Archive for September 8, 2012

What is your view of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework?

Posted in Uncategorized on September 8, 2012 by telescoper

There’s a poll on this blog post about attitudes to the REF, as well as some rumours about nefarious things going on in preparation for it. Please visit and vote as it has had few responses so far.

Anyone know whether the rumours about an Astronomy Group are true, and, if so, which it is?

To the left of centre

I’ve had a number of discussions recently about the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014). I’ve yet to find anyone who has a positive view of REF2014. I’m certainly against REF2014 and think it is having a negative impact on how universities behave and think it is primarily driven by a desire to measure and quantify, even if it ultimately damages what is being assessed. However, I thought I would run a quick poll to get the views of others. Given how many typically read my posts, this will almost certainly not produce a statistically significant result.

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Dovrei essere così fortunato

Posted in Opera with tags , , on September 8, 2012 by telescoper

Well, summer must be nearly over. Tonight is the Last Night of the Pimms Proms. More importantly, it’s the first night of the new season at Welsh National Opera, which I’ll be attending.  Of which more anon. However, I thought I’d warm up by posting this marvellous clip which looks behind the scenes at a famous recording of the rarely performed English version of the classic aria Dovrei essere così fortunato from the Opera Una Ragazza Australiana con le Natiche Belle conducted by Carl Davis. Enjoy.

To the Moon

Posted in Poetry, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , on September 8, 2012 by telescoper

Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth,—
And ever-changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822).