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29.11.2011: INES 20th Anniversary

Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR), UK

This is a selection of articles. For more information please visit:sgr.org.uk


28. November 2012

The decline of UK military R&D

Latest official statistics show that UK government spending on military research and development has fallen considerably over the last ten years. Scientists for Global Responsibility, SGR, has been calling for that. While in Russia and other former Soviet countries spending cuts of about 90% took place directly after the Cold War, in the West cuts were much more limited. The UK situation demonstrated this well. After a slow decline, the UK's military expenditures grew rapidly again after September 11, 2001. Nevertheless, starting in 2002, the budget for military research and development was cut considerably. This downward trend is likely to continue until at least 2015. Download the article here: www.sgr.org.uk/resources/decline-uk-military-rd


15. November 2012

Energy from the ocean: the UK dimension

Prof AbuBakr Bahaj, University of Southampton, outlines the recent positive progress in generating electricity from offshore wind, wave and tidal current resources in the UK. He also assesses the future challenges in a sector in which the UK is a global leader.

Read the article from the SGR Newsletter no. 41 here: www.sgr.org.uk/resources/energy-ocean-uk-dimension


23. October 2012

20th anniversary Newsletter of Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) UK

Feature articles cover:

  • The major decline in UK military R&D spending – as campaigned for by SGR
  • Breaking the deadlock in Iran – using renewable energy to tackle the impasse over Iran’s nuclear programme
  • Local sustainable energy projects – the potential for city-scale low carbon programmes to tackle economic, social and environmental problems far more successfully than current UK government initiatives
  • Warnings on the rise of synthetic biology
  • Energy from the ocean: the UK dimension
  • How influential are the climate change sceptics?
  • Problems of corporate influence within science communication
  • Latest progress on the road towards a nuclear weapons-free world
  • Analysis of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and its aftermath
  • What kind of low carbon future do we want?
  • Sustainable building materials: how eco-friendly are they?

Read the articles here: www.sgr.org.uk/publications/sgr-newsletter-41


3. September 2012

Local sustainable energy projects: learning the practical lessons

Dr Philip Webber, SGR, assesses the lessons for UK energy policy from a series of award-winning programmes using micro-renewable energy technologies and domestic energy conservation measures in West Yorkshire, and from new academic research on city-level sustainable energy programmes.

Article from forthcoming SGR Newsletter no.41, autumn 2012 (advanced online publication: 3 September 2012). Read it here: www.sgr.org.uk/resources/local-sustainable-energy-projects-learning-practical-lessons


1. August 2012

Open letter to Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

In an open letter sent to Ed Davey on the Draft Energy Bill and wider UK energy policy on 19 July 2012, Scientists for Global Responsibility states its criticisms:

  • insufficient curbs on greenhouse gas emissions of fossil fuel plants
  • favouritism towards the nuclear industry
  • inadequate support for the renewable energy industry
  • failure to prioritise energy conservation

Read the letter here: www.sgr.org.uk/resources/open-letter-ed-davey-draft-energy-bill


21. June 2012

20 years of Scientists for Global Responsibility

Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) was formed in the UK in 1992, from the merger of several smaller groups concerned with science, technology and peace issues. Since then it has grown in size and influence – with other organisations also becoming part of the SGR ‘family’. It has undertaken a wide variety of activities to promote more ethical science and technology – from publishing groundbreaking reports on military and corporate influence on science and technology to playing a leading role in ‘The Climate Train to Kyoto’. Read the article on the SGR website that traces the journey.


13. February 2012 (updated on 27.3.2012)

The dangers of a military attack on Iran’s nuclear programme

By Stuart Parkinson
There are increasingly vocal demands for military action to halt Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons programme. Stuart Parkinson, ED of the INES member organisation Scientists for Global Responsibility UK, takes a critical look at the evidence for such a programme and argues that any military attack is likely to make matters considerably worse.

In November, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, published its latest report on Iran’s nuclear programme. [1] It expressed “serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme”. Economic sanctions against Iran – especially by Western nations – are being ramped up to try force the Iranian government to comply with all IAEA recommendations. Iran, however, protests that its nuclear programme is peaceful and it is being unfairly criticised. Some leading political voices – especially in Israel and the USA – have responded by calling for military strikes to damage or destroy the Iranian programme with the aim being to stop any activity that might lead to Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

But is Iran really building a nuclear weapon? And, if it were, would a military attack stop it? Or would it just make matters worse?Read on.

16. December 2011

Science and the corporate university in Britain

Article by Stuart Parkinson, SGR, published as part of the debate on 'Capitalism and the University' on the openDemocracy website.

It has surprised few that since coming to power the Cameron government has pursued an agenda which included pressing for much stronger links between university and business. The justification given is a simple one – that, to enhance our economic competitiveness in these difficult times, we need to become better at commercialising scientific and other academic research to help fuel economic growth. This is a perspective that has been gaining increasing support among policy-makers in the UK (and elsewhere) for over 20 years. But there are many flaws in this thesis – with the strongest evidence of problems coming from academic research itself.

The full article can be accessed at:


Source: http://profeng.com/features/at-what-cost/page:2

6. June 2011

At what cost?

Some scientists are concerned about the ethical and legal dimensions of emerging technologies such as geo-engineering and unmanned aerial vehicles.

3-page article about the recent conference of Scientist for Global Responsibility (SGR), UK in the latest issue of Professional Engineering - see: profeng.com/features/at-what-cost


Arms conversion in the UK

Presentation by Stuart Parkinson, SGR, at the 'Welfare or Warfare' public meeting, London, 12 April 2011
Part of a series of events marking the Global Day of Action on Military Spending

See: www.sgr.org.uk/resources/arms-conversion-uk

19. October  2010

David Cameron has confirmed defence spending is to be cut by 8% in real terms over four years, as he unveils the strategic defence review.

See article in BBC News: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11570593

23. July 2010

Scientists Condemn Government over Cuts to Environmental Watchdogs

Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) today condemned the government's decision to withdraw funding for the Sustainable Development Commission and abolish the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.

Dr Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director of SGR, said "The Sustainable Development Commission and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution have been highly influential watchdogs on environmental issues. Their robust reports have led to major changes in thinking within government and across British society. The announcement by the Environment Secretary is, in effect, saying that the government's environmental policies no longer need the level of scrutiny that these independent, expert bodies provided. This thoroughly undermines the government's claimed commitment to sustainable development."

Contact: Dr Stuart Parkinson +44 (0) 7941 953640

SGR is a member of INES and is an independent UK-based membership organisation of about 1,000 natural and social scientists, engineers, IT professionals and architects. It promotes science, design and technology that contribute to peace, social justice, and environmental sustainability.
For more information, see: www.sgr.org.uk/


One area of military funded research:
how people best interact with machines
Photo: © www.lab-times.org

Soldiers in the Laboratory

Chris Langley, a former neuroscientist and Research Officer of Scientists for Global Responsibility ([EXT http://www.sgr.org.uk]www.sgr.org.uk[/EXT]) talks about the funding of universty research by government ministries of defence and military companies.

Soldiers in the Laboratory
Lab Times, Apr 2009
read more