Academics should be engaged with the wider world, but impact, if it is routinised, loses its potential to change the dynamic of a system. Chris Hackley writes that the research that influences policy should be celebrated but we must be wary of the risk that the impact measurement will begin to define what is to be measured.
On the face of it, it doesn’t seem much of an imposition for universities to demonstrate that a small proportion of their research is noticed by the world at large. We are publicly subsidized institutions after all, and accountable to the taxpayer. In fact we really ought to play a bigger part in public policy debate than we do. But does the way this engagement is framed by HEFCE as ‘impact’ risk the intellectual neutrality of universities? (...) - by Chris Hackley, LSE blog "UImpact of social Sciences", Nov 22, 2012