Feeling the heat

A fringe meeting at this year’s Labour Party Conference asks ‘Picking winners: can engineering succeed where finance failed?’ Now there’s a question we’d all like to see answered.


The political conference season is now in full swing, with the Labour Party taking over Brighton this week. Of course, there’s a multitude of speeches, meetings, and desperate cabals (although smoke-filled rooms are a thing of the past), but the one that caught our eye is a fringe debate called ‘Picking winners: can engineering succeed where finance failed?’ Now there’s a question we’d all like to see answered.


The start of October marks the renewal date for 65 per cent of industrial energy contracts in the UK, and many energy-intensive users will be looking for improved deals. Coincidentally, there’s a new face on the energy policy scene this week: David MacKay, a professor of physics at CambridgeUniversity, takes up the role of chief scientific advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change on Thursday, where his task will be to assess government plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


High temperatures are very much on the agenda, as somewhat further away, NASA’s Mercury probe, MESSENGER, is due to make its third close pass of the planet this week. It will approach to 142 miles off the surface to survey the scorched landscape.



Stuart Nathan
Special Projects Editor