Recent reading – science, careers, gender, policy and a look forward

This blog post was written by James Lush, the Biochemical Society’s Policy Officer

This is an abridged collation of some of the interesting reading I came across/finally got round to over the Christmas break.

Careers and science

Women in science

  • The organisers of the SpotOn London conference compile a useful selection of resources for female scientists looking to raise their profiles online (some also apply to men).
  • Curt Rice, Vice President for Research & Development at the University of Tromsø, writes a great article about how quotas raise quality, and how diversity is about more than social justice. He also includes a succinct account of the ‘paradox of meritocracy’.
  • The House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Committee take oral evidence for their Women in the Workplace inquiry. The transcript of the session with Dame Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell (Chair of the Royal Society of Edinburgh inquiry into Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Kate Sloyan (Institute of Physics 2012 Very Early Career Woman Physicist of the Year Award winner), and Helen Wollaston and Trudy Norris Grey (both of the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Campaign) is worth reading.

Science for the economy

Openness

  • Curt Rice (again), summarises a recently published paper on Open Evaluation, arguing that changes to how we evaluate are essential to the Open Access movement.
  • The latest issue of The Journal of the Foundation for Science and Technology (PDF) features articles on implementing the Finch Report from Professor Sir John Enderby, as well as an article from Julian Huppert MP about how he uses social media. There is also a piece by Professor Pete Downes (former Chair of the Biochemical Society Policy Committee) about how universities can catalyse innovation. Crucially, he highlights that we must produce graduates who understand this and are interested.

The policy process

And finally…

  • Nature has published a forward look at what they see the key stories of 2013 being, including the results of a clinical trial which uses human embryonic stem cells.

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