Plugging the policy gap

October 2, 2008

In your rush to stoke a non-existent dispute about metrics ("Humanities overlooked by politicians", 18 September), you missed the point of the British Academy's recent report on the contribution that good research could and should make to good policymaking.

The report, produced by a group chaired by Sir Alan Wilson, identifies a gap between researchers (in humanities and social sciences) and policymakers, to the detriment of both, and makes a number of very practical suggestions about plugging it.

The academy, and the parties who have welcomed the report, are at work on taking forward those recommendations. By the way, the academy's position on metrics is clear: we believe that appropriate metrics can usefully inform, but not replace, expert peer review.

Robin Jackson, Chief executive and secretary, the British Academy.

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