U.K. Research Politicisation or Rubbish Reporting? Possibly Both

This Tweet attracted my attention over the weekend, as regular readers might imagine:

(That looks nice, I must do that more often…)

What does this fellow mean?  He links to an Observer article on the Guardian’s website.  The article contains the quote mentioned in the Tweet.  In this article the author alleges that the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the U.K. (AHRC) is now required to research the ‘big society’ – a slogan/program fancied by the current Tory/Liberal Democrat coalition in the U.K. (though it may be more Prime Minister Cameron’s pet project than an official coalition thing).  Furthermore, the article alleges that the Haldane principle, the U.K. name for the practice of letting researchers (via review panels) determine what projects are funded rather than granting councils (like the AHRC) has been violated.

Putting aside the notion – well articulated by Edgerton – that the Haldane Principle is a bit of a fiction, this would seem to be a significant break from past practice of how the U.K. government interacts with the researchers it funds.

The problem – this article is full of claims and assertions, and too thin on facts or links to supporting documents to successfully make its case.

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