Blue skies turn grey

四月 3, 2008

Philip Esler laudably stresses the importance of "impact in its broadest sense" and argues that Research Councils UK wants to see much more than just "narrow monetary impact" from the research it funds.

Esler should ensure that all research councils are singing from the same hymn sheet, however. At a recent open meeting, John Armitt, the chairman of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, was asked whether the EPSRC considered the terms "economic benefit" and "societal benefit" to be effectively synonymous. (Video footage of the meeting is available at www.epsrc.ac.uk.) Clearly bemused, Armitt argued that he saw no distinction and dismissed the issue as a "non-question". Perhaps one should expect little more from an ex-chief executive of Network Rail, but in future it might be helpful if Esler makes sure that Armitt stays "on message".

Esler goes on to state that "blue-skies, pioneering research must be at the heart of what we do". This is a remarkable statement given that EPSRC has very recently cut up to 15 per cent from the responsive mode budget to support its new top-down managed "mission programmes" ("EPSRC cuts to blue-skies funding raise concern", 20 March).

In what sense does this place blue-skies research at the heart of the RCUK's mission?

Philip Moriarty, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham.

Please Login or Register to read this article.

请先注册再进行下一步

获得一个月的无限制地在线阅读网站内容。只需注册并完成您的职业简介.

注册是免费的,而且非常简单。一旦成功注册,您可以每个月免费阅读3篇文章。:

  • 获得编辑推荐文章
  • 率先获得泰晤士高等教育世界大学排名相关的新闻
  • 获得职位推荐、筛选工作和保存工作搜索结果
  • 参与读者讨论和公布评论
Register