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John Womersley Developing a science strategy John Womersley Director, Science Strategy Nuclear Physics Town Meeting, May 2007 Slide 2 John Womersley Elements of the strategy Over the next year or so, we need to Identify and prioritise the scientific opportunities likely to arise within the next fifteen years or so, understanding the scientific potential, the competitive context, the technologies required for their success and an estimate of the cost Prioritise short to medium-term investment projects in the context of funds available Carry out a programmatic review of current projects and programmes Slide 3 John Womersley The strategy must then inform a detailed STFC scientific investment plan against the budget set by Council It must Connect with the research communities and the other research councils Be clearly communicated and explained to staff and stakeholders Slide 4 John Womersley The strategy must also Be an international strategy Successfully carrying out our strategy is likely to involve our asserting a greater degree of influence over the strategies of the international organisations that we are members of When we engage internationally with partners on ESFRI projects, or with India or China, we must be mindful of the place of these projects in our science strategy Slide 5 John Womersley Be a people strategy Our science capabilities depend on our skills base and training Movement of skilled people is of great importance to economic impact Be coordinated with plans for the Harwell and Daresbury campuses If the campuses are to deliver a radically new way of doing science the science strategy must support this. If we wish to anchor each campus with an ESFRI-class facility we need a closely coordinated approach between science strategy, campus strategy and the international office. Slide 6 John Womersley Be a science and technology strategy Cant meaningfully separate the two STFCs science programmes drive technology STFCs facilities enable technology development Slide 7 John Womersley Strategy development Science Committees Peer Review Science Strategy Team Facilities In-house expertise Slide 8 John Womersley Committees and peer review Science Board PPANPALS AGP PPRP etc. PPGP NPGP ASTAB Accelerator Science and Technology Advisory Board Still to be finalised Scope of PPRP? Separate panel for R&D? new Almost in place Slide 9 John Womersley Science strategy team Small group of order six people, seconded from universities etc. to bring new and different viewpoints In process of being set up Professor Louise Harra (UCL) Professor John Zarnecki (Open University) Goals Horizon scanning for opportunities, new ideas, brainstorming Select and develop ideas to take forward Examples: Energy Cross council programmes on stem cells and security Slide 10 John Womersley Communication Communication is critical Within the organisation With the research communities With the other research councils With the government With international partners With the public S&T Strategy will be tightly coupled to communications Good communication is especially critical when resources are tight and the community is under stress Slide 11 John Womersley Particle and nuclear physics What can particle and nuclear physics expect? Short term continuity Existing grants and awards will continue PPAN will continue the broad direction established by PPARC, with nuclear physics brought into the process New Nuclear Physics Grants Panel Longer term opportunities and challenges PP/NP projects will be part of a much broader spectrum of activities Opportunity to secure funding from a larger pool but need to make case in a wider forum Slide 12 John Womersley In the coming year Business continuity Grants, proposals, project oversight Taking stock A broad programmatic review Review of accelerator R&D (cross-STFC) New ideas Two areas where we should think different in the short term: Communications Campus developments The creation of STFC gives us a mandate and an opportunity in both these areas Slide 13 John Womersley Saying no Resources are limited We will need to say no to good science This is a real shame but we cant borrow (or print) money And if were going to say no Best to say no sooner Best to say no to whole projects Slide 14 John Womersley Proteins or protons? How to compare projects in very different areas? Viki Weisskopfs diagram Good proposals lie near the boundary Goal is to push the boundary upwards and to the right 1 4 2 3 intrinsic (science) interest external impact Slide 15 John Womersley A draft set of criteria Scientific impact and timeliness Does it offer the potential for breakthroughs in its area? tear up the textbooks? Economic impact Societal impact Education, outreach, training/skills, match to public policy priorities Level of UK leadership or UK impact Breadth of community served Risk Match with the views of other research councils and communities Coherence and synergy across programme does it enhance and/or exploit existing facilities or subscriptions does it exploit our unique capabilities and/or skills base match to DSIC/HSIC campus developments The European context, ESFRI, need for quid pro quo? The global context, India/China etc. Slide 16 John Womersley Remember for UK projects We control the schedule and the overall scope We can choose yes, no or not yet For international projects We do not control the schedule or the scope But we have the flexibility to choose a level of participation Slide 17 John Womersley Our long-term ability to generate more support depends on more than just good science. We must also show that we can plan we can prioritise we can stop things (even when they are good) we can be imaginative we can do more we are relevant (economic impact, society, education) This is what the Science and Technology Strategy will aim to do Slide 18 John Womersley What I will look for I believe everything we do should be good science. But wherever possible it should also aim to be: Adventurous notsolid Doing new thingsnot doing the same thing with smaller errors* Influencing a projectnottagging along Focused on excellencenot make sure we are doing a bit of everything * i.e. increased precision requires scientific justification Slide 19 John Womersley Younger members of the audience (and the young at heart) we are looking to you More ambition, more excellence Lets see how good we can be Slide 20 John Womersley Questions, comments on these issues or on the programme? Your input is welcome 01793 442622


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