Issue-Driven R&D Strategy in the United Kingdom and the Debate on “Impact”

Saturday, 15 February 2014
Water Tower (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
David R. Cope , Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom
This seminar is being organised by the Center for Research and Development Strategy of the Japan Science and Technology Agency.  Its rationale and focus are obviously strongly influenced by the highly unusual circumstances regarding development of R&D strategies and their communication to policy-makers and the public that have emerged – and continue to develop - in Japan in the aftermath of the “Fukushima Dai-ichi incident” in March 2011.  However, Japanese exploration of the dilemmas of developing issue-driven R&D strategies while also accommodating the urge for science to be “unfettered” well predates that specific incident.  This has involved considerable examination of the situation in other countries.

In that light, this presentation will explore how the discussion of the dilemmas has evolved in the United Kingdom in recent years.  In particular, the forceful statements from government and research funding organisations that academic- and public research institute- funded research must demonstrate the “impact” of proposed research projects will be explored.  Although there will be a strong interweaving of UK and Japanese dimensions, the situation in other European countries will also be included in the presentation.