Thursday, 7 January 2010

Funding cuts - update

So, as mentioned before Christmas, nuclear physicists were awaiting news of potential funding cuts that would come as a result of a shortage of money at the funding counil, STFC.  We were worried that, of all the areas STFC fund, nuclear physics would face disproportionately higher cuts.  We were right.   I could have (perhaps should have) been blogging about this daily - it's too late to do a complete summary now, but my colleague Niels at Manchester has set up an excellent website summarising much of the information about the cuts and the response to it, and I suggest looking there for more comprehensive information.

This afternoon, I happened to look at a Twitter feed not long after STFC tweeted that their director of science programs had just had an op-ed published in New Scientist.  It was something that deserved comment - and it's got it.  Take a look (my comment is by user "drpdstevenson" since I logged in with my AIM credentials)


  1. Obvious questions perhaps, with all these cuts to science funding...
    What is the ratio (in numbers and cost) of administrators, "managers" "executives" and "science czars" on the STFC payroll now, in relation to numbers of its working scientists... and what was the ratio, say five years ago, before this QUANGO of expensive clerks was created ? ... and how are all these extra non-productive mouths to feed justified ?

  2. James, I'm afraid that I don't know the answer to that, or know an easy way to find out. I'd be interested to know the answer too, though I suspect that it is at worst an annoying side issue relative to the large cuts happening now.

    It certainly feels at the University level that the ratio of administrators to teaching/research staff has gone up, but again I don't have the figures, and there's no automatic reason to suppose that that correlates with STFC.