Physics news for Friday 7 September
Brian Cox: science cash hike ‘a wise gamble‘
Television presenter and physicist Prof Brian Cox has argued that boosting public funds to science would be a “sensible gamble”. He said that a cash increase would yield huge benefits and make the UK the best place to do research. Speaking at the British Science Festival in Aberdeen, Prof Cox also underlined the importance of public engagement with science in the UK.
Scrap tuition fees for engineering students, James Dyson
Sir James Dyson has urged the government to create a generation of manufacturing entrepreneurs by waiving tuition fees for science and engineering undergraduates, while paying the brightest students £40,000 a year to continue their research at a postgraduate level. The billionaire inventor of the bag-free vacuum cleaner said the preferential treatment would benefit the taxpayer because the money lost on fees would be recouped in high-tech exports further down the line.
Ofqual breached own rules in grading row
England exams regulator Ofqual breached its own rules in allowing controversial changes to the way English GCSEs were graded this summer, it is claimed. The Times Educational Supplement (TES) says measures to guard against grade inflation were not appropriate for this year’s English exams. Teaching unions have accused Ofqual of “regulatory failure” and say it is more evidence of flawed exam marking.
Scientists could find alien life within the next 40 years, says royal astronomer
Martin Rees, former president of the Royal Society, said evidence of whether beings exist not only beyond earth but beyond our solar system, could be found in that time, a newspaper reported. Lord Rees said he believed that astro-physicists could be able to view images of distant planets outside the solar system as soon as 2025. This could potentially lead to the discovery of some form of life on them.