Thursday, 23 February 2017

Generating Priorities

Deep in the heart of Death Star House, RCUK
workers tirelessly adjust the settings for the Priority Generator
Sometimes, calls for thematic programmes make complete sense. Sometimes they sort of make sense, once you dig a little deeper. Sometimes they make no sense at all.

It was the last category that prompted me to develop the Research Council Priority Generator for my blog. It was a tongue-in-cheek look at how the funders seem to jam together apparently random and often conflicting ideas to create new themes. The generator would give you Nanotechnology and Remembrance, for instance, or Progress towards Language, Radicalisation beyond Space and Expressionism in Transport.

None of these seemed a million miles from the real thing, such as Science in Culture, Lifelong Health and Wellbeing, Nanoscience through Engineering, Care for the Future and Living with Environmental Change. Indeed, the random generation of priorities gave us themes that were all too plausible, such as Progress and Islam, Technology of Wellbeing and Curating the Future.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Mr Gimlet and Hard Brexit

 News, this week, that the Department for Exiting from the European Union has been open to receiving advice from scientists, according to Mr Gimlet, from Viz's Finbarr Saunders (and his double entendres).

Any similarity to Prof Mark Walport is, of course, entirely coincidental.