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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
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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.