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Prof Walport's first big test according to Bob Ward, who worked closely with a former chief scientist, Lord May, is to reverse the cutbacks in research spending.

If he's recommended by ward things look ominous...

Jun 30, 2012 at 8:19 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused


Jun 30, 2012 at 8:17 AM | Unregistered Commentersplitpin

Amazing the ability that governments have to flaunt their own legislation:-

"Federal Agencies Sued Over Failure to Disclose Correspondence with Wind Industry - Promise of Government Transparency Not Being Met"

"It’s ridiculous that Americans have to sue in order to find out what their government is saying to wind companies about our wildlife—a public trust,” said Kelly Fuller, Wind Campaign Coordinator"

Jun 30, 2012 at 12:30 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

@Robin Guernier

Fully orthodox, it would appear:

We [i.e. The Wellcome Trust] engage actively in discussions on the health consequences of climate change and recently led a consortium of other funders to support a major series of research publications examining the health benefits of climate change mitigation strategies. We are also planning a meeting this year to examine the scope for supporting research to enhance health provision in disaster situations.

Jun 29, 2012 at 11:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterTurning Tide

Mark Walport had some interesting comments on peer review here:

Jun 29, 2012 at 10:21 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Professor Sir Mark Walport has been appointed to be the Government's chief scientific advisor from April of next year.

He is Director of the Wellcome Trust (that funds biomedical research) and was previously Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Medicine at Imperial College. His own career has been largely concerned with immunology and genetics of rheumatic diseases. He is a board member of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, UK Research Base Funder’s Forum, Health Innovation Council and the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology. He is a member of various international advisory bodies including the Grand Challenges in Global Health Scientific Board and the Council of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise.

According to the BBC's Pallab Ghosh (

He has a reputation for being tough ... has steered through controversial strategic changes at the trust that have won him many friends but also some enemies. [He] ... has strong opinions on a variety of issues and is not shy to express them, often forcefully. It is these qualities that have made him a "marmite figure" with movers and shakers in the research community. Many, including the popular and respected current president of the Royal Society, Sir Paul Nurse, love his straight talking style. Others loathe what they feel to be an uncompromising approach. It was for this reason that some fellows of the Royal Society had opposed his invitation to their exclusive club for years. He was finally let in in 2011.

Does anyone know of his views (if any) on the climate issue?

Jun 29, 2012 at 10:13 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Apologies if this has been mentioned before.

"Brit global warming skeptics now outnumber believers"

"Only 43 per cent of Britons think we should get poorer in order to protect the environment. The numbers have actually moved very little since November 2009, but believers are now in the minority."

"The UK is only one of three countries in the world to pass legislation mandating CO2 reduction, and the issue dominated the media agenda between 2006 and the Copenhagen Summit in 2009. So the UK is unique amongst the three countries surveyed [UK,US,Canada], in giving its population saturation exposure to the climate change issue, and early exposure to CO2 mitigation policies.

It would seem that the more people hear the arguments and study the policies, the less they like them."

Jun 29, 2012 at 8:34 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

Jun 28, 2012 at 3:20 PM BitBucket


I know DNFTT

Jun 29, 2012 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Maybe the Bishop' reports and comments have also had something to do with Boulton's apparent change of heart. Maybe the RS read Nullius in Verba after all.

Jun 29, 2012 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Jun 29, 2012 at 12:52 AM Hilary Ostrov
"Perhaps Boulton has finally seen the light (...) but also for his role in Muir Russell."

Didn't he play the key role in the Muir Russell "team"?

Something must have happened.

If he were younger, I'd have imagined that an elder mentor he greatly respected, perhaps a thesis supervisor, had quietly given him some advice. Perhaps he has been buttonholed in the corridor by a few RS members who have told him they were unimpressed and he should mend his ways.

Perhaps there is something coming down the pipeline that he knows about but is not yet apparent to the world at large.

Whatever has happened to change his outlook, I imagine he may well now have been crossed off Acton's Christmas card list. Jones's too.

Jun 29, 2012 at 9:03 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

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