Parliamentary Office for S&T Newsletter

POST has just published its October Newsletter. See further details here

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4S Conference, Sydney, August 29-Sept 1

The annual 4S conference begins tomorrow in Sydney, organised around the theme of ‘TRANSnational STS. Among the many highlights will be the presentation of the Bernal Prize to Trevor Pinch, for his long-standing contribution to the field. More details can be found here

UKRI publishes its strategy for R&D

UK Research and Innovation which incorporates all the Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England has just published its broad strategy for R&D. It is available here: UKRI Prospectus . Much of it is about fostering business and economic growth, as would be expected. There are likely to be opportunities for STIS researchers in two of its key areas though: see the sections of economic impact (impact) which includes reference to the rather intriguing notion of ‘promoting innovation backing new general purpose technologies on their route to market’; and also on social and cultural impact  (s&c impact). In regard to the latter, the prospectus notes ‘ We will run an open call for proposals from consortia of higher education institutes, research institutes and external stakeholders to support a small number of high quality research projects that place citizen participation at their heart.’

James Wilsdon, AsSIST-UK member, has just published his insightful commentary on the UKRI plans:

Wilsdon commentary

See also David Walker’s observations on how -if ever – UKRI engages with the Govt Office for Science and Health research at Collaboration?

European Commission Announces Budget for ‘Horizon Europe’

The European Commission has announced increased funding for its new programme, called ‘Horizon Europe’ which runs from 2021-2017. As the current H2020 structure, three platforms for research support will remain – the funding for the ‘Excellent Science stream (the ERC grants – which a number of AsSIST-UK members have secured), the Industrial Leadership stream and a Societal Challenges one. So STS and social science more broadly will have opportunities for new research funding. How this will play out though post-Brexit, when UK funding ends, is unclear.

The Association will track developments and inform members of any key issues that emerge over coming months.

S&T Select Committee publishes critical report today on Brexit, Science and Innovation

The Science and Technology Select Committee has just published its report on the challenges that Brexit poses for S&T and innovation more broadly. Professor Johan Schot represented AsSIST-UK and spoke about the need to develop a new approach to innovation: ‘ Debate should not only be about access to European funding and exchange of people but about how to become an exemplar for societal challenge-led research and innovation. This will bring people and collaboration to the UK. The Brexit strategy should be about how to build a new research culture and institutional framework for addressing the causes of Brexit not just the consequences. The causes of Brexit, among others, are inequality and failing energy, healthcare, mobility and food systems. The need for experimentation with alternatives is vital to transform our systems of provision. The Brexit strategy should focus on making UK a front runner for sustainability transitions. There is a need for more interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary work to address these central challenges.”

 

See the S&T full report and its critique of current government plans at:

Report

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