The Royal Society is celebrating it’s 350th anniversary. To coincide with a series of exhibits about scientific advances in the past, the Royal Society is also taking the opportunity to reflect on the future of British Science. The Royal Society makes the following recommendations for science in the United Kingdom in the 21st century.
- Put science and innovation at the heart of a strategy for long-term economic growth
- Prioritize investment in excellent people
- Strengthen Government’s use of science
- Reinforce the UK’s position as a hub for global science and innovation
- Better align science and innovation with global challenges
- Revitalise science and mathematics education
I’ve got to say that this list doesn’t surprise me terribly. But, Georgia Tech is also going through a strategic planning process, and the emphasis on #5 has come up there. If I think back through my career, I have always heard a lot about #1. But #5 seems newer as a narrative about the role of science. It reminds me of things I’ve heard about the Millennial generation, that it’s time for science to address problems whose impact might not be entirely economic, but something different. For the National Science Foundation, this is probably the perfect storm of scientific merit and broader impacts.
And the piece of me that grew up in the 1980s wonders whether this is trading in Gordon Gecko for a Millennial?