The Big Cull: Where did all the scientists go?

The House of Commons is preparing for the biggest turnover of MPs since the second world war. Half of the 646 MPs will step down or lose their seats, including a majority of those with an interest, or expertise in, research.

Scientists and campaign groups, not to mention science journalists, are worried. But how bad will it be? Read more in New Scientist.

Don’t panic

The speedy insertion of impact assessment into the plans for the Research Excellence Framework last month has alarmed academics. To grade work not just on its scholarly merits but on how useful it is, economically and socially, is anathema to many researchers. But the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s plans are not as bad as they may seem, and their potential adverse consequences pale in comparison with those of the equally hasty implementation of the impact agenda at the research councils. Read more in Research Fortnight.

Spinning out of control?

Considering cashing in on your research? Here’s what not to do…

It’s natural when you have discovered something to want to see it developed into new and useful products – either by licensing your intellectual property (IP) to industry or creating a spinout company to develop the product yourself.

But despite the push by governments around the world to promote technology transfer, many universities still do not have the expertise or resources to exploit the discoveries of their academics effectively. Read more in Chemistry World.