Britain’s new universities minister Sam Gyimah will be in charge of space

by | Jan 9, 2018 | ESA

The Universities and Science Minister for England, Jo Johnson, who had responsibility tor space under Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has been moved to the Ministry of Transport in Prime Minister Theresa May’s UK government reshuffle. Johnson recently gained plaudits for his stand on defending free speech at universities, but also derision for supporting the appointment of his friend, the risqué journalist and “free schools” proponent, Toby Young, to a new regulatory post in the Office for Students (Young later resigned). Replacing Johnson as the minister in charge of higher education is Sam Gyimah, a former banker at Goldman Sachs. Gyimah also previously studied PPE at Oxford University, and has risen through the ranks of the government including a stint in the Whip’s office and as the Prisons Minister.

Sam Gyimah is obviously bright but has no science background. Courtesy: UK Government

Comment by David Todd: Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May’s reshuffle of government posts was criticised by some both for its lack of changes at cabinet level (due to her alleged political impotence) and for its much trumpeted “positive discrimination” promotion of women and ethnic minorities into the government’s middle ranks. This pro-diversity move actually ill-serves those who were promoted in this way as it creates doubt about the merit of their promotion. Nevertheless, Sam Gyimah, who is of Ghanaian descent, already had growing reputation for his talent from his past educational and career record. That said, he does not have a scientific background (although he does know about the IT business). Let us hope Sam Gyimah appreciates the new technology and business breakthroughs that have been achieved by the UK space industry. He will have his work cut out maintaining Britain’s place within ESA and its access to the EU space programmes it has participated in (e.g. Galileo), once its break with the EU takes place. 

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

UK loses its space minister over Brexit agreement after UK decides to build own navsat system

Having had its space companies barred by the European Commission from working on the EU Galileo navigation system after Brexit, the Read more

HydroGNSS construction order goes to SSTL as ESA Scout mission

ESA has selected SSTL to build and operate a 40 kg spacecraft for its HydroGNSS mission under its Scout programme. Read more

UK launch providers Orbex and Skyrora get £8.5 million boost from ESA

Nascent Scotland-based small launch providers Orbex and Skyrora,have received £8.5 million IN funding under the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Boost! Read more

NASA loses its administrator Jim Bridenstine…as UK Space Agency’s loses CEO Graham Turnock & ESA Head Jan Woerner leaves early

For very different reasons, two major space agencies confirmed in January that they were losing their leaders with another declaring Read more

ESA chooses Josef Aschbacher as its next Director General…who is he and what does he want?

It has been confirmed that Josef Aschbacher will succeed the sometimes controversial but nevertheless well-regarded Jan Woerner as Director General Read more

ESA finally commits to reusable Italian-led Space Rider “space plane” prototype…as it also plans reusable rocket stage

On 9 December 2020 ESA (European Space Agency) placed an order with Italian suppliers for an reusable lifting body called Read more

ESA orders ROSE-L spacecraft from Thales Alenia Space with Airbus DS building the radar

ESA and Thales Alenia Space signed a €482 million (US$586 million) contract to develop the Radar Observation System for Europe Read more

ESA awards first Earth observation Scout-class mission to GomSpace and RAL Space

The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded the first of its "Scout" missions which aim to use small sats to Read more

Cookies & Privacy

Click here to read about use of cookies on the website

Categories

Archives