Attracting the best & brightest minds to UK

My idea is to to make UK the destination of choice for pursuing Higher education(Post graduate studies and Phd) especially in the fields of science and engineering to student around the world.Thereby having promoting high quality research which should eventually lead to innovation and perhaps birth of new generation of British companies.

There has been a lot of talk about capping immigration from Non-EU Nations.But if closely analyze most of the immigration coming from Non-EU nations are generally highly skilled personnels such as engineers and doctors especially from South Asia.At same time if you analyze the immigrants from EU nations they generally are low skilled labour.

In this era of increased globalization due to low cost of labour present in countries like China and India most of the low skilled jobs will move to these countries.The only way Britain can improve its economy is by innovating especially in the fields of engineering& science.This countries like Britain,Germany and US have the key.I am from actually India where research is usually never encouraged and funds are very difficult to get . Moreover we don't have the facilities to conduct world class research. Many engineering graduates in India actually tend to go for higher studies in US instead of UK because of funding available.The ones coming to UK are not so brilliant ones who couldn't get into a good US universities.

But if you want to change this and attract the best student to your universities you will need to do two things.First make it easy for Non-EU students to work in Britain who have done their masters or Phd in British Universities.Second Make it easy for international students to get studentship and funding in Britain.

My idea revolves around the first.The post study visa which is of 2 year duration currently enforce is not much of use because you cannot extend the visa or convert into Tier 1 visa by yourself.The companies are reluctant to support you for Tier 1 visa due to the procedures and cost.They expect you to convert you immigration status to one where they can hire you directly.

My idea is make the post study  visa of 3yrs duration and convertible to Tier 1.Provided the candidate can show that he has worked in an engineering/science related job in Britain for at least 2 years out of those 3yrs.And other conditions such as he completed his post graduate education/Phd in a British university.This will not hamper British undergraduate prospects in UK as the post study work visa will be eligible to post graduate students.I must add very few British students actually pursue post graduate studies in Engineering/Science fields.

Secondly make it easy for international students to get Fully funded studentships and funds for research.This will encourage them to do research and innovate which will eventually help fuel the British economy.If you take this idea seriously and implement it you will get the cream of determined international students to do high quality research and replace US  as destination of choice for post graduate studies in the field of engineering/Science.I personally love to come and do research in an UK university.

Why is this idea important?

My idea is to to make UK the destination of choice for pursuing Higher education(Post graduate studies and Phd) especially in the fields of science and engineering to student around the world.Thereby having promoting high quality research which should eventually lead to innovation and perhaps birth of new generation of British companies.

There has been a lot of talk about capping immigration from Non-EU Nations.But if closely analyze most of the immigration coming from Non-EU nations are generally highly skilled personnels such as engineers and doctors especially from South Asia.At same time if you analyze the immigrants from EU nations they generally are low skilled labour.

In this era of increased globalization due to low cost of labour present in countries like China and India most of the low skilled jobs will move to these countries.The only way Britain can improve its economy is by innovating especially in the fields of engineering& science.This countries like Britain,Germany and US have the key.I am from actually India where research is usually never encouraged and funds are very difficult to get . Moreover we don't have the facilities to conduct world class research. Many engineering graduates in India actually tend to go for higher studies in US instead of UK because of funding available.The ones coming to UK are not so brilliant ones who couldn't get into a good US universities.

But if you want to change this and attract the best student to your universities you will need to do two things.First make it easy for Non-EU students to work in Britain who have done their masters or Phd in British Universities.Second Make it easy for international students to get studentship and funding in Britain.

My idea revolves around the first.The post study visa which is of 2 year duration currently enforce is not much of use because you cannot extend the visa or convert into Tier 1 visa by yourself.The companies are reluctant to support you for Tier 1 visa due to the procedures and cost.They expect you to convert you immigration status to one where they can hire you directly.

My idea is make the post study  visa of 3yrs duration and convertible to Tier 1.Provided the candidate can show that he has worked in an engineering/science related job in Britain for at least 2 years out of those 3yrs.And other conditions such as he completed his post graduate education/Phd in a British university.This will not hamper British undergraduate prospects in UK as the post study work visa will be eligible to post graduate students.I must add very few British students actually pursue post graduate studies in Engineering/Science fields.

Secondly make it easy for international students to get Fully funded studentships and funds for research.This will encourage them to do research and innovate which will eventually help fuel the British economy.If you take this idea seriously and implement it you will get the cream of determined international students to do high quality research and replace US  as destination of choice for post graduate studies in the field of engineering/Science.I personally love to come and do research in an UK university.

Restore people’s and council’s right to turn down phone masts on health grounds.

In August 2001 the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister under John Prescott issued planning guidance to Councils which included PPG8 -Telecommunications. Regarding the health aspect of masts, this guidance contained three paragraphs:
 

Health Considerations

29. Health considerations and public concern can in principle be material considerations in determining applications for planning permission and prior approval. Whether such matters are material in a particular case is ultimately a matter for the courts. It is for the decision-maker (usually the local planning authority) to determine what weight to attach to such considerations in any particular case.

30. However, it is the Governments firm view that the planning system is not the place for determining health safeguards. It remains central Governments responsibility to decide what measures are necessary to protect public health. In the Governments view, if a proposed mobile phone base station meets the ICNIRP guidelines for public exposure it should not be necessary for a local planning authority, in processing an application for planning permission or prior approval, to consider further the health aspects and concerns about them.

31. The Governments acceptance of the precautionary approach recommended by the Stewart Groups report "mobile phones and health"1 is limited to the specific recommendations in the Groups report and the Governments response to them. The report does not provide any basis for precautionary actions beyond those already proposed. In the Governments view, local planning authorities should not implement their own precautionary policies e.g. by way of imposing a ban or moratorium on new telecommunications development or insisting on minimum distances between new telecommunications development and existing development.
 

Paragraphs 29 and 30 practically contradict each other. This piece of Government advice has been the subject of two court battles:

The first, on the 26th of September 2003 -Yasmin Skelt -v- The First Secretary of State and Three Bridges District Council and Orange PCS Limited: The First Secretary of State conceded the case which allowed a mast to be removed from Grove Way, Chorleywood on the basis that being within the ICNIRP guidelines did not stop the council from considering other scientific evidence with regard to the possible future health effects on the population close to the mast.

Then in November 2004 – T-Mobile UK Ltd v First Secretary of State: The First Secretary of State also lost the case, however this time the solicitors for The First Secretary of State were in The Court of Appeal fighting against a mobile phone operator. The ruling, which dismissed the appeal, effectively said that other than in exceptional circumstances, the council must accept being within ICNIRP guidelines as being safe, and cannot consider any further health evidence when deciding whether or not to give planning approval to a base station (mast). Observers have said that the case made by The First Secretary of State was very weak and did not offer any evidence that showed the limitations of the ICNIRP guidelines. "It was if they wanted to lose the case". The First Secretary of State declined to the appeal the decision. And as the previous case was settled before judgement, this became the case that is now cited in similar situations.
 

There is much evidence that the ICNIRP guidelines are not adequate for determining the health risk of mobile phones, masts or other wireless technology. The ICNIRP guidelines only take into account the heating effects of the radiation while many new studies show that health effects are caused through non thermal mechanisms, at levels far lower than the ICNIRP guidelines (See the Bioinitiative report, Reflex report and others). There are epidemiological studies that show that health problems increase proportionally the closer people (and animals) live to a mast. This would not be the case if the ICNIRP guidelines were ‘safe’.

Given that such evidence exists, it is farcical that the law can say that the ICNIRP guidelines = safe. It is like having a law that states “Bristol is on the moon”. Sadly it is not only farcical, it is also harmful to those people, such as my own family, who are adversely affected by this.

Why is this idea important?

In August 2001 the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister under John Prescott issued planning guidance to Councils which included PPG8 -Telecommunications. Regarding the health aspect of masts, this guidance contained three paragraphs:
 

Health Considerations

29. Health considerations and public concern can in principle be material considerations in determining applications for planning permission and prior approval. Whether such matters are material in a particular case is ultimately a matter for the courts. It is for the decision-maker (usually the local planning authority) to determine what weight to attach to such considerations in any particular case.

30. However, it is the Governments firm view that the planning system is not the place for determining health safeguards. It remains central Governments responsibility to decide what measures are necessary to protect public health. In the Governments view, if a proposed mobile phone base station meets the ICNIRP guidelines for public exposure it should not be necessary for a local planning authority, in processing an application for planning permission or prior approval, to consider further the health aspects and concerns about them.

31. The Governments acceptance of the precautionary approach recommended by the Stewart Groups report "mobile phones and health"1 is limited to the specific recommendations in the Groups report and the Governments response to them. The report does not provide any basis for precautionary actions beyond those already proposed. In the Governments view, local planning authorities should not implement their own precautionary policies e.g. by way of imposing a ban or moratorium on new telecommunications development or insisting on minimum distances between new telecommunications development and existing development.
 

Paragraphs 29 and 30 practically contradict each other. This piece of Government advice has been the subject of two court battles:

The first, on the 26th of September 2003 -Yasmin Skelt -v- The First Secretary of State and Three Bridges District Council and Orange PCS Limited: The First Secretary of State conceded the case which allowed a mast to be removed from Grove Way, Chorleywood on the basis that being within the ICNIRP guidelines did not stop the council from considering other scientific evidence with regard to the possible future health effects on the population close to the mast.

Then in November 2004 – T-Mobile UK Ltd v First Secretary of State: The First Secretary of State also lost the case, however this time the solicitors for The First Secretary of State were in The Court of Appeal fighting against a mobile phone operator. The ruling, which dismissed the appeal, effectively said that other than in exceptional circumstances, the council must accept being within ICNIRP guidelines as being safe, and cannot consider any further health evidence when deciding whether or not to give planning approval to a base station (mast). Observers have said that the case made by The First Secretary of State was very weak and did not offer any evidence that showed the limitations of the ICNIRP guidelines. "It was if they wanted to lose the case". The First Secretary of State declined to the appeal the decision. And as the previous case was settled before judgement, this became the case that is now cited in similar situations.
 

There is much evidence that the ICNIRP guidelines are not adequate for determining the health risk of mobile phones, masts or other wireless technology. The ICNIRP guidelines only take into account the heating effects of the radiation while many new studies show that health effects are caused through non thermal mechanisms, at levels far lower than the ICNIRP guidelines (See the Bioinitiative report, Reflex report and others). There are epidemiological studies that show that health problems increase proportionally the closer people (and animals) live to a mast. This would not be the case if the ICNIRP guidelines were ‘safe’.

Given that such evidence exists, it is farcical that the law can say that the ICNIRP guidelines = safe. It is like having a law that states “Bristol is on the moon”. Sadly it is not only farcical, it is also harmful to those people, such as my own family, who are adversely affected by this.

Lobby Groups With Power Are Killing Democracy

SOURCE:  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/mps-demand-an-increase-in-the-minimum-price-of-alcohol-1861401.html

The drinks industry depends for its profits on people drinking harmfully or hazardously who between them consume three-quarters of all the alcohol sold in Britain, a committee of MPs will say today. Accusing ministers of a "failure of will" over controlling the industry, they will point out that if people drank responsibly, within the limits advised by medical organisations, sales of alcohol would plummet by 40 per cent.

But health warnings about the dangers of excessive drinking are drowned out by an industry that peddles myths to promote its sales, according to the MPs. In a scathing analysis of the stranglehold which the drinks industry has over the Government and the nation, the all-party Commons health select committee will accuse ministers of cosying up to the firms that dominate the market.

It calls for tough measures to curb alcohol consumption, including a minimum price of at least 40p per unit compared with supermarket prices that are as low as 10p a unit, a rise in duty, independent regulation of alcohol promotion and mandatory labelling.

The idea of a minimum price, aimed principally at supermarket promotions where beer can cost less than water, was first raised by the Government's chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson last year but was immediately rejected by Gordon Brown because, he claimed, it would penalise moderate drinkers.

The health committee will flatly reject this argument as a myth fostered by the alcohol lobby, saying that at 40p a unit it would cost a moderate drinker consuming the average six units weekly (three pints of ordinary bitter) 11p more a week than at present. A woman drinking 15 units a week, equivalent to one and a quarter bottles of wine, could buy her weekly total of alcohol for £6.

Kevin Barron, chairman of the committee said: "The facts about alcohol are shocking. Successive governments have failed to tackle the problem and it is now time for bold government. Even small reductions in the number of people using alcohol could save the NHS millions. What is required is fundamental cultural change. Only this way are we likely to reduce the dangerous numbers of young people drinking their lives away."

One in 10 of the population consumes almost half (44 per cent) of all the alcohol drunk. Consumption has soared in recent decades and three times as much is now drunk per head as in the middle of the last century. Alcohol is estimated to cause 30,000 to 40,000 deaths a year.

 

It is calculated that a minimum price of 50p a unit would save more than 3,000 lives a year. But the response of successive governments had "ranged from the non-existent to the ineffectual", the committee will say.

Simon Litherland, managing director of Diageo GB, the world's largest beer, wine and spirits firm, said: "This report represents yet another attempt by aggressive sections of the health lobby to hijack alcohol policy-making."

Public health minister Gillian Merron said: "Alcohol is an increasing challenge to people's health – we are working hard to reverse the trend and are constantly seeking better ways to tackle it."

Why is this idea important?

SOURCE:  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/mps-demand-an-increase-in-the-minimum-price-of-alcohol-1861401.html

The drinks industry depends for its profits on people drinking harmfully or hazardously who between them consume three-quarters of all the alcohol sold in Britain, a committee of MPs will say today. Accusing ministers of a "failure of will" over controlling the industry, they will point out that if people drank responsibly, within the limits advised by medical organisations, sales of alcohol would plummet by 40 per cent.

But health warnings about the dangers of excessive drinking are drowned out by an industry that peddles myths to promote its sales, according to the MPs. In a scathing analysis of the stranglehold which the drinks industry has over the Government and the nation, the all-party Commons health select committee will accuse ministers of cosying up to the firms that dominate the market.

It calls for tough measures to curb alcohol consumption, including a minimum price of at least 40p per unit compared with supermarket prices that are as low as 10p a unit, a rise in duty, independent regulation of alcohol promotion and mandatory labelling.

The idea of a minimum price, aimed principally at supermarket promotions where beer can cost less than water, was first raised by the Government's chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson last year but was immediately rejected by Gordon Brown because, he claimed, it would penalise moderate drinkers.

The health committee will flatly reject this argument as a myth fostered by the alcohol lobby, saying that at 40p a unit it would cost a moderate drinker consuming the average six units weekly (three pints of ordinary bitter) 11p more a week than at present. A woman drinking 15 units a week, equivalent to one and a quarter bottles of wine, could buy her weekly total of alcohol for £6.

Kevin Barron, chairman of the committee said: "The facts about alcohol are shocking. Successive governments have failed to tackle the problem and it is now time for bold government. Even small reductions in the number of people using alcohol could save the NHS millions. What is required is fundamental cultural change. Only this way are we likely to reduce the dangerous numbers of young people drinking their lives away."

One in 10 of the population consumes almost half (44 per cent) of all the alcohol drunk. Consumption has soared in recent decades and three times as much is now drunk per head as in the middle of the last century. Alcohol is estimated to cause 30,000 to 40,000 deaths a year.

 

It is calculated that a minimum price of 50p a unit would save more than 3,000 lives a year. But the response of successive governments had "ranged from the non-existent to the ineffectual", the committee will say.

Simon Litherland, managing director of Diageo GB, the world's largest beer, wine and spirits firm, said: "This report represents yet another attempt by aggressive sections of the health lobby to hijack alcohol policy-making."

Public health minister Gillian Merron said: "Alcohol is an increasing challenge to people's health – we are working hard to reverse the trend and are constantly seeking better ways to tackle it."

Relaxation of gender discrimination rules

As a retired physicist and engineer and now chairman of a technology based museum I am keen to encourage year 9/10 girls to consider a career in science and engineering.

We had hoped to run a day programme with high quality women speakers from various areas of science and engineering (no problems here) and invite girls from local secondary schools to attend.

It appears that we cannot invite girls only to an event.

We cannot advertise a girls-only event in the local press.

The local press will not/cannot provide editorial for a girls only event.

There is clearly something seriously wrong here with legislation/regulations/rules. Please can something be done to make the situation more sensible without losing sight of gross gender discrimination?

Why is this idea important?

As a retired physicist and engineer and now chairman of a technology based museum I am keen to encourage year 9/10 girls to consider a career in science and engineering.

We had hoped to run a day programme with high quality women speakers from various areas of science and engineering (no problems here) and invite girls from local secondary schools to attend.

It appears that we cannot invite girls only to an event.

We cannot advertise a girls-only event in the local press.

The local press will not/cannot provide editorial for a girls only event.

There is clearly something seriously wrong here with legislation/regulations/rules. Please can something be done to make the situation more sensible without losing sight of gross gender discrimination?

Smoking Ban in Public Houses (From a NON-Smoker)

I have to say, when witnessing the number of pubs and clubs that are closing down now, that this stupid ban was the death knell for many of them.

I should say at the outset that I do not smoke – gave up quite a few years ago – I am not in the licensed trade and have no connection with the tobacco industry. I am a joiner who is currently working part time and looking for full time employment. However, I really feel for the groups of smokers huddled in doorways and outdoor shelters around pubs – especially in the winter. Of course – many smokers don't, now, even bother to go to the pub – they stay at home.

My wife and I were in Spain recently and noticed such a difference in attitudes – far more relaxed about the whole thing (yes, I do realise that other factors, such as the weather, play a part also.)

I'm not advocating the allowing of smoking in all public houses – but that those who wish to allow it provide a seperate, well ventilated room in which smokers can indulge, and that those pubs must advertise smoking/ non-smoking  outside the premises. At least that way, people have the real choice.

Why is this idea important?

I have to say, when witnessing the number of pubs and clubs that are closing down now, that this stupid ban was the death knell for many of them.

I should say at the outset that I do not smoke – gave up quite a few years ago – I am not in the licensed trade and have no connection with the tobacco industry. I am a joiner who is currently working part time and looking for full time employment. However, I really feel for the groups of smokers huddled in doorways and outdoor shelters around pubs – especially in the winter. Of course – many smokers don't, now, even bother to go to the pub – they stay at home.

My wife and I were in Spain recently and noticed such a difference in attitudes – far more relaxed about the whole thing (yes, I do realise that other factors, such as the weather, play a part also.)

I'm not advocating the allowing of smoking in all public houses – but that those who wish to allow it provide a seperate, well ventilated room in which smokers can indulge, and that those pubs must advertise smoking/ non-smoking  outside the premises. At least that way, people have the real choice.

A defensible, logical, evidence based drugs policy.

The Government should listen to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on issues of drug policy and not interfere in its affairs. Drugs policy should be based on scientific evidence and facts rather than politics.

Note: This isn't the same as calling for legalisation of any or all drugs. This is about the Government listening to experts in the field instead of putting people at risk by ignoring advice for the sake of votes.

Why is this idea important?

The Government should listen to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on issues of drug policy and not interfere in its affairs. Drugs policy should be based on scientific evidence and facts rather than politics.

Note: This isn't the same as calling for legalisation of any or all drugs. This is about the Government listening to experts in the field instead of putting people at risk by ignoring advice for the sake of votes.

Do NOT decriminalize cannabis…

…LEGALIZE it.

It is important people undrestund the difference between legalizing and decriminalizing.

Legalization is the process of removing a legal prohibition against something which is currently not legal.

Legalization is a process often applied to what are regarded, by those working towards legalization, as victimless crimes, of which one example is the consumption of illegal drugs .

Legalization should be contrasted with decriminalization, which removes criminal charges from an action, but leaves intact associated laws and regulations.

Why is this idea important?

…LEGALIZE it.

It is important people undrestund the difference between legalizing and decriminalizing.

Legalization is the process of removing a legal prohibition against something which is currently not legal.

Legalization is a process often applied to what are regarded, by those working towards legalization, as victimless crimes, of which one example is the consumption of illegal drugs .

Legalization should be contrasted with decriminalization, which removes criminal charges from an action, but leaves intact associated laws and regulations.

Allow scientists to study what they want

Funding for science is dictated by the government (or a body acting on behalf of the government). This is carried out by calling for research proposals in a particular area of science chosen by the government-often chosen by particular buzzwords seen in the media.

It wasn’t always like this, it was possible to have your own idea then ask for funds. Now we must wait until the government has the idea before we can get it funded.

Please increase the funds for “responsive mode” research and cut back on tHose which promote the government agenda.

Why is this idea important?

Funding for science is dictated by the government (or a body acting on behalf of the government). This is carried out by calling for research proposals in a particular area of science chosen by the government-often chosen by particular buzzwords seen in the media.

It wasn’t always like this, it was possible to have your own idea then ask for funds. Now we must wait until the government has the idea before we can get it funded.

Please increase the funds for “responsive mode” research and cut back on tHose which promote the government agenda.

Govt: Offer prizes for better technologies

Government doesn't do science very well – actually, extremely badly – but it knows what it wants. For instance, it wants cleaner vehicle engine with much higher fuel efficiencies. Government can't design them, but the private sector could – so why not set the goals, for this and renewable energy sources (among other nice-to-haves) and set the spec, offer a damned good prize of cash or grants or tax breaks, and let the inventive British get on with the job?

It could also introduce State protection – legal protection – for patent holders, many of whom fail to bring ideas to market because of the risk to their own homes and capital, and many of whom lose their patents because they can't afford to fight off the "big guys" who muscle in (remember the fight James Dyson had with Hoover and other companies who copied his typhoon vacuum cleaners? You've got to be wealthy to fight off those corporations).

If the Government sets a goal butt it isn't attained, nothing's lost. Otherwise it might be achieved, for all our benefits, or else there may be significant progress made along the way.

Let's give it a chance.

Why is this idea important?

Government doesn't do science very well – actually, extremely badly – but it knows what it wants. For instance, it wants cleaner vehicle engine with much higher fuel efficiencies. Government can't design them, but the private sector could – so why not set the goals, for this and renewable energy sources (among other nice-to-haves) and set the spec, offer a damned good prize of cash or grants or tax breaks, and let the inventive British get on with the job?

It could also introduce State protection – legal protection – for patent holders, many of whom fail to bring ideas to market because of the risk to their own homes and capital, and many of whom lose their patents because they can't afford to fight off the "big guys" who muscle in (remember the fight James Dyson had with Hoover and other companies who copied his typhoon vacuum cleaners? You've got to be wealthy to fight off those corporations).

If the Government sets a goal butt it isn't attained, nothing's lost. Otherwise it might be achieved, for all our benefits, or else there may be significant progress made along the way.

Let's give it a chance.

UK courts should recognise the laws of physics

A frequent complaint about UK courts is that they often believe statements that contradict the known laws of physics, and sometimes believe so called expert witnesses who believe in alternative realities.

Why is this idea important?

A frequent complaint about UK courts is that they often believe statements that contradict the known laws of physics, and sometimes believe so called expert witnesses who believe in alternative realities.

Remove requirements that research be funded based on “impact”

The last government changed how money is allocated for publicly funded scientific research so that it is based on potential economic "impact". So whether businesses will benefit, or whether the research will increase GNP are used to decide which research gets our money.

 

That decision should be reversed.

Why is this idea important?

The last government changed how money is allocated for publicly funded scientific research so that it is based on potential economic "impact". So whether businesses will benefit, or whether the research will increase GNP are used to decide which research gets our money.

 

That decision should be reversed.

Scrap EMA and use the money to make tuition fees for maths and real sciences free

EMA pays students who don't want to learn to turn up and loaf around in 6th forms disrupting lessons for those who do want to learn. That's not value for money, it's a waste of money. If the savings from scrapping EMA went to encourage more maths, engineering and science degree students, which the country really needs then we'd be inesting in our future rather than throwing good money away.

Why is this idea important?

EMA pays students who don't want to learn to turn up and loaf around in 6th forms disrupting lessons for those who do want to learn. That's not value for money, it's a waste of money. If the savings from scrapping EMA went to encourage more maths, engineering and science degree students, which the country really needs then we'd be inesting in our future rather than throwing good money away.

Promotion of British Science

We should enact special tax provision to ensure science is brought to the forefront of life in Britain where currently it is sidelined into an also-ran role for geeks.

The way we can do this is by providing science (and engineering) with special tax privelages for those individuals and companies actively 'doing' it. All the way from the schools and colleges up to Nobel science prize-winners we need to support it.

E.G how about no college fees and free loans to physics and chemistry students to stimulate interest. When they take up employment in 'real' industry here in the UK (but not if they get spirited away to America), give them a lower tax rate for the duration to live and work for a British-owned company. Likewise preferential loan and tax rates for enginering companies. Its all very well making interesting TV programs about it, but you have to back it up with real financial incentives. By the same token we need to discourage the blue-sky, and 'humanities' -type subjects. We can't afford luxuries which don't create industrial strength or generate real wealth.

Why is this idea important?

We should enact special tax provision to ensure science is brought to the forefront of life in Britain where currently it is sidelined into an also-ran role for geeks.

The way we can do this is by providing science (and engineering) with special tax privelages for those individuals and companies actively 'doing' it. All the way from the schools and colleges up to Nobel science prize-winners we need to support it.

E.G how about no college fees and free loans to physics and chemistry students to stimulate interest. When they take up employment in 'real' industry here in the UK (but not if they get spirited away to America), give them a lower tax rate for the duration to live and work for a British-owned company. Likewise preferential loan and tax rates for enginering companies. Its all very well making interesting TV programs about it, but you have to back it up with real financial incentives. By the same token we need to discourage the blue-sky, and 'humanities' -type subjects. We can't afford luxuries which don't create industrial strength or generate real wealth.

Repeal current Drug laws. Replace based on Science not Politics

Our current Drug laws are not working. They are regularly amended by politians to appeal to various sections of voters. The scientific community are best placed to give an unbiased assessment of the dangers of each intoxicant.

We should repeal the Misuse of Drugs Act and replace it with one based on scientific evidence, not media-led populist scare-stories. Social and Economic expertise can inform practical mechanisms for controlling drug use.

 

 

 

Why is this idea important?

Our current Drug laws are not working. They are regularly amended by politians to appeal to various sections of voters. The scientific community are best placed to give an unbiased assessment of the dangers of each intoxicant.

We should repeal the Misuse of Drugs Act and replace it with one based on scientific evidence, not media-led populist scare-stories. Social and Economic expertise can inform practical mechanisms for controlling drug use.

 

 

 

Amend the ‘misuse of drugs act 1971’

The classification and prohibition status of drugs should be based on robust scientific assessment of the harms caused by the use of specific substances. Such classification should be independent of arbitrary political whims.

Studies including- 

Drug classification: making a hash of it?, Fifth Report of Session 2005–06, House of Commons, Science and Technology Committee

and

Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse, David Nutt, Leslie A. King, William Saulsbury, Colin Blakemore, The Lancet, 24 March 2007

have repeatedly shown that the present system of drug classification as ordered under the act is based on historical assumptions, not scientific assessment. To quote from the second source, the act is "not fit for purpose" and "the exclusion of alcohol and tobacco from the Misuse of Drugs Act is, from a scientific perspective, arbitrary."

The act should be amended to abolish the role of the 'advisory council on the misuse of drugs' which has been shown to be subject to political influence, eliminate the role of the Home Secretary in drug classification as there is no independent oversight of his decision making and no necessary scientific validity to this role, and establish instead an independent organisation that is strictly regulated to follow and abide by the scientific method in the classification of drugs.

The staff and organisation of the existing 'independent scientific committee on drugs', established by Professor David Nutt, would be suitable to fill this role.

Why is this idea important?

The classification and prohibition status of drugs should be based on robust scientific assessment of the harms caused by the use of specific substances. Such classification should be independent of arbitrary political whims.

Studies including- 

Drug classification: making a hash of it?, Fifth Report of Session 2005–06, House of Commons, Science and Technology Committee

and

Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse, David Nutt, Leslie A. King, William Saulsbury, Colin Blakemore, The Lancet, 24 March 2007

have repeatedly shown that the present system of drug classification as ordered under the act is based on historical assumptions, not scientific assessment. To quote from the second source, the act is "not fit for purpose" and "the exclusion of alcohol and tobacco from the Misuse of Drugs Act is, from a scientific perspective, arbitrary."

The act should be amended to abolish the role of the 'advisory council on the misuse of drugs' which has been shown to be subject to political influence, eliminate the role of the Home Secretary in drug classification as there is no independent oversight of his decision making and no necessary scientific validity to this role, and establish instead an independent organisation that is strictly regulated to follow and abide by the scientific method in the classification of drugs.

The staff and organisation of the existing 'independent scientific committee on drugs', established by Professor David Nutt, would be suitable to fill this role.

Reduce libel & defammation laws to allow publication of investigative reporting

The Guardian was gagged by London solicitors Carter-Ruck from reporting a question in Parliament about Trafigura's rôle in African oil pollution.

Scientific journalist Simon Singh was sued by the Briitish Chiropractics Association for his sceptic newspaper article, with crippling legal costs threatening his right to publish critical analysis.

Let's support Lord Lester proposed Defammmation Bill and stop those attempting to use English law and legal fees being used to hinder freedom of speech and journalistic reporting.

Why is this idea important?

The Guardian was gagged by London solicitors Carter-Ruck from reporting a question in Parliament about Trafigura's rôle in African oil pollution.

Scientific journalist Simon Singh was sued by the Briitish Chiropractics Association for his sceptic newspaper article, with crippling legal costs threatening his right to publish critical analysis.

Let's support Lord Lester proposed Defammmation Bill and stop those attempting to use English law and legal fees being used to hinder freedom of speech and journalistic reporting.