With the main parties now aiming for the student vote, it seems student backed initiatives like #SciVote might be able to get a bigger say. Details of science policy from the three main parties have been reviewed on the Campaign for Science and Engineering, CaSE, website. And if the main parties don’t come to scientists, there’s a chance for scientists to go to the main party leaders via the Digital Debate, which enables users of facebook and youtube to submit questions that are then voted on and the most popular submitted for answers.
Funding turnarounds, like sudden changes in poll leads, do happen, as is the case in the USA where Obama has ploughed an extra $6 billion into NASA after plans for cuts to the budget failed to gain political leverage. The plans, which culminate in a trip to Mars, exclude visits to the Moon, but include visits to Near Earth asteroids, the next step out from this planet. There was some good news for agencies that do want to visit the Moon, though. Contained in the data from the Indian probe Chandrayaan 1 was the signature of large amounts of water ice in certain sheltered locations. These are likely to be pieces of comets that smashed into the surface of the Moon, as opposed to the solar wind generated water particles that cover most of the surface in an invisible and for all practical purposes extremely dry thin layer.