April’s Café Scientifique is on “Scientific progress and the economic impact fallacy” with an introductory talk by Philip Moriarty. Our very own Adrian Ely will be hosting. It’s on 15 April at 7.30pm, at The Latest Music Bar in Manchester St.
In these financially straitened times, shouldn’t scientific research in universities be focussed on near-market R&D and potentially economy-boosting applications? Isn’t it right that Peter Mandelson and the Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills, the research councils, and the Higher Education Funding Council seek to maximise return on New Labour’s investment in science over the past ten years? And what’s wrong with now requiring academics to include a two page impact statement with each grant proposal, describing potential pathways to improving the socioeconomic impact of their research?
In this talk, each of those questions shall be considered in the context of not only economic return on investment in research but, more importantly, the ethos and principles of academia. In particular, the role of the university in 21st century society will be examined.