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That Science for the Future Lobby at Parliament: A view from a participant | Cyrus Hirjibehedin | Life & Physics

16 May 2012, 15:24 UTC
That Science for the Future Lobby at Parliament: A view from a participant |  Cyrus Hirjibehedin | Life & Physics
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Cyrus Hirjibehedin: The new disconnect between EPSRC research studentships and research grants is potentially catastrophic. And perhaps more constructive than the coffin is the fact that many scientists talked directly to their MPs.Approximately 100 scientists from the group "Science for the Future" gathered at Parliament on Wednesday, 15 May as part of efforts to overturn a series of changes in the way research funds are allocated by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Council (EPSRC), the primary government funding body for these disciplines in the UK. This follows the publication of a letter in The Telegraph by nine Nobel Laureates highlighting "serious concerns" with EPSRC's new policies and how they are "failing to maintain Britain's global research standing", resulting in the "squandering of British taxpayers' money".After attending a briefing in the House of Commons, members assembled to participate in various activities to raise awareness of the campaign's objectives. The most visible of these was a "funeral procession" from Parliament to Downing Street led by a group of pall-bearers with a coffin for "Science". Less visibly, though perhaps more significantly, dozens of scientists arranged meetings with their local MPs to ask them to support an Early Day Motion about their concerns and ...

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