Discover Your Paper’s Other Side

Good to see that an STFC employee has come up with some money-saving ideas in response to the government’s appeal.

I’m not qualified to comment on the salary freeze. The point about end-of-year flexibility is so obviously true it is incredible it has been ignored for decades. And whoever wrote it is dead right on the Research Council UK “Shared Services Centre” (SSC).

Anyone who reads my tweets will know that I am not a fan of the  SSC. It looks like an expensive, pointless reorganisation of the kind which seems to appeal to politicians and administrators once they get a certain distance from whatever they are administering. It is supposed to “streamline” and “centralise” procurement and stuff. Yeah, right.

The pound of flesh sliced from the STFC science budget to pay for this empire-building wheeze came at a time when other cuts were also hitting, and caused a massive loss of science. It could, for example, have paid for us to continue searching for Dark Matter*, something the UK apparently can’t afford anymore. Plus I am personally still owed money  from May (the previous system would reimburse travellers within a month) and I am not the only one. The LibDems knew what to do once. I hope they still do, and that their partners listen.

Last time I was at Polaris House in Swindon, home of the research councils, I saw a list of meetings that were taking place  on the same day. About a quarter of them were “Shared Services Centre” meetings. Maybe I was lucky and it was a special “Shared Services Meeting Festival” that day. But I suspect Scott Adams would know what to do.

I cheered up slightly after a visit to the toilets.

The above poster, with added comment, was pinned to the back of the toilet door. Since my phone lens is knackered, you may need a translation. Basically it is a lower-level money-saving wheeze which says

Discover your paper’s other side. Make use of your copier’s ability to duplex.”

and the addition says

“PS. We do not recommend you use both sides of the paper you are currently holding.”

Ah yes, the spirit of Dilbert lives on in RCUK.


Refers to the fact that in the 2010 STFC prioritsation, future DM experiments were ranked alpha3, and no money was allocated alpha3 projects.

About Jon Butterworth

UCL Physics prof, works on LHC, writes (books, Cosmic Shambles and elsewhere). Citizen of England, UK, Europe & Nowhere, apparently.
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1 Response to Discover Your Paper’s Other Side

  1. Pingback: Some science policy stuff | Where the Sun hits the sky

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