Challenge 3: Keeping the balance: research rigour, accessibility and impact?
Question How do we ensure that academic rigour and objectivity of research is maintained whilst...
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5 February 2010
- How do we ensure that academic rigour and objectivity of research is maintained whilst also making research more accessible and of demonstrable impact to UK economy and society?
Facilitated by Dr Heather Graham, The Leadership Foundation
Contributors: David Sweeney, Hefce; Brigid Heywood, The Open University, Professor Teresa Rees, Cardiff University
Brigid Heywood (Open Unversity): we are struggling with defining relationships appropriate at the beginning of a research agenda. Also a debate about doctoral training, when there is an argument about capacity - how e-technologies might change we way support doctoral level researchers. We are interested in data - extending the ownership of primary data - issues about funding distributed data models.. Have centred our (OU) issues around research capacity building.
11:26 on 11 February 2010 (Edited 11:34 on 11 February 2010)
Theresa Reese - Cardiff University:
One extreme - protect blue skies research
Other extreme - train researchers as journlists (a third of their time in dissemination)
Question the subjectivity of impact - who decides? Example from Cardiff - article written by part-time lecturer in psychology: the 'unhappiest day of the year'. No science in it, but it has most publicity & response from cholocate company! Do we need to discuss what we mean by impact?
Have got a letter from Harriet Harman welcoming inequality research saying it may be part of next manifesto - is that impact?
11:30 on 11 February 2010 (Edited 11:35 on 11 February 2010)
David Sweeney (HEFCE):
No tension between rigour and impact - academics invent myths! Academics must listen and not parrot their own view uninformed by evidence. We are only interested in impact that results from excellent research. My question: how do we justify investment of public funding in research (£6bn a year)? Public money is spent for wellbeing and economic growth of the country.
11:33 on 11 February 2010 (Edited 11:36 on 11 February 2010)