EPSRC funding crisis: mathematical sciences

NEWS: 22 Sept 2011. The presidents of the Royal Society, Council for Mathematical Sciences, Royal Society of Chemistry, Institute of Physics, Royal Academy of Engineering, and Institute for Engineering and Technology have written to David Delpy, chief executive of EPSRC, urging that he pause “Shaping Capability” and properly consult the scientific community. Link to the letter is here.

NEWS: 20 Sept 2011. Twenty-five leading UK mathematicians — including four Fields Medallists — have written to David Cameron warning of the consequences of EPRSC’s determination to micro-manage scientific research. Link to the letter and press coverage is here.

NEWS: 14 Sept 2011. Update: The transcript is now available. The Chief Executive of EPSRC, David Delpy, has given evidence before the House of Commons select committee on Science and Technology. You can listen on Parliament TV. The first question about Shaping Capability is at 9:42. Questioning focuses specifically on the mathematical sciences — including the recently announced fellowship policy — starting at 10:00. (These numbers are times, not mm:ss. The committee meeting started at 9:15.)

NEWS: 8 Sept 2011. The IRM panel has written to the EPSRC (letter dated 8 Sept 2011; released to public 13 Sept 2011 — linked on the funding crisis page).

ORIGINAL POST: Lots more is going to happen in the wake of the EPSRC’s July 2011 announcement that, in the mathematical sciences, they will take fellowship applications only in statistics and applied probability. It’s not just about the fellowships: these have been the trigger — not least because the decision harms young mathematicians the most — but the problems with EPSRC have been longer in the making and go a lot deeper than the recent round of funding roulette.

I’ve created a webpage, EPSRC Funding Crisis: Mathematical Sciences, where I’ve gathered, and want to keep up to date, links to news, documents and resources. (It’s inspired by a similar page created for particle physics. Thanks to Mark Lancaster for allowing me to copy the html.)

Comments are welcome below; the page itself doesn’t support comments. And please let me know if there is anything you’d like to have included on this page.



Filed under EPSRC

2 responses to “EPSRC funding crisis: mathematical sciences

  1. Tom Leinster

    I think that page looks excellent, Burt, and very useful. (I’m not mad on the white-on-black text, but that’s a minor point.)

  2. Burt Totaro

    Thanks, Tom. As for the color scheme, I thought I’d just emulate the particle physicists. As you can see from Mark Lancaster’s page, they are really, really good at this kind of campaign.

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