11 comments by Neil

  • Part of the problem is the very small cohort a course taught, even if only in part, in Welsh attracts. The Welsh language proponents may have forced Welsh to be taught in Welsh schools, but a lot of Welsh children hate both the language and those that force it upon them, even in areas where at the first hint your an outsider and the locals swap into Welsh having been conversing in English it's not popular with most young people. I learnt to speak enough Welsh to tell them to shut up and speak English whilst at Uni, that really is fun as it confuses the Welsh Nationalists no end.

    Commented on:5 June 2019 17:13

    An image showing packed up laboratory supplies

    Closing time?

  • STEM under funding is already a problem, in some Universities with large overseas student intakes, or creative accounting using monies from 'cheaper to run' non-STEM courses, STEM barely survives. Others have closed less popular or expensive STEM courses, or even whole departments as Exeter did in 2006. Augar is a long way short on the answers and raises further questions that few are willing to face up to let alone answer.

  • Interesting, but I'm not sure that India's reluctance is such a bad thing, with GM and glyphosate along with derivative plants that either produce no or non-viable seeds, locking farmers into buying seed from the monopolistic mega industrials, and the now clearer effects on apiculture and pollination (unintended?).


  • " ‘Evidence clearly shows that increasing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in research environments enhances excellence, innovation and creativity,’ "

    EQUALITY of OPPORTUNITY with meritocracy or it ends up killing off a lot of potential research and researchers careers is what we've experienced in the UK.

    As one female senior academic who was asked by her University to lead their Athena Swan 'task force' also discovered it's hugely time consuming, meaning she had to step back from her leading research activities, hardly helping her career.

    One can only hope it works for the Canadian's, and isn't just another Trudeau attempt to garner votes...

  • A major issue I see time and again is high powered visitors being given guided tours by those that don't actually work in, let alone understand, facilities around campus. The fact that high ranking management person acting as a guide has such a high level of access enabled on their I.D. swipe card doesn't seem to matter to anyone. Not inducted into the building with ALL the safety training should mean NO ACCESS!

    Commented on:13 May 2019 17:09

    An image showing lab coats on hooks

    Taking the lead on safety

  • If it makes the milksop university management face up to and deal with the petulant children's demands robustly, instead of caving in, then it's probably a very good idea. At least the USA has the First Amendment, for those of us elsewhere in the world free speech and the Academic Freedom it enables are long gone.

  • Unsurprising, other Universities have been cutting Chemistry courses or even whole departments for years. Like most practical STEM it costs a lot more than the fee's to run and given the very limited student base "currently the only one that can be partly taken in Welsh" hard to see any way to recruit more students.

  • How many more cases have gone undetected?

  • Having dealt with the effects of bullying on lessor staff and students a lot of the bullies I'm aware of operate from a position of power within Academia. The worst are usually the first to claim 'discrimination' and 'bullying' against themselves when called to explain their actions against others, even using the process of investigating an accusation of bullying as an example of bullying and discrimination against them. Whilst some try to dress up their behaviour as 'strong management', usually ex-services fore-lock tugging NCO's employed as middle managers, others are failing Academic's who lash out verbally at anyone they perceive as below below them simply to make themselves feel better, with female on female personal attacks being the most common of those.

    Unfortunately most University anti-bullying Policies are administered by (in)Human Resources departments which all too often turn out to be toothless tigers.

    Yes I'm a Trades Union Rep.

    Commented on:6 December 2018 11:09

    shutterstock 1090748609 [converted]

    Bullying is everyone's problem

  • With the very recent alleged chemical weapon use by IS in Syria, and reports of further weapons being prepared, the need for the major states to stop supplying the chemical components (precursors) has never been more urgent. The willingness to do so however...

    Commented on:29 November 2018 10:43

    A photograph of people receiving treatment following the alleged chemical gas attack in Eastern Ghouta, Syria.

    What now for the world's chemical weapons watchdog?