United Kingdom

The Scientific Activist

Category archives for United Kingdom

I recently had the pleasure of writing an op-ed piece about health care reform for my hometown newspaper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and it ran in the paper today. You can check it out online here. I grew up reading the Star-Telegram, so this was an exciting opportunity. My article discusses the need for robust…

In an attempt to save the sinking ship that is his current government, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has extensively shuffled his cabinet. As part of this the science (formerly the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills [DIUS]) has been merged with business (formerly the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform [DBERR]) to form…

I’ll admit that I haven’t paid a terribly large amount of attention to the upcoming European Parliament elections (taking place in the UK Thursday–i.e. tomorrow) since I can’t actually vote in them. However, maybe I should have been paying attention, based on a write-up by Frank Swain (SciencePunk) and Martin Robbins (The Lay Scientist) that…

Today, a court in Oxford found animal rights extremist Mel Broughton guilty of conspiracy to commit arson and sentenced him to ten years in prison for his crime. Broughton was arrested in 2007, after being linked to a failed arson attempt at Oxford’s Templeton College (which followed a successful attack of Queen’s College the previous…

Last Friday the British Minister of Science, Paul Drayson, visited the science area of Oxford University to give a short speech and take questions. The audience was a fairly random assortment of a couple of hundred academics and students, mostly from the sciences. I was invited to fill one of ten graduate student slots granted…

The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), which is responsible for higher education in the UK, is seeking feedback to help it develop its new science strategy. The DIUS has put together a website for this purpose: interactive.dius.gov.uk/scienceandsociety/. There, you can read its latest report, comment on various sections of the report, or provide…

For those of my readers in the UK (or anywhere else where you have access to Sky News), I’ll be appearing live on Sky News at about 10:30 11:30 BST this Friday to talk about Barack Obama’s visit to the UK and his support among Americans living abroad. I’m not sure if the video will…

Oh, the things we do in the name of “the global war on terror.” And, not just in the US. Here’s an example from the UK. From The Guardian: A masters student researching terrorist tactics who was arrested and detained for six days after his university informed police about al-Qaida-related material he downloaded has spoken…

When I first arrived in Oxford, about two and a half years ago, I found myself face to face with a very vocal and determined animal rights movement. Thriving on misinformation and intimidation–through their visible rallies and underhanded techniques of arson, grave robbing, and constant threats–they had stalled construction on Oxford’s new animal research building…

The Guardian reports today that Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, raised eyebrows last night when he suggested that the UK ought to recognize sharia law. Sharia law, or Islamic law, forms the basis of the legal systems in Islamic theocracies, but is often practiced informally within other societies, particularly on matters such as marriage…