Concern over aid money used for research, 30.05.2018 — the government’s decision to spend a sizeable chunk of the foreign aid budget on UK-led research projects is being heavily reviewed.

Academics to take control of copyright, 03.05.2018 — as many as 20 universities are ready to adopt an open-access policy that would allow researchers to retain important rights to their work, despite opposition from publishers.

Nursery queues cause despair, 18.04.2018 — academics at top universities are waiting for up to two years for a place for their children at their institution’s nurseries.

Drug firms eye move to Holland, 22.03.2018 — more than 200 companies in sectors including the life sciences are in discussions over relocating to the Netherlands because of Brexit.

Universities failing to disclose slavery risks (free web version), 19.02.2018 — more than half of UK universities are not explaining what they are doing to prevent modern slavery in their supply chains, which for most of them is a legal duty.

UCL academics resist expansion, 14.02.2018 — an external member of UCL’s council resigns six months before his term is due to end; multiple sources say he had concerns about the university’s £483 million expansion in Stratford.

UN science board axed, 28.09.2017 — the United Nations quietly shuts down its highest scientific advisory board.


Drug regulator slammed over 25-year lease, 26.01.2017 — the European Medicines Agency signed a no-break contract for its building in London even as Brexit was a possibility, which could cost taxpayers hundreds of millions. Later covered by the Financial Times and Politico.


Universities and funders urged to tackle sexism, 18.04.2018 — academics demand quicker reforms to drive gender equality after revelations about the gender pay gap and the pervasiveness of sexual misconduct at universities pushed institutions onto the defensive.

UK faces freeze-out from EU agencies and research, 14.03.2018 — the UK’s future relationship with European agencies and research programmes has been thrown into question by two sets of Brexit negotiating guidelines.

UCL leads rebellion against big publishers, 31.01.2018 — universities in the UK and overseas are seeking advice from UCL on setting up open-access journals.

Macron and Moedas in innovation showdown, 26.10.2017 — French president Emmanuel Macron and EU research commissioner Carlos Moedas clash over their differing visions for the creation of a European Innovation Council. Moedas tweeted a photo of the article on 27.10.2017: “Some clarity on the EIC.”.

Science advice panel struggles to find feet, 09.02.2017 — the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism loses several of its members in quick succession, prompting questions about its likely effectiveness. Prompted a public admission of the SAM’s slow start by EU research commissioner Carlos Moedas.


What women want, 23.11.2017 — Middle Eastern women gathered at the World Science Forum in Jordan to discuss the obstacles they face in becoming research leaders.

State of flux, 25.05.2017 — the changing face of European Union citizenship and what it might mean for scientists: the view from the State of the Union conference in Florence.

Right at the centre, 06.04.2017 — behind the scenes at the European People’s Party congress in Malta.


Movement matters, 28.02.2018 — will researcher mobility after Brexit be free or depend on visas?

Clouded future, 14.02.2018 — a growing row inside the Open University is putting the spotlight on clashing visions of higher education in a digital world.

The tug of war, 03.08.2017 — the European Union and Japan crank up their defence research programmes.

Frozen out, 23.03.2017 — why universities in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus are stuck in a political twilight zone.

Star wars, 23.02.2017 — opposition to using European space technology for military purposes is fading.

Priced out, 26.01.2017 — how tropical diseases that aren’t poised for eradication are neglected by global agencies.


From particles to policy, 25.01.2018 — former Cern director Rolf-Dieter Heuer talks with me about advising the European Commission and the policy world outside atomic science.

Reach for the stars, 7.12.2017 — South Africa’s science minister Naledi Pandor tells me how EU-African Union collaboration has been vital for science on the continent.

Plain language, 12.10.2017 — quantum physics superstar and popular author Carlo Rovelli tells me about how the joy of sharing his research inspired a massive publishing phenomenon.

From the ground up, 06.04.2017 — Nobel prizewinning chemist Ben Feringa talks about how the European Union should fund research and innovation.



The Leave vote was more pro-sovereignty than anti-immigration, despite the narrative. Let’s redefine the debate, 08.02.2017 — shortlisted for publication in the Financial Times Future of Britain Project

A sugar tax would be (another) tax on the poor, 22.10.2015 in Spectator Coffee House, republished on 16.03.2016 after George Osborne announced a sugar tax in his budget.

No, the SNP isn’t planning a ‘republican insurrection’. Here’s why, 24.06.2015 in Spectator Coffee House

‘People trying to do more with less’, 25.12.2014 Cyprus Mail front-page splash on Christmas day


Photo: View of the orchestra pit at Broadway, the Phantom of the Opera showing in October 2017