A topic very close to all our hearts at the moment are the various funding cuts in the scientific arena, and 2011 begins with a very similar story we are becoming used to hearing.

Over 30 scientists have signed a letter expressing concern over the planned closure of the Forensic Science Service the leading provider of forensic analysis, characterization and interpretation of data from crime scenes. The eminent scientists signing the letter hope that Theresa May, Home Secretary, will think long and hard about the possible concequences should the agency be closed.

The Forensic Science agency provides vital results from the scenes of crimes to the police ranging from DNA, analysis of bodily fluids, fibers and fingerprints.

Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, who pioneered DNA fingerprinting was amongst the renowned list of scientists who signed the letter, in which they expressed their disbelief that the Government were intent on pressing ahead with plans to close the forensic laboratories.

Scientists fear that if the agency is axed and work passed to private contractors then these contractors may begin cherry picking the more straightforward cases and higher profile crimes to gain brownie points or to save money.

The letter asks the Government to think about where research in this field will be in 5 years from now if funding into the publicly owned agency is cut.

This looks to be another blow to funding in the scientific community that will have a negative impact on how efficiently we can communicate our science and ultimately how we are perceived in the community at large.

Moving on, in our latest issue of Materials Today we look at everything from the nanoscale to bulk materials.

In our first paper scientists from the United States look at some of the unique properties of Bulk Metallic Glasses which have superior mechanical properties yet can still be blow molded like plastics.

The second paper looks at the group of materials called Silsesquioxanes. These hybrid materials combine the mechanical, thermal, and chemical stability of ceramics with the solution processing and flexibility of traditionally soft materials. These properties lend themselves to applications in nanoscale patterning applications.

Our next paper from scientists in China and the United States, presents a review on recent advances in reversed Cherenkov radiation research; Flipping Photons Backward.

Our final paper this issue looks at some of the features of SnO2 T-junction which make it an attractive option for next-generation nanoelectronic devices.

We hope you enjoy this issue and do not forget This March brings the second international conference on multifunctional, hybrid and nanomaterials: Hybrid Materials 2011, there is still time to register.


We hope to see you there!

Read full text on ScienceDirect

DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(11)70001-3