So, in my extensive recent post about the Royal Society Pairing Scheme, I totally forgot the most active talk of Tuesday, in which we had a speaker from RCUK. Suffice to say, the assembled researchers were very interested in funding policy and there were some vociferous comments from the less applied end of the spectrum about the impact agenda. From my part, I don't mind having to talk about my "impact", even if it is nebulous, but I do sort of worry that specialisation of funding (e.g. to particular applied areas, but the argument works in general) will lead to the UK abandoning swathes of research to concentrate on areas that prescient civil servants or ministers have predicted will be the key areas and we will therefore drive brilliant people away and go on a one way path to a second-class science nation. As pointed out in the first talk on Tuesday, we are second in the world in several measures on science research. I don't think we can or should make conscious decisions to abandon research areas given that.
Anyway... I really wanted to post now to point out that a paper written by my PhD student combining results from his MPhys and PhD days has just been published. The paper also includes another MPhys placement student, who is currently working out at Yale University in the USA. The paper is "gold" open access, which I should probably blog about separately, but for now, enjoy the paper!