Just been reading the Nurse Review of the Research Councils which was delivered to the Government this week a bit like your newspaper is delivered to your hotel room, silently and under the door.
The Review’s terms of reference are admittedly narrow. But you’ve got to wonder about a Review:
Where half the Foreword is spent thanking its ‘mates’ – is this its Haldene Berry moment?
In which there is a Latin definition in the opening paragraph of the main text just to make it a ‘report for all seasons’
That contains such a dismissive and frankly lazy definition of charitable funding of research
That seems satisfied with historical definitions of research without acknowledging how these are bring challenged in modern times
Which fails to recognise the growing and important role of citizens in setting research priorities
Which puts citizens – you and I – firmly in our place when it comes to making decisions about research funding (we should be involved ‘at a high level’)
That seems so keen to turn the clock back on ‘societal impact’ of research
Whose first recommendation on effectiveness is for the Research Councils to do a mapping exercise – I mean, really!?
Which sort of ducks the main challenge of either going ‘radical’ with a full merger or simply by putting two fingers up to Ministers.
Where most of the end of the report seems to be a series of job descriptions with the conclusion being a closed shop to other organisations, partners and research users.
Which seems to define Governance solely as as a question of who is on a Board.
Which brings together so much under one all-powerful being!
That fails to articulate why this is in the public interest or what added value it will mean for the nation.
Have a good weekend.