More science policy stuff

I know how you lot love the stuff.

Two things getting people riled up at the moment appear to be GCSE science exams and physics funding. On the side of GCSE science exams, we have an article here about the exams regulator proposing that they’re too easy and a blog post here from a month earlier in time saying the same thing.

Meanwhile, another glimpse into the education of ministers has come through with the briefing notes on space weather appearing. POST notes, from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology are briefing papers to keep ministers abreast of what they’re looking into. They can be requested by ministers or produced at a relevant time. So the question is why has Willetts suddenly gained an interest in solar terrestrial physics, the area decimated by Keith Mason during the STFC‘s 2007 crisis?

As well as ministers getting news on good science, scientists are fighting against bad science and this has been given a boost by Discovery putting the Bad Astronomer on the screen, here’s a trailer for Bad Universe:

The Science Minister has indicated where the axe may fall on science funding. He is eying up the country’s nanotechnology centres. He believes the research carried out in many of them is subcritical and should be more centralised to make any headway.

Charles Bolden, the NASA Administrator, will address the Space Generation Congress 2010, which aims to inspire and identify the next leaders in space. This isn’t the only initiative NASA has going on in this field. US citizen students over the age of 18 are invited to form groups and submit a plan for an experiment to be carried out in a weightless environment. Further details on this call to action are here. However, for those a little further along in their careers, there’s also an opportunity with the American Geophysical Union, who are seeking an Outreach and Education Manager.

And finally, an area of physics attacked by the Royal Academy of Engineers, particle physics is undergoing a meeting to discuss the results so far obtained with CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. ICHEP2010 is generally a meeting between particle physicists, cosmologists and astroparticle physicists, but the LHC’s results are the dominant topic at the moment. You can learn more about it here, or enjoy a plethora of particle terms in the newspapers. This BBC report concentrates on the race to find the Higg’s Boson. The Guardian’s science blog concentrated on the race to find the Higg’s Boson. Then this BBC news report breaks the monotony by reporting on possible candidate detections of the Top quark, a heavy subatomic particle that needs a good, powerful collision to produce it, the candidate detections are also reported here.

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