This article by Dick Ahlstrom in the Irish Times is typical of the sort of stuff you read in the papers and it’s basically little more than propaganda. I’m as pro-science as the next guy and I think that scientific research is an important cultural activity. Furthermore, no university is worthy of the name unless it has a strong research ethos. But take this paragraph from the article:
“Long hauls are not a good place for politicians, but this Government and previous governments have all agreed that pursuit of research excellence offers a way out of the economic quagmire. Building an economy that relies on research and knowledge-driven enterprises is the only alternative if we want to see it develop and generate wealth.”
Where is the evidence for any of this? If anyone can convince me that ploughing hundreds of millions (if not billions) of euro into university-based research will play a significant role in returning the country to economic prosperity, I will shut up.
And on that note, educationandstuff is going to take a short summer break to focus on some other projects for a while. See you later in the summer!