Saturday, 22 December 2012

Millie's Trust

This year two of my closest friends tragically lost their 9 month old daughter. My goddaughter.  This is extremely difficult to talk about and it is often seen as a taboo subject. I know people read my blog page and I wanted to share something with you all, which I am hoping people will be able to help with.

Millie was at nursery and choked on some food. There is an investigation on going to determine what happened. 

Millie and me
My friends have been incredibly strong over the past few months, and have put together and started Millie's trust. A charity which will provide money for people to attend first aid courses with a focus on first aid for babies and toddlers.

This Christmas would have been Millie's first, and it's going to be a difficult time for her parents, and everyone that had the pleasure of meeting Millie. Please help by supporting the charity. Like the facebook page, send them a message, share the page and donate what you would spend on a Christmas card or gift via paypal or for the charity launch night.

The website is here

Millie's Trust Facebook


You can donate via paypal using the email address - 

They are collecting prizes for a charity night being held on the 2nd of Feb at the Ryecroft Arms in Cheadle Hulme (nr Manchester).

Thanks very much for reading and sharing this.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

What is meant by the term 'placebo effect'?

This is from F in Science.. a collection of lol answers from science. I bought it this morning and it made me smile and I thought I would share it. 

Friday, 7 December 2012

What would an independent Scotland mean for UK Science and Technology?

I'm not going to pretend to know a lot about Scottish politics because I don't. But I am interested in what impact independence would have on science and technology - not just in Scotland but across the UK as whole.

Science and technology funding comes from Westminster and the research councils that allocate this funding are UK wide. An independent Scotland could mean a complete reorganisation of the councils and funding allocations, which would affect science and technology across the whole of the UK.

Last month I attended Science and The Parliament in Edinburgh. An event organised by the RSC that brings politicians, policy makers, scientists and research councils together. Jolly good event.

The event finished with a panel debate that tackled the question 'What would happen to science and technology in Scotland if it became independent'. 

A brief overview of the debate and discussion would be that Scotland has a rich history of good science and technology and continues to contribute in this area. *stat from the panel* Scotland has 9% of the UK population but receives 13% of the science funding. 

The panel seemed unsure as to how research councils worked. At one point someone on the panel suggested that Scotland (and I quote), "would just take the bits of the research councils that Scotland wanted". I'm not sure what the rest of the UK would have to say about that.

I won't go through all the minute details of the event as I want to focus on the bigger picture that the debate touched on but didn't look at in detail. What would happen to science in the UK if Scotland were to be come independent?

  • How will the UK research councils be split up? 
  • Would Scotland still be part of the EU (or not) and would Scotland be eligible to apply for EU funding?
  • Where would the funding for science come from? At the minute it comes from Westminster, would a Scottish government match/increase/decrease that funding? Would Westminster change their strategy?
  • Would independence for Scotland reduce the amount of collaboration occurring between Scotland and the rest of the UK (and the world) (consensus being; probably not)
If the research councils were split in two then researchers would be competing with fewer researchers for money. Would that mean standards would slip across the UK as a whole?

This debate was eye opening for me, and clearly highlighted that these discussions haven't happened yet. I believe the research councils are starting to look in to what might happen but I do not know when these discussions will be shared. It's an area everyone in science and technology across the UK should be looking at, and thinking about not just those in Scotland.

You can read the coverage of this debate in The Herald here. I have also contacted the better together, and the Yes campaigns to get some reactions. If anyone has any suggestions as to who I could contact at the research councils then please let me know.  

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