Submit questions & topics: Interview with Minister Sherlock

Science Calling will be interviewing Minister of State for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock, next Thursday (31 Jan). As part of this, I wanted to give you the opportunity to submit questions and topics that you would like me to ask Minister Sherlock.

Over the past few months there has been much unrest in the science community about science policy in Ireland. This led to The SciPol Impact series on this blog at the end of November last year. A number of different arguments about science policy in Ireland were presented through interviews and guest writers.

Minister Sherlock recently wrote a piece in the Examiner, Make Sure Science Keeps Its Spark, and as part of the Irish EU Presidency, he is addressing the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy about Horizon 2020 in Brussels today.

Now you have the opportunity to put your points to the Government. Please comment below if you would like to submit questions or topics about either Irish or European science policy.

Image: Science Foundation Ireland via Flickr [Minister Richard Bruton, Prof Mark Ferguson and Minister Seán Sherlock taken last November]

6 thoughts on “Submit questions & topics: Interview with Minister Sherlock

  1. I, for one, would like to know how the discrepancy between Irish government policy (the top-down approach) and European Research Commission policy (the bottom-up approach) for research funding is to be resolved. If Ireland wants to support (…and benefit from) Horizons 2020, the government needs to rethink its approach to funding!

    Hopefully he had a chance to read our article (that elaborates this point):

  2. Hi Maria, I’d like to ask the Minister about the potential for funded collaborative projects with the UK, I was at the Industrial Biotechnology Leadership Forum in London this week and spoke to some of the funding bodies there and there certainly seemed to be an appetitite for this type of collaboration. So it might work similarly to the Inter Trade Ireland funding, or could be an academic/academic interaction.

  3. Hi Maria I’d like you to ask the Minister to elaborate on yesterday;s (Fri 25th Jan) SFI Investigator awards totalling €60m – for 85 basic research projects which cover a wide range of areas, including maths and gamma-ray space science.

    See :

    A good question by Tim – got to be scope for greater interaction with UK , I know SFI and HRB have a collaborative programme with Wellcome Trust but applications from Ireland have been low thus far.

  4. Hi Maria, I’d like to ask the Minister if career plans for young scientists are on the Government agenda and also, due to the new National Research Prioritazation report, is the government concerned about the many PhD graduates in the Biotech/Biomedical areas created during the Boom era (and ongoing!!!) who are now facing unemployment and emigration while bran-new top-notch research facilities such as the Charles Institute at University College Dublin are utterly empty due to the hiring embargo?

  5. Hi Maria – Over the past 10 years, 80 Irish companies have secured contracts with the European Space Agency that have exceeded €80M in value. Minister Sherlock said recently that “The most recent figures show that the level of spin-off export sales from Irish investment in ESA was €35million per annum and is projected to grow substantially as the number of Irish companies securing ESA contracts continues to expand”
    However as a science centre/research observatory using the theme of Space to inspire students and enhance the take up of STEM subjects and such a career path we are in the position where centres like ourselves have no credible scale mechanism to leverage funding for this outreach. The SFI budget is less than 2% for outreach and projected to decline. Point in case – after 2 years of piloting hugely successful primary teacher’s CPD workshops with ESERO Ireland (European Space Education Resource Office) we find funding for this CPD has been drastically cut. Please ask the Minister when we will see a competitive funding programme for engaging the school segments with investigative learning techniques.

  6. Thanks for all your comments! I tried to cover most of the topics you mentioned either by directly asking the question you submitted or broaching the particular area. Today’s interview with Minister Sherlock will be published on this site early next week so keep an eye out.

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