Click images for more details



Recent posts
Recent comments

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

Powered by Squarespace

Discussion > Is scientific cooperation with Europe decreasing ?

Hands up who belives in the EU Santa ?
EU money isn't magic money that comes out of thin air
... All EU cash here was UK tax.... Skilled people always can get visas / citizenship

Jul 22, 2016 at 8:33 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Vice-Chancellors and what they say about funding? Rice-Davies' theory applies.

Jul 22, 2016 at 10:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Have you managed to count those raised hands Stewgreen?

Jul 23, 2016 at 3:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterAK

Martin A. Let us backtrack to the beginning and re-examine what this thread is about, what I have written and how that has been received. On the way I will try to explain why I feel particularly aggrieved by your (but more particularly by Stewgreen's) treatment of evidence I brought to the table.

1) this tread is labelled "Is scientific cooperation with Europe decreasing?". I do not know the answer to that question. I suspect no one at BH knows who is prepared to speak out. But I can make a reasonable guess based upon logical expectations and those are supported (but are not confirmed) by reports in he media. Put in scientific language, the proposition is, for me, a reasonable hypothesis, but one not supported by any firm evidence yet. Further reflection suggests it is far too early for any definitive answer to arise, and that firm evidence will be difficult to find because matters pertaining to negotiations are sensitive. The best I can hope for is to ask informed friends and former colleagues.

2) As has happened before, Stewgreen's thread begins with a partial quotation of mine, taken out of context "the evidence for decreasing scientific cooperation with Europe grows ever stronger and as predicted". Taking in context this comment was in response to increasing numbers of media reports on the subject. Did anyone on this thread ask me to explain my comment? Answer: no, everyone rushed in to oppose what they thought I was saying. The critical word in my comment was "evidence". Misunderstand that and you misunderstand the whole thing. Stewgreen, perhaps you and others, have a definition of the word that clearly differs from mine. To me evidence is every piece of information that can be used to form an opinion or reach a conclusion, whether that item be solid, verifiable, poor, or suspect. Stewgreen will only accept "proper scientific evidence" (whatever that is) into the category. Thus he (and you?) do not accept media reports as evidence, but I do. So I could have written " media reports (that I consider as unsubstantiated evidence) of deccreasing scientific cooperation with Europe grow ever more frequent [= stronger]. This comment can be verified by counting up past media reports.

3. In order to challange statements made my others (the astronomer who started everything off, the vice Chancellors etc) you need evidence of the more verifiable sort. When they make a statement, even if it is unsupported, they hold the high ground. To challange what they have said directly (as many of you have done here) without supplying verifiable evidence risks you being accused of calling them liars or of impuning their judgement. In extreme cases (not here) your challange may be actionable. Then you had better have supporting evidence.

4) As I have argued previously in order to argue against the proposition, you need to argue that it is unreasonable or unlikely, or have evidence (even media reports) against the proposition. In my judgment only jeronimo has tried to do this.

5) Perhaps by now you have some inkling as to why I took offence. For my own satisfaction I discussed the matter of European grants and the effects of Brexit with some academic friends and former colleagues, people whom I trust would give me truthful information or refuse to discuss it at all because of its sensitivity. I was told in confidence and with sufficient detail of two cases (one where the informant was directly involved) where problems had already arisen. I thought carefully about whether to convey this basic information here. I decided that informing you broke no confidences and it might be the only chance that you might hear that this kind of information does exist. What happened? My evidence was DISMISSED as hearsay. It is not the designation of my information as hearsay that was objectionable, because, by the time you read it, it was. It was the manner in which it was dismissed. That carried with it the strong implication that I, as conveyor of the information could also be dismissed as a liar or, at best, as someone who accepts bullshit as truth. In other words you were telling me that I have no "worth" in your eyes. [Message recieved loud and clear, and understood]. The "correct" responses might have been "thats interesting Alan but you realize that for us this is still unsubstantiated information" or "can you tell us anything more?" or even "pity you are unable to be more specific but nevertheless that's useful input". But no, lets show how little respect we have for him and his information. Thought he could fool us with his made up rubbish. He's as bad as EM was with his plumber story [Message reinforced]. It will be a month of blue moon sundays before I venture offering any information to you guys.

This thread is stupid - it cannot be answered. Almost everyone here has no knowledge of the situation. The only people who do have information are those directly affected. When one did speak out he was derided. When another (me) sought to find out from those affected, his evidence was dismissed as hearsay or (incorrectly) as not being evidence.

Jul 23, 2016 at 6:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterAK

Can we have the results of your hand counting Streewgreen?

Jul 23, 2016 at 6:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterAK

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.

As far as I can tell the EU currently funds around 15.5% of the UK’s research, about £730million, or to put it another way, 3 days of our net contributions (the real net contribution is £250million/day, why vote Leave had to exaggerate it is a mystery to me, it’s a big number anyway) to the EU. Clearly all that money won’t be being spent on projects that would gain UK Government approval, what Rhoda has called the “fuzzy” projects like “The Benefits of Governance by Unelected Bureaucrats”. These will clearly lose their funding, which, in my view, would be a “good thing”. If the projects are seen by the UK to be useful research areas then they will likely continue to be funded.

There will almost certainly be joint collaborations with universities within the EU which will attract EU financial support and UK universities will benefit from this.

I’m not sure what point AK is trying to make tbh. Of course EU direct funding will cease, and where the UK government sees the need for the research to continue it will most probably continue to fund the research, where it doesn’t it won’t.

Will that be bad for UK universities? I doubt it, there may be a reduction in the research budgets, there may be an increase. Who knows?

Jul 23, 2016 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Anyone wishing to check the context etc of this thread's opening line can go back to Unthreaded and navigate back to and navigate back to July 21

I felt the same about the EU debate, but since the referendum I have started reading more liberal websites, where the arguments I lacked can be found. But too late.

I note with increasing trepidation the evidence of decreasing scientific cooperation with Europe grows ever stronger and as predicted.

Jul 21, 2016 at 9:38 AM Supertroll

You'll see the opening line is a direct quote and that I left Supertroll/AK's name off to keep away from beingf personal

So I don't agree its a >>partial quotation of mine, taken out of context<<
I do resent wild accusations that I insulted or hounded Supertroll. I stick to the facts of arguments and do not go around insulting people ..apart from making up funny names for repeat offenders like the BBC's Harra
(AFAIK I've never insulted Supertroll)

>>This thread is stupid - it cannot be answered.<<
Of course it can be answered like in 2 years time when we have concrete data/figures

but consider my fictitious example below

Jul 25, 2016 at 3:15 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

But one might consider the ficititious example of a Lithuanian Prof Yuri a genius at carbon nanotubes

Pre-Brexit he could have joined a team and come over to work at the Uni of Manchester where there is special equipment. And the project been funded by £100m from the EU science fund

Post Brexit - nothing has changed

Post full Brexit : The trans-national project teams are unlikely to disassociate from the special equipment at Manchester.. So
#1 They have to negotiate with the UK team to come up with some joint UK/EU funding ..just like Norway/Swiss do already.

#2 They have to get a UK academic work visa for Prof Yuri. They know he's a genius so they are not going to reject him. This process could be made to be a pretty smooth simple done online by the Uni Manchester's HR dept and Prof Yuri's HR dept in Lithuania. U of Manchester could even be set to have its academic visa submissions pre-approved on the understanding the University would be fined if they abuse the process.
Last time I got an Australian visa it took me 5 minutes online.

There is a big difference between challenging someone's point in a debate , and insulting them.
But I do observe that in places like the Guardian, people are so used to being in an echo chamber of like minded peers, that the moment you challenge an assertion of theirs they do take it personally and do take it as an insult.
I'm not impressed by their angry reactions, I find it rather bullying.

Jul 25, 2016 at 3:29 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Stewgreen. I'll not waste my time on you more than I have to
1. CONTEXT. Quoting my entire post doesnt put it into context. Post was written in response to multiple posts about academic problems resulting from brexit. Removal of initial phase from the quote also hides the fact that it was my opinion, not a statement of fact.
2. INSULT. You stigmatized my reports as rumours when in fact I was reporting first hand conversations. This was highly disrespectful and I take exception to it. Others may judge if it were insulting, but I felt decidedly insulted. No apology offered for the blatant disrespect, or when you became aware that I felt insulted.
3. STUPIDITY Do you really think this discussion will still be active in two years? Having the discussion now is stupid! Having this discussion when you have no access to first-hand information is stupid. Not accepting testimony from those who have first hand information, branding it as unreliable but with no supporting evidence, is pure prejudice and therefore STUPID, STUPID, STUPID.
Have you worked out the two pieces of illogic in your opening post?
Almost as clever as asking readers to raise their hands on a blogsite! Priceless.

Jul 26, 2016 at 4:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

Yawn, I can go on explaining to the end of time. However it seems it is mostly not read.
but I will say I never called anyone a liar. If you take the care to go back what little I have written in this thread, then that is clear.
Challenging an emphatic statement is not the same as calling people liar.
eg When a couple notice that their child has autism 1 week after having a vaccination so they think that the vaccination caused the autism, that is merely anecdotal evidence , that is not proper evidence.

Jul 26, 2016 at 11:24 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

THE STEWGREEN DEFENCE. "I don't insult people, I just call them names"

Jul 27, 2016 at 6:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterAK

AK - grow up.

Jul 27, 2016 at 8:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Martin A. You exhibit your double standards to absolute perfection.

Jul 27, 2016 at 8:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterAK

What a sad state of affairs we have come to. Politicians are rightly despised, all journalists are treated with suspicion, respect for religeous teachings, except for those of the extreme sort, is long gone and its secular replacement, science, has been traduced by medical quacks and climate alarmists. The word of any man, ally or foe, is suspect. Evidence, which in former times was perfectly acceptable because of the worth of those giving it, is given scant attention in the drive to win every argument (no matter who is hurt during the process). Disrespect and insult is given cover under the guise of "free speech" or "fair comment". We all have become Doubting Thomas. Prejudices reign and no dispute can be lost but this practice is tantamount to "My prejudice is better than yours". Our society has no bedrock. Attack strategies (phyical and immaterial) are the norm. And we expect our children and grandchildren to grow up to acquire virtues we ourselves no longer have.

Jul 27, 2016 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterAK

Me, I just gonna wait for proper evidence...anything could happen. True science enthusiasts will work thru solving hindrances, others who are really political activists using science as an excuse will keep doing their dirty PR tricks.

I'm not going to go around in circles countering Alan's points ..
..but I do note one contradiction.on page 3 Jul 23, 2016 at 6:14 AM He tells us the evidence is impossible to find
"This thread is stupid - it cannot be answered."*
: yet on page 1 Jul 21, 2016 at 7:02 PM he says :
"Try reading the news Stewgreen. The evidence is there, not in the cases I mentioned."

* (Maybe he meant under StewGreen's rules, but I disagree with that)

As for "The word of any man, ally or foe, is suspect. "
Yep exactly that is how scientific scepticism works. e.g. When Dr Andrew Wales paper on the Autism/vaccine link was published in the Lancet it should not have just been accepted as "evidence", but rather should have been challenged, as it was eventually.
And it does not matter who is making the claim even it's Lord Kelvin from the Royal Society as that is just the fallacy or argument from authority.

Jul 27, 2016 at 11:33 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Try answering the main points raised in a discussion rather than focussing in on nitpickings. Even you argue there are different categories of evidence.
If you are waiting for "proper evidence", implying it doesn't exist yet, why start a discussion thread? As I have written before, STUPID.

Jul 27, 2016 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterAK

@AK try reading what I actually wrote.
"I'm not going to go around in circles countering Alan's points" etc.

Jul 27, 2016 at 11:48 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

On your second point, I was not conveying a scientific conclusion, merely information I gained in conversations that I thought might be of interest to readers here. I did not expect the abuse and distrust I recieved at your hands, but I should have known better than to expect civility.

Jul 27, 2016 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterAK

So sorry your dizziness, it is true I didn't read carefully enough your words. But then I tend to skip comments that have implied insults within them. Call it a day?

Jul 27, 2016 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

@AK I am sorry.....that you see insults when there was no insult and no insult was intended.

But I do remain interested in the main point of understanding if there are any problems with scientific cooperation, and solving them.

Jul 27, 2016 at 4:25 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Sometimes the chains holding you in loving embrace must be shattered as they become suffocating. Some can hold their breath longer than others.

Jul 27, 2016 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Went into UEA this afternoon after a long absence (before Christmas), heard concerns but nothing specific. Dismiss as worthless hearsay if you will, I've lost interest.

Jul 27, 2016 at 6:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

Kim. Some embraces are not so loving and without a tag buddie can be long and painful.

Jul 27, 2016 at 6:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

As far as I can see, all that will happen is that the current methods of obtaining funding will need modification. Presumably there are projects that involve scientists at non EU establishments already running, so use those methods. CERN is presumably an example. UK involvement in the Russian space programme another. The Climategate emails begin with Briffa trying to find funding for those poor people in Siberia. There will be difficulties in the short term with projects in early stages or projects still pre inception, but why suppose that scientific cooperation between countries will come to an end?

Jul 28, 2016 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterDiogenes

Diogenes. No one here is arguing that cooperation will come to an end. EU funding is but one avenue of funding, and it is expected that eventually the British Government will reveal how it intends to make up the loss of EUfunding. The question is whether the short term transitional phase will adversely affect cooperation. To me this seems to be a reasonable expectation and some who should be in the know are saying it is having an effect. Those statements are disbelieved by many here.

Jul 28, 2016 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall