What is the most impactful form of impact?
Over the past decade or so in the UK, the impact agenda has swept the board. It seems as if every researcher now needs to consider impact before, during and after their investigations so that the demands of funders and government might be assuaged. Should early career researchers be worried? Should they embrace impact and learn to love it? Or should they stand up and fight for a different vision of academic freedom of enquiry?
Stephen Curry is a professor of structural biology at Imperial College London. By day, Stephen is a researcher interested in the molecular mechanism of RNA viruses; by night, he is an active science blogger and campaigner. He writes regularly (at the Guardian and elsewhere) on the larger social responsibilities of scientists. He is also Vice-Chair of the Science is Vital campaign, a board member of CaSE, and recently served on the steering group for the recent HEFCE review of the role of metrics in research assessment.