Buy

Books
Click images for more details

Support

 

Twitter
Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace

Discussion > Is scientific cooperation with Europe decreasing ?

stewgreen - As you say it's all heresay.

[ I'm not sure why EM has difficulties posting links. Clicking on his non working link gives
Page Not Found
The page /discussion/post/content/5e4d843e-48f2-11e6-8d68-72e9211e86ab could not be located on this website.

But googling "5e4d843e-48f2-11e6-8d68-72e9211e86ab" leads to the FT page. ]

Halfway down the article, I noticed

Stephen Fleming of University College London and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, told the MPs that should Britain see through the promise to leave the EU he would give “serious consideration to the wisdom of building an academic career in the UK”.

That's the sort of 'evidence' being presented to MP's? It's feeble stuff.

Stephen Fleming is a research associate. His CV (here) does not mention any collaboration with European colleagues nor receipt of EU grants so unclear why he would give “serious consideration to the wisdom of building an academic career in the UK” should Brexit happen.

Actually:
- A slightly ambiguous statement. Presumably it means he thinks it might be unwise to build an academic career in the UK, should Brexit happen, rather than that it would be wise to do so.

- A weak and peevish have-your-cake-and-eat-it threat that shows him in a poor light as a character - he's not actually saying that he'll definitely bugger off when Brexit happens - but he evidently wants to give the impression that he will. Or that he might.

If he does bugger off and continue his academic career in another country (also outside the EU?), he'll be missed no doubt, but it won't change the fact that Brexit means Brexit.

___________________________________________
Having looked at a couple of Dr Fleming's papers ( eg The Irrationality of Categorical Perception), I have to say that his work on mechanisms of cognition seems significant and the sort of research that should be supported. But his whinging will not prevent Brexit from becoming a reality.

Jul 22, 2016 at 11:51 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Stewgreen for you and others here it might be hearsay. But what can you expect? Do you have contacts that can tell you firsthand that they have been, or expect to be, adversely affected? When I inform people here that I know of two cases where cooperation on joint scientific ventures is being adversely affected by Brexit in less than a month, that to me was first hand information. When you read about it in my post it became (for you) second hand information or hearsay. But the information hasn't changed any.

I'm sure you know how to evaluate such second-hand information, but just in case

1) is the information reasonable, is it logical, could you have reached the same conclusions if you had thought the matter through. In this case the answers are yes. It is entirely reasonable to expect EU researchers to be wary of involving UK collaborators who might cause joint research proposals to fail. Grant awarders always search for reasons not to award funds - they always have too little grant money to approve all good applications.

2) are the people providing the information trustworthy or reliable? Forget me, (although I'm sure that by calling my information mere hearsay you are being nsulting) the other reports come from the Chair of Research Councils UK, six vice Chancellors and a named Professor at Bristol. Is it reasonable that these people are lying or have been misled?

It comes down to the basic question, if you question information available to you, how do you decide it's incorrect. You base it on the esteem of the informer, or you have to have EVIDENCE that the information is wrong or that your informant is lying.

I asked at the beginning of this thread, where will you get evidence? You clearly refuse to accept what little evidence has become available and I have read nothing here so far to refute the claim that British science is being and will be adversely affected by Brexit unless some actions are taken.

Please note that this discussion is quite separate from the question of whether British science should be funded by governments with which it is being confused in this thread.

Jul 22, 2016 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterAK

(although I'm sure that by calling my information mere hearsay you are being nsulting)

You are sure?

Stewgreen and I used the word hearsay - literally, information received from other people which cannot be substantiated. That is precisely what the stuff reported in the FT article is. It's the correct word to use.

Please don't put words into our mouths. Neither of us so far as I can tell called your information "mere hearsay". Even if we had, I find it hard to see how that would have been "insulting".

It comes down to the basic question, if you question information available to you, how do you decide it's incorrect. You base it on the esteem of the informer, or you have to have EVIDENCE that the information is wrong or that your informant is lying.

Alan - you are making the assumption that something said is either true or it is untrue. But there is a third category (for which the technical term is bullshit) where someone says something he thinks is true or he thinks may be true but where he does not know for certain. That's rather what the statements of the gaggle of VC's in the FT sounds like to me. And having heard Edward Acton at the time of climategate I can't say I set great store by the truthfulness of VC's in any case..

Jul 22, 2016 at 12:32 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

@AK Agree with last point
issue #1 Is scientific cooperation with Europe decreasing
is different to #2 Should "British science should be funded by governments ?" but I haven't seen people HERE make that argument
maybe you mean #3 Should "spurious or non-useful bits of CLIMATE science be funded by governments/EU ?"

or even #4 Should "Activist scientists who spend all day aggressively blogging be funded by governments/EU ?
especially when their actual topic is something completely different like astronomy"

@AK just said Jul 22, 2016 at 12:07 PM AK on Unthreaded

Stewgreen. I could provide you with information about particulates in the form of non manmade hydrocarbons in LA, but why should I bother? You'll only dismiss it as hearsay.
Do you want to reconsider that ?

Jul 22, 2016 at 12:41 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Yes @MartinA said we are not dismissing evidence, but it is difficult to match up
@AK's first claim "the evidence of decreasing scientific cooperation with Europe grows ever stronger and as predicted."
with evidence which is purely anecdotal.

......Concrete substantiated statistical evidence is always better than "my friend said that his friend says"

Jul 22, 2016 at 12:50 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I just noticed that there is a large well financed undemocratic multinational who is also funding UK science.
An org whose money comes mostly from abroad.

at around 12:30pm R4 You and Yours said "and now over to The Greenpeace scientist at Exeter University* ..wow

It was about Greenpeace trying to get shops to ban "chemicals which are on the maybe carcinogenic list" from clothes shops.
..Almost everything is on the maybe carcinogenic list,
The clothes shop guy said 'well the exposure for someone spending 24 hours/day in our shop would be 1000 times lower than the legal limit.'
* seems to be : "Dr Kevin Brigden, Honorary Research Fellow (Greenpeace)"
"The Greenpeace Research Laboratories have been based at the University of Exeter since 1992, Exeter newspaper

Jul 22, 2016 at 1:04 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Of the 6 Greenpeace professors at Exeter one is from Kiev and another is from Seville.
I don't know how much of their resources/salary are funded by Grenpeace.

Jul 22, 2016 at 1:28 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Stewgreen. It is insulting if you believe that I would pass on rumour. I was passing on information that comes from people I have worked with and trust, and they identified people in the EU , some of whom I also know.

I conclude you, and others, just don't want to acknowledge what sparse information is available. It would be uncomfortable for you to learn that some of Project Fear might be real, so you put your heads in the sand and shout "hearsay , hearsay".

Reconsider what I wrote in Unthreaded? Nah!

Jul 22, 2016 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

" It is insulting if you believe that I would pass on rumour."
Sorry @AK it it you who is taking offence when none is meant.

Everyone else here understands when it comes to science that properly conducted experimental evidence is the gold standard and anecdotal evidence always has to be treated with suspicion.

e.g when it comes to dowsing my persona; my own anecdotal evidence is that everytime I try it it works, however I know I am kidding myself and that it is the ideomotor effect, cos in proper experiments it does NOT work more than chance.

"I conclude you, and others, just don't want to acknowledge what sparse information is available."
I never said your anecdotal has zero value.

But does anyone else apart from @Alan agree that anecdotal evidence justifies his original assertion ?
"the evidence of decreasing scientific cooperation with Europe grows ever stronger and as predicted."
............................................................................

I conclude you, and others, just don't want to acknowledge what sparse information is available. It would be uncomfortable for you to learn that some of Project Fear might be real, so you put your heads in the sand and shout "hearsay , hearsay".
I think I and a lot of people would find that statement a bit weird.

As others have said that seems to be the same as for Global Warming when someone shouts :
"Michael Mann and his 97% are top climate scientists so when Mann says Global warming catastrophe is coming very soon and you doubt it, that's just cos you don't want to acknowledge cos, it would be uncomfortable for you to learn that some of Global warming might be real, so you put your heads in the sand "

Jul 22, 2016 at 2:37 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Martin A. 12.32pm. So now not only do you insult me, but you insult those, who in confidence, told me about their new problems about cooperating with EU collaborators since the Brexit vote, suggesting that they were bullshitting me (and giving further insult to me that I would not be able to discern such merde).

You and Stewgreen are masters of the technique of picking on one small point in a discussion and ignoring the main points or thrust of your opponent's argument. So is what is being claimed unlikely? and/or do you have EVIDENCE that what people are reporting are lies (or even bullshit)?

One of the vice Chancellors was Chris Patten. Interesting you put no credence in what he has said.

Jul 22, 2016 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

As we wait for @AK to come up with substantiated evidence
Let's remember what the BBC has given us

A few days ago R4Today prog Paul Nurse was given a full unchallenged 8 minutes to waffle on about his anecdotal feelings.

Then yesterday on Inside Science Paul Nurse was again given a free spot to waffle, but then came more substance from Anne Glover (former EU chief scientist and therefore totally objective NOT) she told us to go to the scientistsforeu.uk website

"if something has happened to a scientist as a result of Brexit they can add it to a database there" "in confidence" (she means she can read it, but WE cannot)
"Iv'e had a look and it's really worrying. There are over 300 entries into that database"
"eg people decided not come, the main thing is uncertainty" (So they are just pausing I guess I might change their minds later)
"The best scientists in the world are PROBABLY reluctant to even consider coming to the UK"

Presenter : 'will there be a goldrush to get deals signed before the drawbridge goes up ?'
AG :"No, no positives"
"we have 2 years of uncerainty" (no no necessarily a Uni might choose to to guarantee something right now, or politicians might put forward a plan to replace EU funding, like how is it done with Norway and Switzerland ?)
"We are weaker, not in a position of strength to negotiate (So ouyr EU partners are ready to rip us off ? ..well do we want to co-operate with such people then ?)
..
"politicians and citizens don't understand the value of the work we do (and stupidly voted Brexit" ( em that is her opinion they might well know the value of research and seen money wasted on political lobblying research and gimmicks)
she kept saying scientists must be at the table... but surely she knows the politicians will take their scientifc advisors cos she was such an advisor herself)

Another BBC article for @AK to pick out the hard evidence to relay to us

Let me just check the independence scientistsforeu.uk

Jul 22, 2016 at 3:22 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

@AK just said "One of the vice Chancellors was Chris Patten. Interesting you put no credence in what he has said."
....No, NOT much

The rest of understand that there is a DIFFERENCE between *opinion* and *proper scientific evidence*

Jul 22, 2016 at 3:27 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Stewgreen might you accept a rewording of your question in bold to -..

"But does anyone else apart from Alan agree that anecdotal evidence from those in positions where they should be able to judge, from logical expectations, and a lack of contrary evidence, justifies his original assertion?"

Your argument about suspicion in science is false. In science you accept what is claimed by your peers unless, and ONLY unless you have EVIDENCE to be suspicious. I have repeatedly asked for YOUR evidence, or is it, as I strongly suspect, MERELY prejudice?

Jul 22, 2016 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

Stewgreen. I am interested in how much you truely understand about scientific practice. If everyone, except me (another insult?), understands the difference between "opinion" and "proper scientific evidence", how would you explain the difference? You could use the "evidence" I provided in this thread as an example.

Still chasing minor points rather than addressing the main thrust of an opponents argument? A good debating technique until your opponent identifies it

Jul 22, 2016 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

Stewgreen.(3.32pm)

On what basis (= evidence) do you dispute the information that Anne Glover presented? Prejudice again? This blogsite is getting so, so scientific. NOT.

Again you don't seem to know what science actually is.

Jul 22, 2016 at 4:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

@AK said " In science you accept what is claimed by your peers " ...em no

I also detect that when Guardian Zombies throw around accusations they are often projecting.
I don't find anything worthy in your 3:28pm, 3:55pm posts

4:06 : " you dispute the information that Anne Glover presented" Em no I don't
she didn't present any evidence
she just said "I have seen a secret list of info and it says.."

Jul 22, 2016 at 4:09 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The quote below is from EU funding bodies site: https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/support/about.html

"The Statement of 29 June of the Heads of State or Government of 27 Member States, as well as the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, confirms that until the UK leaves the EU, EU law continues to apply to and within the UK, both when it comes to rights and obligations. This includes the eligibility of UK legal entities to participate and receive funding in Horizon 2020 actions."

Seems as though funding as usual.

I would accept that if you were trying to get funding for more that two years then that may get a bit sticky.....

Jul 22, 2016 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

Stewgreen. Em... yeah!

No evidence huh?
No counter argument huh?

You're a busted flush. I feel sorry for you.

Quiz. Who can identify the two pieces of illogic in Stewgreen's original post on this thread?

Jul 22, 2016 at 4:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

@SteveRichards I think that the 2 year rule is a maximum for clause 50 not a minimum. Ie that could sign everything up much earlier and be completely out. So yes the uncertainty for a scientist considering signing a contract is an issue.
Yet still no hard public evidence.
..................................................................

.... Be careful everyone not to trip over someone's toys which have been ejected from his pram.

Jul 22, 2016 at 4:37 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Steve Richards. It normally takes 12-18 months for a large multinational research project to be given approval and funding, and usually at least several months to prepare the application. So it is projects now being prepared and submitted that are being affected. The statement merely confirms that projects already funded or well down the pipeline will not be affected. Can researchers be assured that projects now being considered by EU funding bodies won't be influenced by the participation of UK participants? Who can tell? If you were an EU consortium, would you risk it? If I were a German researcher and had spent months preparing a proposal, I would regretfully ask the UK collaborator to withdraw. Fortunately I never was placed in any situation remotely like that.

Jul 22, 2016 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

sorry @AK I missed something
you said " I have repeatedly asked for YOUR evidence, or is it, as I strongly suspect, MERELY prejudice?"

...em don't think you have ..I am not the one advocating any position..The thread title is from your advocating

All we have done is ask if you have any "proper evidence" other than anecdotal
If you have any then that would strengthen your claim.

Just cos I challenge your claims, that doesn't mean I hold the opposite opinion ..I am simply waiting for "proper evidence"

Jul 22, 2016 at 5:01 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Supertroll/AK: There isn't a cat in hell's chance that Brexit could already be causing damage to academic funding.

1. The funding takes place against the financial year, here in the UK it's April to April. Projects already started will be funded until next April at least, and many will be funded until completion, especially if they have commercial value.

2. EU funding will almost certainly be constrained for British universities beyond Brexit, and might indeed be constrained during Brexit, but I doubt they'll be constrained for commercially valuable research if British Universities are bringing something to the table.

3. Rhoda has it right funding for the "fuzzy" projects will, as they are now, be reduced, but funding for climate science, for example, will be made up for from the UK govt. because somehow or other climate scientists have managed to persuade the govts. of the world that spending more money on them will provide a solution to the problem they've invented.

4. Leave Martin A alone, he's forgotten more than either of you will ever learn.

Jul 22, 2016 at 5:51 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

"It is a troublesome thing this susceptibility to affronts where none are intended."
Anne Brontë

AK did Anne Brontë have you specifically in mind when she wrote that? You seem to have a talent for seeing affronts and insults wherever you look.

The Vice Chancellors were undoubtedly bullshitting - it is their job to do it. Before a govt committee they are obliged to explain how things are (or are going to be) simply awful, despite not having anything specific. It's a pre-emptive strike.

One of the vice Chancellors was Chris Patten. Interesting you put no credence in what he has said.

Chris Patten? I would not trust him as far as I could throw him. Why is it "interesting I put no credence in what he has said"?

I conclude you, and others, just don't want to acknowledge what sparse information is available. It would be uncomfortable for you to learn that some of Project Fear might be real, so you put your heads in the sand and shout "hearsay , hearsay".

I never doubted that Brexit would have some effects that would be unwelcome to some people. Civil servants who have spent half a career gold-plating Brussels regulations as just one example.

If Brexit resulted in decreased "scientific cooperation with Europe" my reaction would be somewhere between indifference and positively welcoming it. (Having seen the immense waste of resources and talent incurred by some Euro research projects.) So when I point out that all you have come up with is hearsay (ie information received from other people which cannot be substantiated) all I am doing is pointing that out that the statement ""the evidence of decreasing scientific cooperation with Europe grows ever stronger" is, at best, an exaggeration.

Far from "putting my head in the sand" if you can come up with actual evidence that academic cooperation with Europe has decreased I might well welcome it, far from seeking to deny it.

"Someone told me in confidence" is totally unconvincing . We don't know anything about the background, what they might be rationalising and so one. And, if these things really were told you in confidence, one might ask what business you have to be mentioning them in public at all...

Jul 22, 2016 at 6:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Geronimo. Responses to your points

1. OK but irrelevant to future funding.
2. OK but discussion is about EU funded projects. British funded research will.not be affected and cooperation with Europe will still occur. But this discussion is about EU funded research where the UK is a net beneficiary. There has been no reassurance that the government has even begun to consider making up the shortfall.
3.You may well be correct here, but its relevance to the question being discussed?
4.Do you mean I should stop discussing things at BH with him? Evidence for your final statement?

Jul 22, 2016 at 7:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

Let me just check the independence of scientistsforeu.uk

Oh, it's just a random selection of ex politicians and engineer/scientists, nothing to see
...No only joking : 10 member committee, 8 are GreenBlobbies (connected to Climate Change and renewables campaigning)

3 heavily green connected ex-MPs
2 Top retired scientists Lord Rees + Sir Tom Blundell
1 Uni head & director of Green Investment Bank
2 Social Scientist profs pushing Climate Issues
1 other working scientist is ex EU chief scientist
1 UK University-EU liaison bureaucrat

* Andrew Miller ex MP (Labour 1992-2015) Chair of the Parliamentary Science and Technology Select Committee 2010-2015.
He presented a Renewables Evening for Evoco June 2010
2011 spoke at Carbon Show in London

* Laura Sandys : former MP for South Thanet 2010-2015 (Conservative)
Chair of the European Movement (I see prexisting bias )
Member, Energy and Climate Change Committee (12 Jul 2010 to 5 Nov 2012)
* £550 expences for speaking at Renewables UK Conference in Manchester. 19th Nov 2012
Member of Energy Committee aswell
Accepted travel worth £3,692 from Globe, an international group that campaigns for tough climate-change laws worldwide.

* Dr Julian Huppert was exMP(Liberal Dem 2010-15) Well known green nutter.

*Lord Martin Rees responsible for decline in the Royal Society (President 2005-2010)

* professor Nick Butler (King’s Policy Unit). Co-founder, with David Miliband, of the Centre for European Research
Another Green nutter who writes the weekly FT Energy Source newslatters which is always pushing pseudo-renewables

* Lucy Shackleton is European policy manager at Universities UK
(wonder why she might be biased ?)
also works on UUK’s ‘Universities for Europe’ campaign. UUK and Scientists for EU work closely on their pro-EU campaigns. Lucy joined UUK from UNESCO.

* Sir Tom Blundell is President of Science Council. He researches in molecular, structural and computational biology (does he ? at 74 years old ?)
From 1998 to 2005 he oversaw the production of key reports such as those on "Energy -- the Changing Climate", "Chemicals in Products etc.
2000 Chairman of The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution is calling for a 60% cut in emissions over the next half century.
in 2011 the 3 prof sold their pharmaceuticals corp to the Japanese for
$886 million

* Dame Anne Glover (former EU chief scientist)
actually still working as scientist

*Professor Dame Julia King (Engineering, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University) and led the UK Government’s King Review on low-carbon transport technology. Notable positions include Member of the Committee on Climate Change, Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on De-carbonising Energy, non-executive Director of Green Investment Bank, Chair of UUK’s Innovation & Growth Policy Network. She is also an inaugural member of the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

* Prof James Wilsdon (Social Sciences’ new Director of Policy, Impact and Engagement at the University of Sheffield.)
I think he is involved in getting people to change their behaviour for Climate Change and connected to Grantham. "Jeremy Grantham has given £2.6m to Sheffield Uni to create a new Centre for Sustainable Futures" 27 Aug 2014 (i bet other committee members also connect to Grantham)
His Brexit op ed July 2016

See also David Rose's Green Web Article

searching Twitter for ScientistsForEU or Scientists4EU
shows 20 campaigning tweets/day but no concrete evidence

Their petition letter

Jul 22, 2016 at 8:30 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen