Short items, April 2012

UK CCS gets green light  

All six carbon capture and storage projects put forward by the UK government have been passed as satisfactory by the European Investment Bank (EIB). Having passed the due diligence process, the projects will now be able to compete for a share of the €5 billion (?4.5 billion) pot for these projects, which is jointly managed by the European commission, EIB and member states. 

China lead pollution  

Lead emissions by factories in Guangdong have poisoned 160 children according to a report by Xinhua news agency. Children from Dongtang town in Renhua County were found to have ’elevated’ levels of lead in their blood after inhaling contaminated air and eating tainted food. Lead poisoning is prevalent in China, which is the world’s largest consumer of refined lead, although Dongtang itself also sits on a seam of lead-zinc ore.  

Chair of EPSRC announced 

Paul Golby, former chairman and chief executive of energy supplier E.ON UK has been approved by the government as the next chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Regarding the controversy over the EPSRC’s ’shaping capability’ agenda, Golby told the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee that this was due to a ’perceived lack of engagement,’ and stressed that the council is independent of the government and will push back. 

Say What?

’’Excellent but under pressure  ’’ 

Conclusion of International Comparative Performance of the UK Research Base 2011, published by Elsevier, which compares the UK’s research performance to that of major or rising research powers. The government-commissioned report ranked the UK just below the US in terms of normalised citation impact but warned that low investment threatened this position.