Monday, 26 October 2009

Nobel Prize Winners Sign UCU Anti-Impact Petition

Nobel Prize winners Venki Ramakrishnan, Tim Hunt, Brian Josephson, John Walker, Richard Roberts and Harry Kroto have signed a UCU petition calling on the government to rethink its plans for assessing Impact as part of the REF. Over 3,000 others have also signed it, including Richard Dawkins and Robert Winston.
The UCU argues that 'the REF proposals are founded on a lack of understanding of how knowledge advances. It is often difficult to predict which research will create the greatest practical impact. History shows us that in many instances it is curiosity-driven research that has led to major scientific and cultural advances.'
The petition calls on 'the UK funding councils to withdraw the current REF proposals and to work with academics and researchers on creating a funding regime which supports and fosters basic research in our universities and colleges rather than discourages it.'

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