Today the EPSRC confirmed that it has no intention of halting its flawed 'shaping capabilities' exercise despite being asked to do so by the whole of the scientific community. As usual the RSC in the form of Neville Reed was eager to comment. As usual the RSC and Neville Reed were completely out of touch with the feeling of its members. http://tinyurl.com/64kcrxq So as usual I had to write an open letter to Neville Reed and the RSC expressing my disgust at his betrayal of the scientific community. I have reproduced it below.
Please E-mail Neville at http://www.rsc.org/AboutUs/Contacts/SMT.asp to express you dismay too.
I have read with some dismay your comments about the EPSRC's shaping capability exercise in today's THES. Nowhere has the EPSRC said that it will engage or consult (as the OED defines these words) with the scientific community on how to make the financial savings it needs to, without writing off whole sub-disciplines of science. The EPSRC refuses to enter into negotiations on how best to achieve these savings, yet protect fundamental scientific research. The EPSRC has consistently failed to provide answers to many significant questions regarding the processes and data used in the shaping capability exercise, its reduction in PhD student numbers, its desire for admin staff to decide whether proposals should be funded, the areas for fellowship applications, etc, etc. Contrary to the concept of consultation they are wedded to the arrogance that they know best. This attitude is sickening, especially when the scientific community (chemists, physicist, and mathematicians) can see the consequences of these policies.
Once again I must write to the RSC 'leadership' to remind you that it is your job to support the RSC's members and to fight ‘tooth and nail’ to protect chemistry, and science in general, in the UK. Your comments about the EPSRC "going out of its way to engage" and "If the EPSRC continues in this vein it will eventually take all the community with it in the direction it wants to go" are completely at odds to the facts and with how the community actually feels. You and the RSC would do well to listen to its members more closely, rather than the misinformation and propaganda that spurts from the disingenuous functionaries in Swindon. Once again the RSC has had the wool pulled over its eyes by EPSRC and you sadly have come across as naive and out of touch.