Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Research Council funding

Two things that I noticed on the same day:

1 - an interview on the BBC Today programme with the head of the STFC, about their recent funding awards - money for large pan-European projects, apparently, and little for basic research in universities. There is an audio piece from a Today journalist here.

2 - an editorial in Nature about the drive to fund projects that involve industry, at the expense of basic research.

The first made my ears prick up (while I was growing up, my father taught Physics). The second caught my eye (two facial metaphors for the price of one) - there is a place, of course, for collaboration with industry, but I do think industry and business should not determine what happens in education, and overemphasis (note my emphasis) on collaboration of this sort could do that. Of course, higher education can find application through industry, but education is not only vocational.

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