The main meeting last week was my final one of the Research Councils’ Chief Executives Group. We often have discussions with relevant organisations, and this time we had a very constructive and helpful session with Universities UK in the form of its Chief Executive Nicola Dandridge and its President Sir Chris Snowden (also Vice Chancellor of the University of Surrey).

I note that we have just passed the 50th anniversary of Harold Wilson’s famous “White Heat of Technology” speech – its sentiments bear reflection today.

This (coming) week marks the annual piece of science theatre surrounding the announcement of the latest Nobel prizes. Prizes play a curious set of roles in human society and human endeavour – there is a wonderful passage in William Cooper’s splendid novel about this – but there is little doubt that when done well (the X prize an obvious example) they can stimulate innovation. As readers will know, BBSRC has competitions for a number of such prizes, including “Innovator of the Year”.

I enjoyed a beautifully funny book about northern cricket, and have otherwise been musing about bionanotechnology. I was also reminded of a very nice paper on the use of modelling to predict combinatorial drug targets.

This is likely to be my penultimate BBSRC blog, and the following will avoid the temptation of a ‘valedictory’. I have not decided whether I shall continue to blog with any regularity when I return to my laboratory; however, the URL of my new blog site exists and can be found here.

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