Tag Archives: ALDES

Liberal Democrat Leadership: Farron and Lamb answer questions on engineering and science

One of the great things about the leadership contest is that every party organisation has submitted questions to the candidates on their area of interest.

The Association of Liberal Democrat Engineers and Scientists is no exception and you can see all Tim’s and Norman’s answers to a series of questions about science.

You can read them all here, but here’s a flavour of one question:

Both of you signed an EDM in 2007 supporting provision of homeopathic medicines through the NHS but then revised your support after a Commons STC report questioned the evidence in favour of homeopathic treatments. What resources would you call on personally as leader in order to obtain expert advice and how could the parliamentary party make better use of evidence?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Introducing ALDES

ALDES logo

New members have been asking about Lib Dem organisations that they can join.  You are welcome to submit similar items on behalf of other organisations.

Most politicians make positive noises about supporting science and engineering in the UK but, as far as we know, the Liberal Democrats are the only party that mentions it in their constitution. Paragraph 3 reads:

“We will promote scientific research and innovation and will harness technological change to human advantage.”

The Association of Liberal Democrat Engineers and Scientists (Aldes) is the group for party members who wish to debate, learn and campaign on policy matters in this area. We were founded over 20 years ago in 1991 and have contributed to the party since in numerous ways:

Posted in Lib Dem organisations | 12 Comments

Lib Dem scientists announce their ‘Team Science’ candidates

Aldes — the Association of Liberal Democrat Engineers and Scientists — have put together a shortlist of Liberal Democrat MPs and parliamentary candidates who they think can play in important role in the Commons thanks to their background and/or interest in science.

As Aldes explain:

The Team Science campaign thinks that candidates with a background in science, engineering, technology and medicine have a great deal to contribute to politics and are currently underrepresented in Parliament. For this reason we are championing support for the following team of Lib Dem candidates in the 2015 general election.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 18 Comments

Team Science wants YOU

AldesAt the last general election, support for the Liberal Democrats was buoyed by more than just Cleggmania: the party enjoyed particularly strong support from scientists and science commentators. Much of this was on the strength of Evan Harris’s foregrounding of evidence-based policy and support for reform of the outdated libel laws that saw author Simon Singh sued by the British Chiropractic Association. In the run up to the election, the party was endorsed by Richard Dawkins, and polls by Nature and Chemistry World revealed a majority of their readers saw our party as those most likely to table science-friendly policies.

Mark Henderson (author of The Geek Manifesto), wrote:

The Lib Dems have so far made the strongest case for the science vote. The extra detail that Clegg has now provided reinforces the view that they have most to offer.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Opinion: A ringfence is not enough for the science budget

The party has recently been trailing hints of the content and priorities of the new manifesto. One released last week was an announcement touting a ringfence of the science budget. They write:

The manifesto plans include ringfencing the science research budget and introducing a green innovation arm to the British Business Bank.

It’s great that the manifesto team have chosen to flag investment in science and innovation as a reason to vote Liberal Democrat in the 2015 general election, but what a meagre and unambitious announcement this was. One worrying sign is the wording mentioning only the ‘research budget’, which raises the concern that this ringfence might be a fig leaf hiding underspending in capital investment for science, as we saw in the early years of the current coalition government – though the 2014 budget went some way towards plugging the gap in capital spending in the sector.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

Liberal Democrat scientists tell Juncker to keep Scientific Adviser amid pressure from environmental groups to drop the post

New EI Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has had lots of conflicting advice about what to do about the post of the Commission’s Chief Scientific Officer. Environmental NGO’s seem to want to get rid of the post while research organisations want to keep it. The Guardian reports:

The NGOs called the role, which was introduced in 2012 by current EC president José Manuel Barroso and has been occupied since then by a biologist at the University of Aberdeen, Prof Anne Glover, “fundamentally problematic”. Their letter argued that the non-elected role concentrated too much influence in one person, undermining research by the

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 10 Comments

Getting involved in the Association of Liberal Democrat Engineers and Scientists

The Association of Liberal Democrat Engineers and Scientists (ALDES) organises a fringe event at each conference. Our fringe event this Spring is entitled ‘The UK Space Industry: An Unsung Success Story’ – a topic very close to my heart, as an engineer designing space missions out of an office in Hertfordshire. Yes, ladies and gents, the UK ‘does space’. And what a lot of people don’t realise is, we do it very, very well.

The UK space industry has bucked the national trend and has seen impressive growth during the recession. Areas such as satellite broadcast, communications, equipment and support services …

Posted in Conference | 2 Comments

Opinion: Derby, Bombardier and lessons for Government

The award of a £1.4bn contract to Bombardier’s rival Siemens seemed to threaten the existence of Britain’s last remaining train-maker. 1200 workers were being laid off by Bombardier with more losses in the supply chain. The award to Siemens was all the more galling as it followed statements by politicians of all parties saying how important it is that we boost our manufacturing sector.

Two salient points have emerged regarding the Labour Government’s tender process. Firstly, they set this up as a ‘Private Finance Initiative’ and secondly that they used the ‘Utilities Contract Regulations’ rather than the ‘Public Contracts Regulations’. Both …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 7 Comments
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    Innocent Bystander, Rupinder in his article is focusing on the macroeconomic impact of a no-deal Brexit. As Keynes once noted "The theory of economics does...
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    " I believe that their aim was a pact with the Tories from the time he assumed the leadership. " Your private belief is your...
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    This is becoming a real hot topic in the states. I think some of us should put this to conference.
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    @MichaelBG/TCO Apropos defence, whether or not increased defence-related expenditure = LD policy, I do believe in an increase, initially to 2.5%. I do not however...
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    I completely agree with this perceptive piece by David Warren. Far too many people at senior levels of the LibDems are establishment creatures. Clegg was...
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