A remarkable number of people have already signed the online petition to remove “The Big Society” as a strategic area for AHRC funding. If you are an arts UK academic or grad student, you might want to add your name at
and then spread the word among colleagues.
And, if you can bear to read more on this, here’s a useful timeline of the debacle, done with wit.
(Added later) For more comment, see James Ladyman’s excellent piece in the New Statesman. I found his concluding remarks about the AHRC’s bullshit particular congenial, as my own small run-in with them was about the bullshit factor in their sprinkling around descriptions of solid-but-ordinary research (including my own) as “world class”. In correspondence, the AHRC apparatchiks seemed quite incapable of seeing why one might worry about this, and I suspected then that this was symptomatic of a more general inability to think and talk straight. I take no great pleasure in finding my unease to have been proved to be well-placed.
(Added still later) The petition already has over 2000 signatures, and growing. For more analysis about why this should have got people exercised, here’s more insightful good sense from Iain Pears.
(Later again) Read, too, Stefan Collini on the AHRC and the road to intellectual mediocrity.