Posts by Kate Cooper

The Science Council list: Leading UK practising scientists

The Science Council listed 100 leading UK practising scientists earlier this week. Congratulations to each of them!

The UK has a long tradition of its people contributing greatly to scientific endeavour — and thereby expanding our understanding of How The World Really Works (cf our sometimes bizarre beliefs!) and creating the myriad technologies underpinning our lives today.  The Science Council #100scientists are part of this brilliant tradition.

NewOptimistsScientists_ScienceCouncil responseAs, too, are the 110 (and counting) New Optimists scientists. 

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Interim report of the Elliott Review: Food crime the key message

Interim report of the Elliott Review

“My review to date has identified a worrying lack of knowledge regarding the extent to which we are dealing with criminals infiltrating the food industry. I believe criminal networks have begun to see the potential for huge profits and low risks in this area. The food industry and thus consumers are currently vulnerable,” Professor Chris Elliott says in his Preface to his interim report.

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Books for Xmas: Better Angels, Wired for Culture and . . . SOD4

SOD4New Optimist Jack Cohen irreverently refers to the latest Science of Discworld novel which he co-authored with Terry Pratchett and Ian Stewart as “SOD4”.

Be that as it may, it’s a great read as you’d expect from three such scientifically informed wits — so a good pressie to give this Christmas-tide.

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Mandela: Unemployed pensioner with a criminal record

The story I have to tell dates from 1998. I was staying in Pretoria, delivering the Innovation Strategy module for WMG, part of their MSc in Engineering Management. For reasons I can’t remember, we, the thirty or so delegates and myself, the module tutor, had to get to a conference centre, half an hour’s drive away up in the high veldt. 

I was given a lift by one of the kitchen staff at the DB&B place I was staying. She was but a lass, a poorly-educated Afrikaans girl in her late teens. Of course we chatted on our daily journeys there and back. It was evidently hard being an Afrikaans in South Africa at the time. Not hard in the stone-breaking, TB-infected, prison-cell-for-decades kind of way. But hard nonetheless.

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The scientists, the scenarios, the forum: What’s coming up

The November 2013 update from The New Optimists takes in everything that’s happened since the publication of the book. . . and, even more important, sets things out for what’ll be happening next.

in the immediate future, we’re recruiting rising young scientist stars in the Midlands for a series of brief video interviews over the next few months.

Know someone, perhaps a PhD or postdoc researcher doing interesting stuff? Do encourage them to get in touch with me here.

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Jim Yong Kim: scenarios & climate change

Evan Davis interviewed Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank on Radio 4 Today.

Much of the interview was about Jim Yong Kim’s conversation with the press yesterday (transcript here) in which he made the much-reported statement what I hope the tragedy in the Philippines helps us to do is to move away from having, what I think, a silly argument about, not really the science, but about science as a whole. Ninety-five percent of climate scientists agree that anthropogenic climate change is real

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The brilliant impact of the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project to date

Nearly two years ago, I wrote a blogpost about why The New Optimists Forum took food as its topic for the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project.

I’m pretty used to good things happening as a result of putting scientists and other well-informed people in a room together, especially if you give ’em tasty food and an important topic to bend their minds upon.

Ideas tumble out, analysis of what’s been said reveal yet more interesting stuff and then . . .  new shiny things emerge.

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Reducing the UK’s carbon footprint — one of the world’s largest

New Optimist Dame Julia King has brought two recent important reports from the Committee on Climate Change to my attention. (By the by, she’s one of only nine people on the Committee, and the only woman.)

The first report, published in April 2103, is Reducing the UK’s carbon footprint and managing competitiveness risk. This is a response to a Government request to look at the role of consumption-based emissions. The UK is now one of the world’s largest net importers of emissions, with a carbon footprint around 80% larger than our production emissions.

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Charlie Craddock, Peter Sadler, Michael Overduin — and Science Capital

Three New Optimists Profs were among those leading Wednesday evening’s Science Capital meeting on Innovative Healthcare at The Binding Site HQ at Fiveways.

Charlie Craddock gave an update on the £24M Institute of Translational Medicine to open, as Charlie pointed out, on the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

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