Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Petition to remove "The Big Society" as an AHRC research funding priority receives more than 1,500 signatures in less than 24 hours

The petition can be found here and I urge readers to consider signing it. It makes a point of principle, not politics: that the UK-based Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) -- which funds research in areas such as law and philosophy -- should remove mention of "The Big Society" in its details of strategic research funding priorities. "The Big Society" was a campaign slogan of the Conservative Party. The principled objection is that the policial campaign slogans of any party should not be included. This would be true if the then AHRB had included "The Third Way" after the 1997 election which saw Tony Blair become Prime Minister. This is not about which political party you prefer, but a statement of principle.

I have been delighted to see such strong support across political and disciplinary divides for this proposal. Let us hope the AHRC takes notice and removes this language from its funding documentation. I will keep regularly updates on progress.

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