Tomorrow we all go to the polls, unless you have a postal vote, in which case you may already have gone to the polls. If you have a postal vote, but have forgotten to send it off, make sure someone takes it down to the ballot box in person as all votes must be in by ten pm tonight in order to count and however fast the postman is, he won’t get votes through the sorting office in time.
…and after that public announcement, here’s my penultimate roundup of things of possible relevance to the #SciVote campaign of CaSE, which aims to up the profile, quality and funding of UK science policy during the election campaign and beyond.
CaSE has issued a Call to the Booths, urging people to vote and showing a roundup of the campaign, including science policies in all manifestos, answers to the Leader’s letters from all parties and guest bloggers also from all parties. In some cases among the candidates, there are notable advocates of science, as mentioned in the Times, to be supported also. The Science Minister, Lord Drayson, has also been tracked down after apparently sailing home from LA. Unfortunate that he should apparently do so on a ship with no means of external contact during an election campaign he had various duties in… Evan Harris has released the Lib Dem’s plan for resolving the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) debacle. They will try to fund the £80 million structural deficit by cutting the Science and Society public engagement program (~£15 Million, minus contractual payments) and the Shared Service Centre, whose remit is to identify areas in which savings through joint procurement can be made.
Solar science got onto the BBC again with another report on Solar Storm Watch, which allows users to identify Solar activity that may lead to geomagnetic disturbances. Another success for the Solar Dynamics Observatory (not actually a part of Solar Storm Watch, which uses images from the STEREO spacecraft) and interest generated thereby. Amazing what you can do with a funded space program.
But there still exist one or two antiscience voices out there, such as CNN forgetting the facts when suggesting Apollo 13 was a science fiction film, or Frank Skinner declaring science to be tedious. A quick visit from Brian Cox and a pair of pliers may be in order there.
Speaking of which, the Professor himself has launched an impassioned plea for the continued funding of space exploration in an article in today’s election day Sun.
And finally, in an illustration of why sometimes science really needs government to act in its favour, here’s an article on a radio telescope making observations in a region of the electromagnetic spectrum dominated by signals from everything from digital tv signals to spark plugs in cars.