Monday, April 04, 2011

The AHRC and "The Big Society"

Readers may be aware of this petition signed by 2,500 colleagues across political and disciplinary divides. The petition calls for the removal of political party campaign slogans from the current Arts and Humanities Research Council's delivery plan for strategic research funding priorities. This is phase one.

Phase two in the campaign for change is a letter and email campaign to the AHRC CHief Executive.

I have been alerted to a further document, The Allocation of Science and Research Funding: Investing in World-Class Science and Research, published in December 2010 by the UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. (My many thanks to Seiriol Morgan for the link.) Page 22 states:

"A major thread of activity will be focused on communities, including leading the cross-Council ‘Connected Communities’ programme. AHRC will systematically address issues relating to social cohesion, community engagement and cultural renewal contributing to the ‘Big Society’ initiative."

The language seems clear: "AHRC will systematically address issues ... contributing to the 'Big Society' initiative" in its 'Connected Communities' research programme.

If you oppose the inclusion of political party campaign slogans in research council strategic research funding priority plans, then please sign the petition and write to the AHRC Chief Executive.

I will include further updates as they arise.

UPDATE: In The Spectator, we find this.

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