Thursday, 21 September 2017

CSA Sloth-Dolphin Shock

I'm sure, like me, many of you are mystified by the latest advert from Three. It features a cross between a sloth and a dolphin that was felt, in some way, to represent the idea of unlimited downloads on your mobile phone.

No, me neither. Still, it kept a lot of creatives busy, and for that we should be grateful. However, I assumed that was the last we'd hear of the sloth/dolphin. His abilities and appeal seemed, after all, a little niche.

Imagine my surprise, then, when it was announced that the same sloth/dolphin has just been made the Government's interim Chief Scientific Adviser. Who'd have guessed he was so multi-talented?

Any similarity to Chris Whitty is, of course, entirely coincidental.



Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Giving Voice to Researchers

Vitae Conference Pack: bewildering
I last went to a Vitae Conference in 2014. In the three short years that have followed the research landscape has shifted completely. Of course, we have had the EU Referendum with the jittery uncertainty that's resulted, but there's also been the REF2014 results, the first outcomes of H2020, the Higher Education White Paper, the Nurse Review, the Stern Review, and the first announcements about REF2021. In those 36 months the research ship of state has tilted and we're waiting to see where all deckchairs have ended up.

Although the plenary was somewhat muted - I got the feeling that there was a nervousness hanging over the panel, and no one wanting to show their full hand to anyone - #vitae17 has been a chance for all those who support researchers to take stock, to assess what's worked, and to think about how best to go forward.