The dream research team of Socrates, Einstein and Wittgenstein would spell disaster for research assessment exercise ratings, says Alistair MacFarlane, principal of Heriot-Watt University. Socrates published nothing and concentrated on small group teaching.
Einstein did not supervise research students but concentrated on theoretical work, contrary to the imperatives of Technology Foresight. And Wittgenstein kept changing his mind about his research. Wittgenstein would have left his institution with a moral dilemma, says Professor MacFarlane - did his contradictory research cancel itself out, or should the institution count his work as two by submitting both versions?