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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Is the (Blue) Sky Falling in the U.K?
12 February 2009 12:21 pm
Calling for a "modest revolt," 20 United Kingdom scientists, including one Nobel laureate and eight Royal Society fellows, have launched a scathing attack on the U.K.'s seven research councils for now requiring grant applications to include a 2-page statement on the economic impact of the proposed work. In a letter to the Times Higher Education (THE), they call for peer-reviewers to ignore those summaries, arguing that they have no business predicting what research may produce an economic windfall. They also blame this financial mindset and a lack of private industry investment for causing a decline in the U.K.'s leadership in science, as reflected in a decreasing frequency of Nobel Prizes.
In a news story, THE notes a response by Philip Esler, chief executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, that includes this comment:
Research councils will not be disadvantaging blue-skies research, nor stifling creativity. The impact statement is not designed to ask peer reviewers or applicants to predict future benefits. It is intended to allow the applicant to highlight potential pathways to impact, especially through collaboration with partners, and to help the research councils support them in these activities.