the interminable loops of festive songs on the radio, the TV shows you just know were recorded in July but have jolly tinsel and baubles nevertheless. Then there are the parties, the lunchtime “Christmas” drinks, Secret Santa, the bustling shopping centres, the ubiquitous sound of a Jingle Bells sample in every muzak track. Oh isn’t it all so wonderful?

More money on the horizon

The next EU research funding programme, Horizon 2020 will maintain the core principals of its predecessor Framework 7. The proposed future programme will fund excellent science (€24.6 bn), industrial leadership (€17.9 bn) and societal challenges (€31.7 bn). It also includes consolidated and revised funding guidelines as the EC continues to strive for simplified funding applications, reporting and auditing. The proposal for Horizon 2020 was presented to the European Commission on 30 November 2011.

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