I think I want to be cheered up

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Sue
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I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Sue » 07 Jul 2016, 06:43

It's been a confusing week or so since Brexit....how I hate that word... Whatever article you read nothing positive seems to be said. Yesterday I read that many universities are losing funding for scientific research as European backers pull out. My son in law who is an academic researcher depends on these backers for his 2 year renewable contracts. At the age of 40 he has still not got a permanent job in the university but has to reapply for funding every two years for some project or other that helps our animal husbandry to survive. His wife , my daughter, works for a German company that provides mass spectrometers to universities to aid research into medical diseases and cures. With funding going from the universities I foresee a family with two unemployed highly qualified scientists and research fellow , parents.

So...

I think I want to be cheered up. Can we make this topic a positive topic on the outcomes of Brexit. Let's try to fill it with all the good things that may happen or do happen.

I am afraid I foresee a short topic!
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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Bruff » 07 Jul 2016, 08:45

Well one positive outcome for me might be that, as we will sink to our true place in the world, we may very well give up (or be told to give up) our seat as a permanent representative at the UN. Which then really makes our spending billions on a nuclear deterrent not worth the candle. In fact, we could then look to a real slashing of our defence spending and all these highly skilled and qualified engineers and military people can re-focus to other things.

There might also be opportunities for bright people to join the civil service as the task of working through all the legislation will be onerous to put it mildly. This would be rewarding and stimulating and challenging work, open to all through open competition with one having to attend a few assessment centres and such to have your assumptions challenged. Pay’s not bad, with a defined benefits pension scheme.

I know if you listen to folk in Hartlepool (because I did when they interviewed some on the tele) they now think all the factories are going to come back and they are going to get a new hospital, but that’s not going to happen so I wouldn’t note this as a positive outcome.

I can share your concern for your family members. Up by the University of Liverpool is the frame of a new University Innovation Centre, the flag of the EU and its funding proudly displayed on the site board. No construction has gone on this week and the gates to the site are locked. Whether this is a consequence of the vote I know not, but untangling the funding of stuff like this is what the post-Article 50 discussions are all about.

Perhaps we can all sign off on any posts here with a joke? Here are a couple from me:

Switzerland’s an amazing country. Even its flag is a big plus.

I thought my wife was joking when she said she was off to see a concert by the band The Monkees in Switzerland. But then I saw her face, and now I’m in Geneva…..

Richard Broughton

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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Sue » 07 Jul 2016, 09:20

Like the jokes!

Just heard from son in law his work isn't funded by the EU. My daughter has written to the company she works for and asked for some clarification . Heard nothing yet. However her hubby USES The equipment of the company she works for. Hopefully lots of other non EU funded research does too.

Let's positive.
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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Tizer » 07 Jul 2016, 10:27

Are your daughter and son-in-law living and working in the UK or elsewhere in Europe, Sue? (Does she work for Bruker?) One positive thing to keep in mind...you will know that scientists are very international in outlook, used to working with people in and from other countries worldwide. Scientists outside Britain will be shocked that the UK voted to leave the EU but know that UK scientists wanted to stay in the union. They'll be looking for ways to keep collaboration going, to find new sources of funds, to keep in contact. The pressure to withdraw will be from the accountants but there will be opposition from the scientists wherever possible.

We keep being told how difficult it's going to be from now on, all the trade negotiations, changes in regulations, political shenanigans etc and that it'll go on for years. If it's that bad why don't we put our efforts in a different direction? Instead of making our pitch to lots of countries for trade deals why not propose setting up a new `union' and invite other countries to join. Other EU countries are in turmoil with their populations worried about immigration etc. We can design the new union to address these concerns, in other words it would be the EU as we want it - and as probably other countries want it to. I know it would be a hard slog and take a long time...but then so will whatever other route we take from now.

Finish with a joke? Well, the referendum arguments reminded me of this Monty Python sketch... LINK

Or if you want something shorter...Daniel Finkelstein reported in The Times that when his young daughter asked "What's a vet" and was told by dad: "A vet is a sort of cat doctor", she went to mum and said "Is it true that a cat can be a doctor?" :smile:

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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Sue » 07 Jul 2016, 17:09

Good joke. I am not good at jokes. How's about

USA holds the trump card to our problems, if he gets in the pound should go up next to the dollar.
Yes she does work for Bruker, based on Coventry. She is their technical support and advice officer, or something to that effect. . Solves a lot of the laboratory issues people may have and does the training for the hardware and the software as well as lab support. Her field is Proteomics.
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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Stanley » 08 Jul 2016, 04:27

I posted on this topic yesterday but it seems to have vanished.... Anyone seen it?
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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Sue » 08 Jul 2016, 06:58

Nope.
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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Stanley » 08 Jul 2016, 07:30

Ah well. I was pointing out that we humans are very resilient and intelligent kids like yours will find a way through whatever hits them. I quoted the example of Walter Greenwood who when he was sacked on finishing his apprenticeship and qualifying for a better wage, went to work as a journalist, wrote 'Love on the Dole' and never looked back. It was being made redundant at Bancroft that forced me to rethink and go to do a degree at Lancaster.
Life shocks can be very rewarding at times......
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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Sue » 08 Jul 2016, 16:55

Difficult when you both lose your job, have a mortgage and two children. Anyway, think positive nothing has happened yet
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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Stanley » 09 Jul 2016, 02:52

I agree but they will survive. Not a good thing of course but who knows....?
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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Nolic » 09 Jul 2016, 06:19

Phew. Charlotte is to start a new job with less dependence on European sales than her previous one. It means she will miss out on the trips to Turkey, Holland and Eire but she now has clients in the USA and Australasia!!
Dan moved out of aero engineering last year and has just completed his education diploma in maths and has a job to start in September at Shuttleworth College. Had they both been in their previous positions I would have been worried.
There are good things about the after effects of the referendum .....Boris, Gove, Farage and Cameron are off the top table ....but what will they be replaced with? Sorry no jokes from me. Nolic
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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Tripps » 09 Jul 2016, 09:48

"less dependence on European sales than her previous one. It means she will miss out on the trips to Turkey, Holland and Eire but she now has clients in the USA and Australasia!!"

I'd say that makes the case for Brexit quite well. :smile:
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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Tizer » 09 Jul 2016, 10:25

Behind all the coming economic, financial and political turmoil there is an even bigger issue - what I think the trendys like to call the `elephant in the room'. By that I mean the social and cultural divisions that are widening when they should be narrowing. An increase in extreme views, racism, anti-semitism and simple primitive aggression. The assumption that it's OK to tell lies and mislead. Argument instead of debate. I'm sorry that I don't have a solution to all this but let's remember, it's not the first time we've been through crises and won't be the last. As with climate change, you have to go through a period of turmoil and instability to get from one stable state to another. As the butterfly said when it emerged from its chrysalis: "Let's make this life an improvement on the last - I hate cabbage!" Onwards and upwards!

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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Sue » 09 Jul 2016, 23:19

Just been to Coventry, things don't look good there. Ed has no funding from September so In effect no job unless something turns up. Some of Julia's clients are already losing Eurpean backers, this will impact on the number of technical staff Her company need. All we can do is wait and see. Ed is applying for other jobs as I write.
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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Stanley » 10 Jul 2016, 03:47

Julia should be looking as well. Can't start too early! As my friend Mary Ann said to me once, "There is only one reason to have a regular job, to finance the job search...."
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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Sue » 10 Jul 2016, 06:51

She probably is, in fact she is always looking for any opportunities. She is very very specialised. When she did her PhD there were only three labs in the world did what she did. Her present jo b has allowed her to develop her skills
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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Tizer » 10 Jul 2016, 10:04

Being very specialised has its advantages and it's become almost essential in science, but it has downsides too and one of them is that you can easily go out out of fashion and might find yourself no longer able to get a job. We always hear about the miners, shipbuiders and steelworkers being left by the wayside as demand changes its targets but the same can happen to individuals and result in similar problems. At the end of the 80s I could see that my time in scientific research was coming to an end as food companies lost interest in science and wanted people to simply jazz up their food instead. Rather than wait to get the push I moved into science publishing and that led to me, and later Mrs Tiz, setting up our own business. Not everyone suits self-employment though.

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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Sue » 10 Jul 2016, 13:06

I can see Julia and Ed setting up their own business, but not necessarily in science. They have a number of foody type hobbies that are very good plus many other interests , hobbies and strings to their bows. Both are very proactive and will find something very quickly if they have to, whilst they continue searching for something else. They are both positive thinkers too and get on with life . Their philosophy is EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING. Luckily they are not overstretched financially with their mortgage as Julia is the only one of the two of them who has a permanent job. Thus their mortgage was based on her income when they came back from doing their research Fellows in Milwaukee 9 years ago. It doesn't stop me worrying though! That's what Mums do :laugh5:
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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Tizer » 10 Jul 2016, 15:49

A few words of advice that you could pass to them, Sue. Try to start up in a way that needs the minimum expenditure and therefore the least amount of borrowing. It might sound obvious yet many people think that the right way is to borrow a bundle of cash and surround themselves with big equipment from the word go. We started with a couple of computers, printer, scanner and not much else! Another thing is to avoid business advisers - they think the only way to go is to get big and keep expanding. You can have a good business and a rewarding life without trying to become another Apple!

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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Sue » 10 Jul 2016, 16:02

Will do thanks, just monitoring the situation at the moment. Eds lack of funding is not Eu related. His present research funding has come to an end and he has been unable to obtain more., been trying for over a year. That is the problem with university research fellowships, they tend to be temporary posts for fixed periods of funding usually 2 years, then another one comes along but not this time. Most of his work in the last 9 years has been with DEFRA.
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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Stanley » 11 Jul 2016, 03:34

That lack of security in a job is the curse of our time Sue. It's the thing I hate most about the modern world of work.....
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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Tizer » 11 Jul 2016, 11:29

I was on a postdoctoral fellowship in the late 1970s, temporary and having to apply for it to be renewed or finding another similar post. I remember my dad saying "When are you going to get a proper job"! I ended up getting a job with a food company so that I had security.

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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Sue » 11 Jul 2016, 12:03

Julia did that, hence working for Bruker. She liked research but not the insecurity and uncertainty. By this time they were moving back from the States so it was an opportunity to find something. Ed loves research and academia but he is now looking elsewhere. Nearly 41 , highly qualified and never had a permanent contract. When Julia went to work in Coventry Ed was offered a research fellowship at the university of Warwick where he did his PhD. They wanted him to continue his research. It worked well, being only a few miles from where Julia worked. When the children arrived it worked extremely well as he has fairly flexible working hours. However this September the youngest starts school so it really is a good time to try to look elsewhere, but within the vicinity of Julia's work...as long as it lasts. Perhaps things wil start to stabilise once the PM job is settled and things start to happen one way or another. All the uncertainty has not done industry any good.
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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by Tizer » 11 Jul 2016, 15:40

It's bizarre when you think how much we've depended on scientists coming to do research in Britain because we didn't create enough in-house and now we're going to lose some of them and not get the ones we might have had in the future. And yet at the same time British researchers are finding things difficult.

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Re: I think I want to be cheered up

Post by plaques » 11 Jul 2016, 18:22

That is one of the sad things about our austerity programme. We spend thousands educating our best talent who in turn put endless hours in keeping up with the world's best then we throw them on the scrap heap without a thought for the future. Sorry about the dismal nature of the post. Can you put me at the top of your list for I think I want to be cheered up.

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