I begin with a public information announcement….If you are following the debate about the Health and Social Care Bill then you really must come to AMRC’s workshop on 29th March to discuss its impact on research and what’s to be done about it.
If it is anything like the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Research dinner on 29th March then it will be well worth your while attending. Emma Greenwood from Cancer Research UK has done a quick write-up on the dinner and the ‘official’ record will follow in due course.
Yesterday I wrote about the HEFCE announcement on the weighting for ‘impact’ in the Research Excellence Framework (REF). I was pleased today when one of my sharp-eyed team (of which I have several hundred here as you know) noticed this workshop being run by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement at the invitation of HEFCE.
It’s aim is to inform the the eventual guidance to universities on this part of the REF. If a side-product of REF is the development of public engagement into a more robust discipline it will be a good thing.
I see the Russell Group put out a statement yesterday saying 20% was still too much but The Guardian’s article probably gives the best overview of where the sentiments are across the research sector. As I say, personally, I think HEFCE has fallen in about the right place for this first go and I am sure we will learn a considerable amount from it.
And lastly, since I am still loosely on the subject of public engagement I wanted to highly commend an excellent report by NCVO which is out today. Entitled Participation: trends, facts and figures it gives an absorbing and detailed insight into public participation in civic society in the UK. Science is not mentioned but it will give those that believe the British have ‘switched-off’ something to think about.