I sent the comments appended below off-list to Sheila, who suggested
it might be useful for them to see the light of day on here.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 12:50:56
From: Dan Hatton <[log in to unmask]>
To: Sheila Peacock <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Research Excellence Framework consultation - BGA submission to
On Tue, 24 Nov 2009, Sheila Peacock wrote:
> I am preparing a submission to HEFCE on the proposals for the
> Research Excellence Framework (REF) on behalf of the British
> Geophysical Association (BGA), which operates this "Geophysics"
> emailing list. The BGA is concerned about the effect on geophysical
> research funding when "impact criteria" account for 25% of the total
> "score" of research carried out within a Unit of Assessment (usually
> a university department) (actual research output counts for 60% and
> "research environment" for 15%).
I wonder which of the following two general lines you're intending to take:
- "The overall level of emphasis on societal and economic impact
should be reduced";
- "The measurement of societal and economic impact should be smarter,
and take account of non-immediate and indirect impacts"?
My personal preference is for the latter, but I hardly constitute any
kind of majority vote.
Incidentally, this reminds me of a reply that I drafted to one of your
earlier posts on the list, but never managed to get into good enough
bibliographic shape for public release...
On Thu, 2 Oct 2008, Sheila Peacock wrote:
> There is also a call for investigation of the gender gap in
> post-compulsory-schooling physics. Since our 2006 Khan review of
> geophysics showed a good takeup by women of geophysics courses,
> concern over this could be turned to the favour of geophysics.
I remember reading some time ago about a hypothesis that one reason
for poor uptake of (some branches of) the physical sciences by women
- the experience of discrimination in society predisposes women
(compared with men) to think it important to address scholarly
research to the problems of society beyond academia; and
- (some branches of) the physical sciences are perceived as not
addressing themselves to those problems.
[Sadly, I can't remember the original reference - it was part of a
suite of ideas that went by the name "double consciousness". doi:
10.1080/09540250500145072 touches on something similar.]
It occurs to me that what Sheila says, above, could be taken as providing
empirical support for that hypothesis. What do folks think?