Monday, January 16, 2012


cc: <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, "David Brown" <>, "John Baker" <>, "Judy Parker" <>, "Lesley Aspinall" <>, "Nigel Collins" <>, "Neville Hollingworth" <>
date: Thu, 15 Feb 2001 12:17:06 +0000
from: "Chris Franklin" <>
subject: Re: PRESCIENT THEMATIC PROGRAMME (D Brown - copy)
to: "Eric W Wolff" <>, <>

Dear All

David Brown, Director Science Programmes has asked me to forward the following to you.

Chris Franklin

Dear PRESCIENT Steering Committee Members

I have seen the emails to Lesley Aspinall noting the Council decision to defer funding of PRESCIENT. I share your frustration with the uncertainty this causes, but let me explain why we chose not to inform you of this directly.

Following the Spending Review announcement in early December, the Chief Executive put a moratorium on releasing funding in some areas until Council had the opportunity to discuss the implications across NERC. As part of a wider objective of increasing flexibility to respond to new opportunities and challenges, Council asked for a review of current funding commitments within core/strategic, thematic and infrastructure mode and sought advice and guidance from the STB on how recycled funds should be allocated. A paper has now been written for STB suggesting that PRESCIENT is unfrozen.

The science case and strategic need for PRESCIENT has already been agreed by the (now disbanded) ESTB. Hence further consultation was not thought appropriate.

I hope that STB will be able to recommend that PRESCIENT should go ahead. However, if this is agreed, because of the Council decision to fund the Abrupt Climate Change programme the emphasis of the PRESCIENT science plan will need to be revisited.

I hope this goes some way to answering your concerns and explains why we have held back from contacting you until we could give you firm guidance. We will obviously let you know the outcome of the STB meeting on 26-27 February as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

David Brown
Science Programmes Directorate

Dr Chris J Franklin
Head of Earth Science and Technology
Natural Environment Research Council
Polaris House
North Star Avenue

Tel +44 (0) 1793 411708
Fax +44 (0) 1793 411756


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>>> Eric W Wolff 15/02/01 09:46:27 >>>
Copied to: Prescient SC members

Dear Lesley,

I just read in the NERC Council minutes from January (
"Due to the overall constraints and pressures on NERC's budget Council agreed to defer support for three previously approved research programmes (palaeoclimate research and earth system modelling for enhanced climate and environmental predication (PRESCIENT); analytical techniques in atmospheric chemistry (ATAC); the polluted troposphere)."

I think we have been strung along in a very bad manner about this programme, and I am very unimpressed to find out we have been stuffed only by accident, and nearly a month after the event. It would have been helpful as well if we had had a realistic view from NERC that this might happen, so that we could have lobbied for the programme with Council and its committees. I think you will have a pretty angry palaeoclimate community to deal with.

On a practical note, can you tell us what this means for the SC. Are we disbanded? What does deferral mean?

Best regards

Eric Wolff
British Antarctic Survey
High Cross
Madingley Road
Cambridge CB3 0ET
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 1223 221491
Fax: +44 1223 221279 (note new number)
Alternate fax: +44 1223 362616

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