Gordon F Kirkbright; BOC Group; National Cancer Institute; Sheffield University; Initiative for Science in Europe

  • Applications are being invited for the Gordon F Kirkbright Bursary 2005. The award allows talented, young scientists from around the world the opportunity to attend a scientific meeting or place of learning. The award is open to scientists in all disciplines. Further information is available from John Chalmers at the University of Nottingham, UK. The closing date for applications is 18 March 2005.
  • An agreement between the industrial gas company, BOC Group and CSIRO has set out international plans to replace the common fumigant, methyl bromide, by a new environmentally-safe alternative, ethanedinitrile (EDN). EDN, is more effective than methyl bromide in field tests for many applications. According to BOC’s managing director, the move will allow Australia to comply with the terms of the Montreal Protocol.
  • The National Cancer Institute, US, has announced the launch of a five year project to investigate the use of nanotechnology to fight cancer. The project costing $144m will help develop required technology. Reportedly, some experts are cautious and believe that insufficient is known about nanotechnology and warn against the potential health hazards.
  • September saw the launch of a new research centre, the Ceramics and Composites Laboratory (CCL) in the Department of Engineering Materials at Sheffield University, UK. Researchers in the CCL aim to act as a hub for ceramics research. This is one of the first eight Portfolio Partnerships to be established by the EPSRC. The ?6m award over five years will allow researchers flexibility to adapt to hot topics.
  • An appeal, launched by the Initiative for Science in Europe has called for the implementation of a European Research Council (ERC) to fund basic research. Plans to set up an ERC have already been discussed by the European Commission. Such an organisation would aim to fund basic research at a European level, including social sciences and humanities, to provide long-term commitment to science policy within Europe.