Imran Khan, who heads the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), has hit back at Simon Jenkin’s inflamitory article denigrating science and scientists. In his response, Khan points out the benefits of science to society, the evidence base that separates science from faith, shows that ‘dissenting views’ Jenkins believes aren’t given voice in media reporting actually are and counters the rather silly view that ‘science is all on the internet’.
Speaking in more measured tones, the Science Minister David Willetts gave a speech at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, part of UCL. The speech, in which he praised UCL’s contribution to space science, which included the launch of the UK’s Skylark satellite in 1957, the same year Sputnik went up. He mentioned the numbers employed by the space sector and the income derived. The event was a meeting between Russian and UK scientists aimed at fostering cooperation between the space programs of the two countries. A long series of such events involving the two countries is occurring as part of the Yuri Gagarin 50 celebrations of next year’s half centenary since the first human spaceflight. Delegates at the meeting included representatives from the Institute of Biomedical Problems, presently hosting the Mars500 mission.