Archive for April 6, 2011

Rees on Religion (via The e-Astronomer)

Posted in Uncategorized on April 6, 2011 by telescoper

I agree wholeheartedly with Andy Lawrence on this, and since this is the first time this has ever happened I thought I’d mark the occasion by reblogging his post…

Bit of a Twitter Buzz this morning about Martin Rees winning the Templeton Prize. For those who don't know, the Templeton Foundation is an organisation founded by billionaire John Templeton, to encourage open minded and progressive thinking in religion. In the 1980s they also started funding science, where they felt there was some philosophical (not necessarily directly religious) interest. Most interestingly, in 2006 they gave nine million dolla … Read More

via The e-Astronomer


Brush up your CVs!

Posted in Science Politics with tags on April 6, 2011 by telescoper

A  job vacancy caught my eye this week, so I thought I’d pass it on (at no extra charge).

This is the long-awaited announcement of a much-needed vacancy as Chief Executioner Executive of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). The incumbent, Professor Keith Mason, will be leaving the job (although not until next year) and I’m sure his successor will be grateful for the fact that STFC has much less activity to manage now than it did  four years ago. Indeed, if you download the further information you’ll find there’s so much talk of “management of change” and “new structures” that you wouldn’t have thought STFC had already existed for four years…

A notable requirement is that the successful candidate must have

…strong emotional intelligence, excellent listening skills; good relationship and influencing skills and the ability to reach out and build consensus and trust;

which will certainly make a change. The ability to “manage budgets” is apparently also necessary.

I gather special training is provided so the successful candidate can learn to read and write TreasurySpeak and that there  is a substantial budget for travel. A luxurious office is provided in Swindon, but the Chief Executive is not required to visit it except on special occasions, such as when there is a celebration of the closure of a major national facility. The salary is “competitive”, although it doesn’t say with what.

But, seriously, it’s going to be a tough but vitally important job for UK Science so I hope someone of sufficient stature to take it on does emerge, poisoned chalice though it undoubtedly is. A rumour mill has already started, and I might open a book on the race if there are enough nominations through the comments box…