Roland has got there first and given a great description of the latest project supported by NESTA Connect – Science for Humanity – so I wont do it again! But I think this project brings together several issues that are on the research community’s mind at the moment as well as ours!
In last thursday Independent Philip Moriarty, a physics professor at Nottingham argued that research had become too commercialised and that the government now was effectively asking researchers to “act like the research and development wing of a corporation.” He argued that academic research should be done in the public interest, not driven by the aims of a company.
Following on from this Will Hutton wrote a piece in last Sundays
Hutton sites that those in the mould of Moriarty feel there is “an academic vocation that does not readily sit with commercial values”. And this is where I think Science for Humanity may have a part to play.
Whilst the argument about universities and the economic impact agenda will keep going, is there another avenue that we might want researchers to go down? Could they be using their knowledge and learning to innovate for the good of humanity?
We are hoping this is so – Science for Humanity is looking to harness the innovative capacity of researchers who don’t want to live in ivory towers but might not be motivated by profit.