It adds up to exaggeration

March 13, 2008

Your coverage of our plans to increase the impact of our investments is misleading ("RCUK abandons impact formula"; "What price knowledge?", 6 March). We are interested in retrospectively understanding the impact of our investments in research to establish to what extent the public benefited, for which we make no apology. But we never proposed an algorithm. This is really a case of x + y = z, where x is the newspaper's propensity to exaggerate a story and y is the tendency of not getting all the facts, which when added together equals z, or the wrong end of the stick.

Philip Esler, Chief Executive, Arts and Humanities Research Council, on behalf of Research Council UK.

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