Mathematics today

A recent “Science in Parliament” meeting resulted in a lovely article by Ken Brown and Paul Glendinning, entitled Mathematics Today, on the current state of UK mathematics. They do not shrink from discussing conflicts between the EPSRC-commissioned International Review of UK Mathematics and EPSRC policy. Worth reading!

Photos of the authors are by the redoubtable Marc Atkins.

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About Peter Cameron

I count all the things that need to be counted.
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2 Responses to Mathematics today

  1. David Craven says:

    Just a quick word about one of the EPSRC changes, namely postdoctoral fellowships.

    An EPSRC apparatchik came to our university last week for a presentation. While we are bemoaning the loss of the postdoctoral fellowships, they are sort-of being replaced by these doctoral awards (formerly PhD Plus). Although these run for only two years, they appear to be more plentiful, and are distributed by departments themselves, rather than commissars at EPSRC. It might well be that this system is better than postdoctoral fellowships that it is essentially replacing.

    • Thanks for this – I had heard about the changes but haven’t found the time to study them in detail.

      I do have to say, though, that postdocs have always been the bottleneck in the academic career, and we have been fighting for years for decent postdoctoral support. (The first thing that EPSRC did when it took the reins was to cancel all postdoctoral fellowships, and it took a long time to get them back.) If the result of this debacle was decent postdoctoral support, based on how good the applicant is rather than how good the person applying for the grant is (as with RAs at present), then some good will have been achieved.

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