The “Impact” On The Humanities In Britain

It’s not just biblical studies. Brian Leiter has a brief post on “The end of the humanities in Britain?” He links to a Times on Line article on the proposed “impact” standard for research. Here’s a sample that may keep many scholars including many scientists awake well beyond their bed time.

The guidelines make clear that “impact” does not include “intellectual influence” on the work of other scholars and does not include influence on the “content” of teaching. It has to be impact which is “outside” academia, on other “research users” (and assessment panels will now include, alongside senior academics, “a wider range of users”). Moreover, this impact must be the outcome of a university department’s own “efforts to exploit or apply the research findings”: it cannot claim credit for the ways other people may happen to have made use of those “findings”.

Scary stuff.