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Government The Almighty Buck United Kingdom Politics Science

UK Scientists Leave Labs To Protest Expected Cuts 315

Posted by timothy
from the labour-practices dept.
uid7306m writes "The UK government is planning an austerity budget, in the wake of the financial crisis and banking bailouts. This involves a 25% overall cut in the government budget, and the indications are that it will hit UK science and university budgets strongly. In response to this, a campaign has started that has managed to get scientists out of their labs and into the streets."
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UK Scientists Leave Labs To Protest Expected Cuts

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  • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@NOspAM.gmail.com> on Sunday October 10, 2010 @04:12AM (#33850682) Homepage

    But unless people have failed to notice, europe(and the UK along with it) is in some pretty bad financial straights. Science is a necessary thing, but if people and government has to take the pick between funding science or covering things like civil protection(police), medical/fire services(hospitals, doctors, ems response). It's pretty easy to tell where the cuts are going to happen first.

    Usually science, followed by teachers and police, followed by fire services, then medical.

    • by metageek (466836) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @04:15AM (#33850696)

      Sorry but you are arguing for fixing a short term issue by destroying the long term success of the country (people). Actually, the issue that got us into this mess is the one that should be cut, not the only sector of government spending that can pull us out of this mess. Worse even, you could cut all of science entirely and that would not even make a dent in the economy. Whereas if we stopped going around the world dropping bombs...

      Cut war budget first, then health. Those are the only two that can fix the problem. And even if they don't do it now, they will have to do it at some point. There is no escape.

      • Funny. I do not get offendend by counter-arguments, but I become automatically offendend when it starts with "sorry".
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Sorry, but that's stupid. ;p

      • by malkavian (9512)

        Interesting, advocating cuts to health... This is an area that's been receiving quite a few cuts in recent years (though they've quietly slipped in unanounced; they're called "efficiency savings", where a department automatically gains 3% less than in a previous year, as they're supposed to increase in efficiency year on year).
        The alterations to the NHS (removing the entire Primary Care Trust layer) is a massive cut from the budget, and handing the reins of fiscal responsibility to GPs is going to be inter

      • the UK pays people for their kids if they are in school, then thrown in all the horror stories of deadbeat families with pads bigger than most higher income people coupled with wide screens and the like and we can see that the UK suffers from an entitlement society of the worst kind. When you are in financial straights like the UK (the US needs to get a hint) everything must be on the table, even if it slows you down in the future a bit, if you don't make it to that future what did it matter?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Burnhard (1031106)
        How does it affect the long-term health of the country? Are you saying that not £0.01p of the budget is wasted? Perhaps offering 25% of cuts will concentrate minds in these establishments on what is important for the tax-payer to fund and what is a frivolous waste of money [bmj.com].
        • by RDW (41497)

          'Perhaps offering 25% of cuts will concentrate minds in these establishments on what is important for the tax-payer to fund and what is a frivolous waste of money.'

          Whoosh! (or am I missing your irony?). That particular 'frivolous waste of money' is from the Christmas issue of the BMJ, where it's traditional to publish Ig Nobel-worthy studies of not exactly serious intent ('Methods: Three authors (DC, HJMacM, AP) searched the internet for episodes of soap operas shown in the United States in which a characte

          • by Burnhard (1031106)

            Somehow, I don't think a great deal of money was spent on these studies. Of course the specifics of the savage cuts the ConDem coalition has planned for us are likely to be based on an equally superficial reading of the situation, and their extent has as much to do with implementing a particular political agenda (deliberate decimation - in a more than Roman sense - of the public sector) as it has to do with genuine economic necessity.

            Take your medication. We have a structural deficit of £80,000,000

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by arivanov (12034)

        Military budgets are being cut too. Even worse than science ones.

        Do we like it or not, but the Labour government has been living on credit for 12 years with no intention of paying it back. This is a fact. The average pay in the non-productive government sector has increased above the average private sector pay. More than 700000 jobs were created in various quasi independent non governement organisations. In the area where I live they went from virtually zero in 2000 to a point where they are close to taking

      • I do agree with you in principal, however it appears that most European economies will crash completely over the next 20 years or so. If an economy can't even sustain itself, how do you expect it to sustain "luxuries" like scientific endeavour?
        • by x2A (858210)

          Oh quit being so melodramatic, we'll be fine... ...we're China, right?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Krahar (1655029)
          Science is a luxury in the same way that a bridge or a road or a port is a luxury. Sure, it is possible for you to haul your cargo and unload your ships without such luxuries, but fast forward 50 years and suddenly you have no infrastructure and you find yourself a third world country. But yeah, on a horizon of 1 or 2 years, it's a terrible investment, a luxury.
      • by ultranova (717540)

        Actually, the issue that got us into this mess is the one that should be cut, not the only sector of government spending that can pull us out of this mess.

        The issue that got Europe (and the rest of the world) into this mess was too much financial freedom in America, allowing the financial sector to get everyone indebted to the point where they took the whole economy with them when the bubble finally burst, and the global commerce which allowed the results to radiate to the rest of the world. I'm all for so

    • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @04:28AM (#33850730)

      The important thing is that they made sure to save the rich bankers from their stupid decisions.

      That's a good thing and justifies laying waste to science.

      High pensions and special medical plan s for politicians are also much more important that basic research.

      Especially since any successful basic research would be quickly monetized with cheap chinese labor undercutting any potential return on the investment in scientific research.

      • by bloodhawk (813939) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @06:29AM (#33851058)
        People don't seem to get it, you all think the government bailed out these banks because they are rich and influential. Wake up, the bailouts happened to ensure the average worker got paid the next week. if the banks went under payroll would stop, atm's would stop dishing out money (even if it is rightfully yours) and basically the entire economy would grind to a standstill. It sickens me to see all those bankers that made bad decisions get saved, but it was a NECESSARY evil.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          No, having a banking system is a necessary evil, saving the banks was not. Capitalising say 5 new banks with the bailout money (from the UK alone) would have massively increased lending (probably too much so), these new state funded banks would have had an easy time finding property and employees since the old banks would have been utterly crushed (punishing their share and bond holders in the process, which they darn well ought to have been after allowing them to be so woefully mismanaged). Mechanisms alre

        • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @07:10AM (#33851174)

          But it was a NECESSARY evil.

          No it wasn't. They could have simply taken control of the banks instead of bailing them out. There was no need to leave any of the people in control or ownership who were in control or ownership at the time they caused the crisis. Oh, some of them should have been kept on as management, possibly in return for being allowed to keep some of the old pay they stole, but none of them should have been allowed to return to the ownership and control they had.

          If this had been done right, the various countries which did the bail outs would soon be in a situation where they could start selling the banks for a profit. .

          • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @09:20AM (#33851760)

            You do realise that what you described there is pretty much what the UK government actually did, right?

            The government did take majority ownership of some of the organisations it bailed out, Lloyds for instance. A lot of the former senior execs have been forced to resign, though mostly in quiet handovers a few months after the mess rather than in a high-profile publicity stunt at the time. Investors did lose most of the value of their shares, as the bank stocks sank like a (northern) rock. And a lot of those high profile Bank of England loans to the less damaged banks did get paid back within a few weeks.

            I am far from convinced that the government did the right thing, or that they shouldn't have protected the banks' customers but let the banks themselves fail outright instead of taking on all that high-risk debt. Their public information management was terrible in terms of educating the population about what they were actually doing and why. But let's at least talk about what really happened, and not some arbitrary distortion just because banker-bashing is our new national hobby.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DriedClexler (814907)

          Congratulations: you're one of those they duped.

          Workers wouldn't get paid the next week? God, you'll fucking believe anything.

          • Personally, I believe that if the people that "own" the money feel like they're going to "lose" the money, they'll do whatever they can to keep it. I may be a fking idiot, but if you believe that the "little guy" will be protected, then you're a bigger idiot than I.
        • Without bailouts: After the banks fall apart and their bad decisions / assets have been liquidated, the rise from the ashes can begin anew. Assets can be had for cheap and can be put to better use by new management.

          Instead we now still have prices higher than they should be, and we still have funds locked up in zombie banks that should have died. Think beyond next week's paycheck. Think about the long term solvency of the economy. You will eventually inflate to pay for the bailouts, just like you did to cr

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Maxo-Texas (864189)

          Not it wasn't. There were hundreds (thousands?) of banks which did not do stupid stuff.

          All that would have happened is
          a) the bank executives who did this would have been unemployed (it sounds like some are in one of the responses- but I bet that was mostly scapegoats. The big powers that be either kept their jobs or were "fired" and took multi million dollar parachutes.
          b) the investors who trusted those banks would have lost their money.

          What should have happened is this should have been treated as fraud,

    • by cgomezr (1074699) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @04:44AM (#33850780)

      Some government spendings, in my particular country (Spain), that should be cut before science:

      - Subsidies for the local film industry
      - Subsidies for coal mining (which, apart from polluting, is not even profitable, they just keep it so miners can keep their job - it would probably be better to pay them a salary for life for doing nothing and close the mines once and for all)
      - The 30K (!) official cars that different government officials, mayors, etc. have
      - SGAE (i.e., the local version of the RIAA) and the so-called Ministry of Culture which seems to spend half of its time protecting copyright while impeding access to culture
      - Ministry of Equality (which creates blatantly unfair "affirmative action" laws)
      - Unnecessary spending due to having too many intermediate government layers (central government - autonomous community (~"state") governments - provinces - mayorships: at least one layer - arguably, two - are unnecessary, and this is a huge money sink)
      - The military, of course
      - The Catholic church (yes, that's right, our government gives money to the church)
      - Subsidies to promote local languages

      And I could keep listing. There are lots of things that can be "picked" for financial cuts before the ones you say. Cutting science spending while leaving these is an insult to intelligence.

      In Germany, they have decided to make budget cuts in almost everything but science. In Spain it's the opposite, science is suffering the steepest cuts. But then, of course, Germany is the country that is already soaring out of the crisis with a two-point-something GDP growth, and Spain is the country with 20% unemployment that hasn't seen light at the end of the tunnel yet.

    • by funkatron (912521)
      Not really, one industry (banking) had a minor fuck up. It's doesn't deserve the crisis response it got. We're nowhere near cutting teachers and police and I don't think we will be.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Thomasje (709120)
      What's with the fixation on spending cuts? How about we leave government the way it is, and make up for the budget shortfalls by raising taxes on the rich? Seriously, if there's one segment of the population that's been making out like bandits over the last 30 years (while the rest of us went nowhere), it's them. How about we end the neocon nonsense and start redistributing some wealth already? It's not like the rich are spending it on anything that benefits the common good. Trickle-down economics, don't ma
      • by ErikZ (55491) * on Sunday October 10, 2010 @08:37PM (#33855706)

        Because you could raise taxes on the rich to 100% and it still wouldn't cover the hideous amount of debt a government can create.

    • by nido (102070) <nido56@noSPam.yahoo.com> on Sunday October 10, 2010 @05:40AM (#33850918) Homepage

      europe(and the UK along with it) is in some pretty bad financial straights.

      The current "global economic crisis" is more a about distribution of wealth than anything else... Money is plentiful, it's just more concentrated now than ever.

      "Revolutionary Science" is a good way to correct the wealth imbalance. Disruptive technology will come along that will make the plutocrat's current investments obsolete. For example...

      Utility stocks were always a popular way to concentrate wealth because they pay a consistent dividend.

      What if someone comes up with an internal combustion engine that's simpler and cheaper than today's best reciprocating piston engine designs, but is more efficient than the best $million steam turbine [wikipedia.org]? Small groups of people could set up their own power companies (due to the decreased capital requirement). Independently owned and operated power companies would mean cutting Wall Street out of the everyday economy of a lot of people.

      There was a story here a few months back about the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's new air conditioning system that uses 90% less power. If I had one of those, my summer AC bill would've shrunk from about $800 to $80 (Phoenix, Arizona). The power company's business model would fall apart entirely if they lost the ability to charge "summer rates".

      Or what about when someone finds a way to cheaply and effeciently store electricity? Imagine if power plants ran at 100% capacity all the time, and all the extra power generated at night could be stored until it's needed 8 hours later?

      Health care is another wealth-concentrator that needs to be addressed. This is one of those 'sacred cows' which must not be questioned, so I'll just mention the recent study that found most anti-depressants are no better than a placebo. Imagine keeping all the money that the pharmaceuticals pay in dividends to plutocrats in the real economy, and enjoying better health at the same time (because you can afford a better diet, because you don't have side-effects from pills that do nothing for you anyways, etc)

      Economic revolution is simply a matter of "follow the money", then dismantling the 'towers' that you find.

      • by cyber-vandal (148830) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @06:16AM (#33851016) Homepage

        I'll just mention the recent study that found most anti-depressants are no better than a placebo

        That's just one study, not an established medical fact. It does give cause for concern and merits more research but doesn't prove anything yet.

        • Yes, because all of the studies by Pfizer are MUCH more reputable than independent research.
        • That's just one study, not an established medical fact. It does give cause for concern and merits more research but doesn't prove

          anything yet.

          Assuming we're referring to Kirsch's paper, It wasn't even an original study but a meta-analysis. When I read it I noticed some clear flaws with the way the data sets were combined, too - he seemed to average the placebo result from all the trials, average the drug result and then look at the difference in the average.But that would only be valid if all the tests were conducted u

        • That's just one study, not an established medical fact. It does give cause for concern and merits more research but doesn't prove anything yet.

          "Medical Facts", eh? Science works with theories, and they are constantly evolving.

          You keep taking those drugs, and I'll stick to what the research says: proper nutrition is essential for human health. There are other factors for depression too, but I think we both agree that depression is NOT caused by a dietary deficiency of "prozac".

          True Hope's doing some research [truehope.com] on their supplement. I think they make a pursuasive argument for the utility of addressing nutritional deficiencies in this video [youtube.com].

          Durk Pearson [googleusercontent.com]

    • by Dhalka226 (559740) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @05:46AM (#33850932)

      if people and government has to take the pick between funding science or covering things like civil protection(police), medical/fire services(hospitals, doctors, ems response). It's pretty easy to tell where the cuts are going to happen first.

      That's true, but it's a bullshit argument.

      For starters, science cuts are going to be an extremely small impact on the defecit, akin to claiming that if you can't afford your mortgage then it's time to not buy that cup of Starbucks coffee on Friday. It helps in the sense that every dollar helps, but it is so small an impact that it's almost not worth doing.

      If those are peoples' choices, then of course science is going to be cut first -- as it should be. But they're not. How much are the various wars costing you? How much are your politicians and government employees being paid? How much waste is there in your healthcare system? How much are you spending on your defense budget, security theater at the airports, CCTV installations, foreign aide, bank bailouts, commissioning reports nobody is ever going to ready or any other number of things that you can cut to more success and less detriment than science and education?

      If you're being presented with a choice between cutting science spending or emergency services to solve the budget problems, it's because people simply aren't looking hard enough.

    • by Colin Smith (2679) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @05:55AM (#33850960)

      OK. Here's (approximately) how it works.

      Government creates money for the economy by selling bonds to the banks. The banks, buy bonds (with interest) using credit created from nothing, give the credit to the government and the government spends it into the economy.

      The debt grows due to the interest and the government taxes people to pay the debt, shrinking the amount of money in the economy. This causes a recession.

      Meanwhile the banks are also creating new credit and interest bearing debt (again, from nothing) for the people in the economy. The people take on a load of debt, get the credit, start spending the credit and everything is hunky dory. Then as the debt is paid off, the amount of credit in the economy decreases, again, causing or adding to the recession.

      Well, if the banks have been particularly busy and gotten really big bonuses, there is a lot of debt out there and as the money decreases and people can't pay, the banks get to foreclose on any businesses or individuals who can't make the payments. The thing about banks is, they are all technically insolvent, all of the time. This is why it's possible to bring a bank down simply by going and taking your money out. So they foreclose more and more, more debt is paid off, less and less credit is available in the economy, accelerating the recession until it looks like the banks are in big trouble.

      In steps the white knight. The government will save you! They will take on the (now) bad loans and the bankers can get their money that way. The government goes to their bankers, they take on lots and lots more debt (With Ts now because a B just wasn't big enough)(created from nothing, with interest to be paid), and pay the bankers for their bad loans.

      Of course your average person (i.e. you) has an attention span of about a week, and your typical politician, a fraction of that, so the next time the government numbers are published, there is SHOCK, HORROR I tell you ! Look how much in debt we are! OH My god, SOMETHING MUST BE DONE! The deficit must be REDUCED! Not eliminated, mind you. Only REDUCED.

      So the private bad loans are translated directly into lots of government debt and then cuts in government spending. All is right with the world, the system was saved, the bankers got their bonuses. Phew, that was close, Aston Martins are getting sooo expensive.

      But unless people have failed to notice, europe(and the UK along with it) is in some pretty bad financial straights.

      Europe is in exactly the same position as the USA, i.e. no danger. In each of the regions there is a central bank which absolutely will print money until the currency isn't worth the paper it is printed on. America has it markedly easier because they have the world reserve currency. i.e. They can tax the entire planet to pay their debts using debased paper.

      The financial system (as it stands today) is parasitic, and the bankers are parasites. There is a reason for my sig, and it pertains to bankers.
       

    • What about billions for banks. Why don't we spend that on civil protection(police) etc... rather than on often private corporations that F***** it up in the first place?
    • by syousef (465911)

      But unless people have failed to notice, europe(and the UK along with it) is in some pretty bad financial straights. Science is a necessary thing, but if people and government has to take the pick between funding science or covering things like civil protection(police), medical/fire services(hospitals, doctors, ems response). It's pretty easy to tell where the cuts are going to happen first.

      Usually science, followed by teachers and police, followed by fire services, then medical.

      Have you even been paying any attention to the state of education, medicine and the police force lately? I don't know how you can say this with a straight face.

      What's being cut is everything that doesn't put money in the politician's pocket.

    • by slick7 (1703596)

      But unless people have failed to notice, europe(and the UK along with it) is in some pretty bad financial straights.

      Brought on by the same bankster bastards that raped the rest of the world as well.

      Science is a necessary thing, but if people and government has to take the pick between funding science or covering things like civil protection(police), medical/fire services(hospitals, doctors, ems response).

      Are you from Amsterdam? Nobody seems to complain about the career criminals... er.. I mean politicians when their automatic pay raises are voted on to prevent the automatic 25% pay raise from going into affect.

      It's pretty easy to tell where the cuts are going to happen first.

      It's not easy with all the riders and earmarks and collusion with big business, big pharma, big whatever, obfuscating the issues. Safety services should be voted on as a separate package. Public education should be mon

    • Interesting to note your choices were all from the public sector. It's true that this is what the government has control over, but yet again it feels like the private sector has screwed up and the public sector has to take the hit to sort things out. The invisible hand of the market pickpocketting the public purse again.

      Depressinly, it seems the UK government values footballers more than scientists. Premiership football players can get special dispensation on clearing immigration paperwork to work in the UK

  • Hmm (Score:2, Interesting)

    Do politicians ever take pay cuts? Instead of cutting pay for the useful people, I'd rather them (like that would ever happen) cut pay for the nearly useless people.

    • Does it matter? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @06:11AM (#33850990) Journal

      Politicians are NOT a large cost to the tax payer. They are not that highly paid and there are not that many of them. Now if you start talking about public sector workers. THEN you might be able to make some cuts especially at the top. But then you just won't get the people OR they will be contract workers instead and get paid even more.

      Cost cutting is extremely hard and doesn't help if people think cutting a million on a budget of billions is worth it.

      I don't understand cost cutting anyway. It is such a Wallstreet attitude. Oh, lets cut costs and increase profit. When has this ever worked longterm? A country isn't something you can buy up, cut it up and sell it off again. You are STUCK with Manchester. Cutting off useless people? France did that with the Roma... oopsie! Even just saying this is a big no-no. And it cost the Germans far more to kill a Jew then it ever saved them, even with recycling (harsh? But that is what traditional cost cutting applied to a country would be, you can't fire a population without firing up the ovens).

      I think the entire problem is that some people are convinced you can run a country at a profit/as a business.

      But countries are to big, to unwieldy and to long term for that. And it seems amazing to me that the business method to be followed is the western one (follow on core business, outsource everything else) when the real powerhouses in the business world are the (asian) conglomerates that do EVERYTHING. So, do we sell off the railways or keep them? I think I know what Siemens or Yamaha would say.

      The problem for the UK is NOT the amount of money it spends, but that this money ain't being generated. IF the UK still had a working production industry, still mattered with agri-culture, then the amount of spending doesn't matter. But if you outsource everything, close mines and hope to survive on oil benefits and selling of national industries, then you won't have anything to fall back on when the well has run dry.

      And if you cut public sector salaries then you only get the people who have no choice but to work for a reduced paycheck. Or are YOU volunteering to work for less pay in a thankless job?

      The UK needs to re-vitalize itself in all sectors. This requires SPENDING, not cost cutting. All the current government will do is posture, delay investments without making any meaningful savings and hand over the country in a worse state to the next unlucky bastard to win the election.

      Simple solution:

      A: Cut management layers in all sectors controlled by the state: Result, mass cost savings, tories lose the elections because their voter base is management.

      B: Cut foreign military procurement, buy local or keep old stuff around. Result: US president won't shake hands with the prime-minister.

      C: Ban closing and outsourcing of any further production, put serious tariffs on foreign goods to encourage local production. Result: Prime-minister will not be able to shake any hands, champagne prices go up.

      D: Invest in infra-structure and schooling, stop looking down on jobs like farmer, plumber and bricklayer, these are the jobs the economy runs on. You can't make people buy a locally made iPad, but you can make them use locally build walls.

      E: Tax the financial industry and regulate the hell out of it because it has never benefitted anyone but the filthy rich. Result: all those silly enough to think they are the filthy rich and that a tax on inheriticance of more then a million will ever affect the, will not vote for you.

      Oh these things are a bit simple, but smarter people then me have reasoned them out AND shown why no party, especially a right wing party can run with them. Sensible government isn't electable.

    • Do politicians ever take pay cuts? Instead of cutting pay for the useful people, I'd rather them (like that would ever happen) cut pay for the nearly useless people.

      In the UK, yes. Significant paycuts.

      Much more is saved by reducing the number of labour-introduced quangos (the word seems to have no official translation, I think "pig troughs for friends of the party" would be a good attempt). The question was asked "who will do all their work when they abolish these quangos" with the counter-question "and who will notice if it doesn't get done". There is also a start in the cuts on British benefits madness, where decent working people are financially worse off because

  • For everyone not in the UK.

    Our research and science in Australia will climb the rankings by default, making us look good, increasing investment and licensing opportunities. We'll be able to keep hiring local talent, as well as recruit from soon to be unemployed talent in the UK, at discount rates! Sure, we may have to be China's butt-buddy, but at least we won't be dumb, poor and stupid.

    Egon, this reminds me of the time you tried to drill a hole in your head....

    • by williamhb (758070)

      For everyone not in the UK. Our research and science in Australia will climb the rankings by default, making us look good, increasing investment and licensing opportunities. We'll be able to keep hiring local talent, as well as recruit from soon to be unemployed talent in the UK, at discount rates! Sure, we may have to be China's butt-buddy, but at least we won't be dumb, poor and stupid.

      Probably not. The primary competition for scientists is not "UK vs Aus", but "academia vs industry or some other job". Cut three entry-level science jobs in the UK, and you don't end up with three extra early-career scientists applying for residency in Australia -- you probably end up with two extra bankers and a strategy consultant.

  • One could always quit fighting wars in far away lands that have no real relevance to you. You'd save a whole pile of money right there.

    It mystifies me why the Western World spends so much money on the Middle East. Oil? Trust me, if you come with cash in hand, whichever tyrant/dictator/overlord is in power will sell it to you. Do it for the people? Seriously, are you going to bankrupt your own nation to save a bunch of foreigners who hate you?

    • The fact is that they are not saving anyone... except face... oh they are not even saving face.
    • Broadly speaking, the Middle East has been a strategically important location for the last two centuries at least. For example, Egypt is the place where the Suez Canal was built, to cut out the huge shipping detour around the whole continent of Africa. Turkey controls the most convenient land trade routes from Europe to Asia. Also, the Russian Empire was always interested in developing a strong Marine based in the Black Sea, as it's a lot more convenient than having ports nearer the north pole. There's natu
  • There is a lot of poor research that is done, which will go no where, which is published in extremely good journals.

    This work is funded now because the research councils do not have to differentiate between it and the rest of the "excellent" work that is funded.

    It will not get funded in the future. The councils will pick projects that are done by groups that have track records of real, rather than paper, success.

    The UK science budget has been overly generous. There is a very large entitlement culture in the

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by DMiax (915735)

      Not at all. If a community does not self-regulate it is because:
      a) it does not want do do it, or
      b) it is not able to do it.
      Whichever is true, a fund cut will only cut the total output, and not change the quality at all. I am amazed at how many people think that a fund cut means better quality. It does not work like that, never worked like that and will never do, in science, health or any other sector.

  • I see you guys are trying to play French aren't you, going on strike and all that.
    Now think about why you despise the French so much, and go back to work.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 10, 2010 @07:15AM (#33851190)

    I work for one of the UK Research Councils (the one that deals with science and technology facilities ;) ), and the first I heard of this campaign was seeing the rally on the BBC News site. Otherwise I would have been there, and I'd have done my very best to round up some colleagues and make a day of it.

    And, of the "famous" supporters on the front page of that website, I recognised one.

    Threaten to cut the arts, and they - literally - produce rock stars, outraged and instantly recognisable. Try to close a theatre, and you get [i]Gandalf[/i] on TV. How can science hope to compete with that, when it can't even get the message out to its own?

"'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true." -- Poloniouius, in Willie the Shake's _Hamlet, Prince of Darkness_

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