Candidate for RSC Organic Division President
I am standing for the position of RSC Organic Division President and my official campaign statement will be circulated by the RSC shortly and can be found at on this blog. However, I wished to write to you to specifically on the topic of engaging with Government and EPSRC in order to reverse the current policies which downgrade the importance of our subject and threaten the ability to do fundamental ‘blue skies’ chemistry research in the UK.
Most of you will be aware that over the last 12 months I, along with several others, have campaigned tirelessly to raise the profile of Organic Chemistry within Government, and to highlight the damaging nature of the EPSRC’s current policies. Indeed, many of you have supported this campaign by signing the letters I have sent to David Willetts, the Minister for Science and Universities and to David Delpy, the Chief Executive of EPSRC. Many of you have also signed the letters sent by Prof. Tony Barrett to the Prime Minister on these substantive issues. Through hard work and engaging with the media our campaigning has attracted much attention and our concerns have been raised in both the scientific and national press. Those of us involved in the campaign thought that it was imperative that the new RSC Organic Division President was someone who would keep the profile of Organic Chemistry high and our concerns on the agenda. As such I agreed to stand for the position of RSC Organic Division President and I have received the supporting nominations of a large number of figures within the Organic Chemistry community. Soon you will have the choice of voting for one of three candidates. However, I am the only candidate who is actively involved in the campaign to reverse the ‘downgrading’ of Organic Chemistry by EPSRC and I am the only candidate who has a frequent dialogue with the relevant Government minister.
The RSC is a membership driven organisation and it should campaign for the interests of all of its members. Many of us feel let down by the low profile which the RSC and the Organic Division has had in challenging the EPSRC’s policy. If elected Organic Division President, I will strive to ensure that both the Organic Division and the RSC have a higher profile on these issues and challenge policy decisions which undermine Organic Chemistry as an essential contributor to society. If you share my desire to raise awareness in Government and the research councils of the benefits that Organic Chemistry brings to the UK, then I would ask you to vote for me when your ballot paper arrives.