Monday, April 04, 2011

Petition to remove "The Big Society" from the AHRC research funding delivery plan in the news

. . . in this weekend's The Observer here. There is also a letter on the issue published in the same issue that can be found here (scroll down).

Readers may have already seen this petition which has now reached nearly 2,500 signatures in less than one week. It has attracted support from members of the AHRC Peer Review College, Fellows of various learned societies (British Academy, Royal Society, Royal Historical Society, etc.), and other academic societies. The AHRC position appears to remain the view that this widespread disagreement with them from persons across political and disciplinary divides is not a major concern with no plans to reverse course.

Please encourage colleagues to sign the petition: we must send a clear message to research councils that they should not incorporate political campaign slogans from political parties within their delivery plans for strategic research funding priority. This is a matter of principle, not politics. If this is left unchecked and unchanged, then we may well come to expect more in future.

I will shortly publish a letter to the AHRC that I hope will attract similar support. It is important that the AHRC understands the deep and widespread support there is for the removal of a political campaign slogan from its research funding delivery plan.

UPDATE: With further analysis from Stefan Collini in The Guardian here.

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