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UKRI should put its money where its values are

The new funding agency should lead a discussion on how its decisions will affect society, and how society can help shape them, says Sarah Chaytor.

“how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge” – Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

This year marks both the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein and the creation of the new research funding body UK Research and Innovation. I will resist the temptation to point out the risks involved in stitching together disparate body parts and attempting to reanimate the constituent whole. However, UKRI’s birth is a prompt to the research community to do something that Mary Shelly’s eponymous scientist did not, and reflect on the role of values in research policy.

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