He said, “some say that now is not the time to invest, but the bottom line is that the downturn is no time to slow down our investment in science but to build more vigorously for the future. And so we will not allow science to become a victim of the recession – but rather focus on developing it as a key element of our path to recovery.”Brown also highlighted the importance of quality science education. He said, “one of the biggest stumbling blocks in science education is that in the comprehensive sector only a minority of schools offer three separate sciences as opposed to combined science qualifications.” He added that the government’s aim is to double the number of pupils in the state schools taking triple science by 2014.Krisztina Csortea, an Exeter student, commented, “overall it was an interesting hour, made even more so by the mounted police and the protesters outside. I think it was very appropriate to talk about science, as we were celebrating Darwin just a few weeks ago, and this topic was much less controversial than Gaza. He also made the speech even more relevant by mentioning the credit crunch or animal testing.”Annabelle Chapman, a first year PPE student said, “I think the lecture showed Gordon Brown in a positive light; he looked better than on television, and though unremarkable, the speech was delivered naturally and sometimes filled the Sheldonian with polite laughter. At the same time, there was a sense of ”don’t mention the Economics-word,” let’s talk about mixing chemicals in a test tube – at least that works.”She added, “I was a bit disappointed by the choice of topic; it would have been more appropriate for a Nobel Prize winner, who could have shared his insight. A politician, who knows nothing about the reality of being a scientist, was bound to give the standard answer of ‘pride in our scientific heritage,’ followed by a pledge to maintain it via ‘investment’ and ‘innovation’.”Marcus du Sautoy, Professor of Mathematics and Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford welcomed the Prime Minister’s policies. He added, “I personally was really interested in what he had to say about scientists rising to the challenge of communicating their ideas and discoveries. I know my colleagues at Oxford are already doing an enormous amount of work in this area – something that is crucial if we are to ensure that people are equipped to take part in debates in which the role of science is central.”Prior to the lecture, the Prime Minister visited Oxford’s new Biochemistry building, where he met scientists from across the University for a roundtable discussion. After the lecture, he joined various members of the University at a reception in the Divinity Schools. Gordon Brown’s speech in the Sheldonian was marred by protests, as demonstrators chanted audibly outside while the Prime Minister lectured on the importance of scientific research.The protesters gathered to express anger at government bank bail outs and UK foreign policy. They chanted, “free, free Iraq” and “education for the masses, not just for the ruling classes” throughout the lecture.Emily Dreyfus, one of the protesters, said, “given that in our very own city 850 auto workers lost their jobs last week at Cowley Mini plant due to the current government’s catastrophic role in and mishandling of the global economic crisis, it was ironic that Gordon Brown felt qualified to give a lecture on the economy.“BMW Mini’s profits have in fact increased this year, therefore they have no justification for firing these people, but rather were simply acting in an opportunistic manner to cut corners and reduce costs at a time when they could claim it was necessary because of the credit crunch.”She added, “I’m sure Gordon Brown could hear that we were protesting, and it was important too for the people on the street to be aware that we care about these domestic and international issues. We will take action to protest against war criminals such as Gordon Brown who are responsible and demand they change their policies to reflect the opinions of their electorate.”Dominic Williams, one of the protesters, said, “we got no response from Brown or officials other than requests to be quieter and a mixed reaction from people passing by.”But he hailed the demonstration as a success, “we were loud and noisy so a lot of people knew we were there including Gordon Brown, apparently we were audible during his speech. “Brown’s speech stressed the importance of scientific research as a route out of the current economic crisis. He pledged to make long-term science funding a “national priority” and to increase the status of science in education.
Madigan is the best qualified for financeI’m a life-long Republican who will vote to re-elect Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan.She’s been doing a great job keeping our taxes flat for eight years. Her opponent has no financial experience, which should frighten us all. Luckily for me, I can vote to elect Madigan on the Independence line.Mike O’BrienSaratoga SpringsMake appointment for mammographyNational Mammography Day is celebrated on Oct. 18. On this day, and throughout the month, women are encouraged to make a mammography appointment.This day serves as a reminder to all women that the best defense is early detection. A mammogram can often detect a problem before there is any outward physical sign.According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), in 2019, an estimated 271,270 new cases of breast cancer (men and women combined) are expected to be diagnosed in the United States. The estimated new cases of female breast cancer in New York is 17,490. About 2,670 new cases of breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2019.The good news is that deaths from breast cancer are decreasing and women are living longer after diagnosis.According to the ACS and several cancer organizations, it is recommended that all women 40 years of age and older receive yearly screening mammograms. Men can get breast cancer, too, and should be mindful of family history and/or symptoms.Reduced-cost or free mammograms are available throughout the United States. If you do not have health insurance, the Cancer Services Program offers free breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings to women age 40-64 and men age 50-64. Please contact the program at 518-841-3726 to see if you are eligible for these services. Remember to take the time to encourage the women in your life to get their mammogram. Their life is worth it.Wendy LucasAmsterdam Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionNo reason for bars to be open at 4 a.m.There is a proposal before Albany lawmakers to close the bars earlier at 2 a.m. instead of 4 a.m. I believe this is a very good idea.Currently, more violent alcohol-related instances occur with bars being open until 4 a.m.; for example fights, stabbings, muggings, shootings, auto accidents.For people who work late and enjoy socializing after their evening shifts, 2 a.m. allows plenty of time to meet with friends. There are no advantages to the local community to have bars open until 4 a.m.Mitch WalshNorth GreenbushParaprofessionals earn their wagesI am writing in response to the Sept. 25 article about the Schenectady paraprofessionals seeking a living wage. I am deeply repulsed by the words of school Superintendent Larry Spring. He stated they have “limited responsibilities” or “fewer daily responsibilities” than teachers. While yes, I will agree a teacher does work far beyond the hours of the school day, it is the paraprofessional who picks up where the teacher stops. Who watches the children before and after the bell rings? Not a teacher. Shall I even bring up the substitute-teacher shortage in the area? No substitute? Who covers those classes? You guessed it, a paraprofessional. Because they aren’t teaching, they deserve less? Wait, aren’t the paraprofessionals helping re-enforce the lessons? What about the paraprofessionals who sit at the entrance scanning identification of those looking to enter. They keep those who should not have contact with the staff or children from the building. That is a limited responsibility? My sister is said paraprofessional. She has been yelled at, threatened, had to be alert to sex offenders and upheld orders of protection for both students and staff. I challenge you, Mr. Spring, to look her in the face and tell her she only has “limited responsibilities.”The paraprofessionals in Schenectady are being taken advantage of. They are the backbone of the schools. Mr. Spring, you do not deserve the loyalty they give your district. But they don’t do it for you. They do it for the children. I stand in solidarity. You deserve more.Ashley BakerSchenectadyPresident ignores GM strike in tweetsRegarding the General Motors strike: Isn’t it a little ironic that our president tweets that there is no truth in climate change, about a need for border walls, about a need for tariffs to improve the U.S. economy, about illegal immigration and about our exceptional relationship with North Korea, but no mention of what is currently taking place with GM?And don’t to forget to mention removing unions from the federal government.Joseph RownySaratoga Springs Trump’s message similar to Hitler’sI was interested in the comment of Hitler’s warning of the big lie. His intention was to make Germany great again.Calvin MooreArgyleMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census