Friday, 21 October 2011

Finally! Europe Gets What It Deserves

Great news today from Europe. Our best beloved King of the Social Sciences, ESRC chief Paul Boyle, has been elected President of Science Europe.

Thank heavens for Science Europe. Some may question the worth of a European supranational quango with a complex organisational structure, a vague and aspirational mission statement and a vision statement, and no identifiable powers. But not us.

For us, we can only thank the powers that be that they have finally recognised that the continent that brought us the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, Democracy and the Industrial Revolution, Shakespeare, Einstein, Newton, Galileo, Planck, Darwin and Mozart, that discovered heliocentrism, penicillin and the circulation of blood, needs some help in developing its potential.

Yes, this is a great step forward. What European research needs is more committees, more policy statements and more plans of action. My only worry is that Boyle, who is already ESRC CEO and RCUK International Champion, will be stretched too thin. Surely something will have to give if Science Europe is to fulfil its mission statement and genuinely deliver 'a broad based inform discussions on ERA and related policy matters.'?

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