Researchers Resist Pressure to Show Impact of Their Work

Applicants for government support, required to demonstrate the benefits of their research, say the measures are too narrowly defined

Researchers Resist Pressure
to Show Impact of Their Work 1

U. of Nottingham

Philip Moriarty, a physicist at the U. of Nottingham, has denounced 
the focus on science’s economic and social impact.

A few years ago, Philip Moriarty, a professor of physics at the University of Nottingham, had had enough.

Mr. Moriarty was a member of a peer-review body for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, one of the agencies in Britain that control the purse strings of academic research. In 2009 the council began to require that applicants for grants include a "pathways to impact" statement outlining the potential economic and societal effects of