Thursday, 19 April 2007

three short notes

1. I have been given me some tips on how to improve the implementation of the variable-width text column on this blog. I'll try implementing them when I get time.

2. Does anyone know anything about 'The World Innovation Foundation' apart from the information provided on their web site and on the sites of the very many scientists who announce that they have been elected members or fellows of WIF? Their aims seem to be laudable, but I would like independent evidence of what they actually do.

3. I heard this morning on BBC Radio 4 Today programme that the UK government had mis-managed the new contracts with hospital consultants. One of the claims made in answer to a reporter's question is that it is very difficult to find out how much time consultants actually work. This reminded me of the fact that the government apparently REFUSES to collect information regarding the time actually worked by university academics. They insist on collecting information in terms of hours per week spent on various activities and the total per week is not allowed to exceed some notional limit of the maximum working week. Our university refused, when asked, to modify the information collected in order to find out the actual totals. In other words they force academics to lie about how much they work, and they then report the information based on such lies to the government.

No wonder pay disputes in the university sector are so bitter and damaging to everyone. (It doesn't affect me: I live on my pension.)

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