Skip Content

Independence at what price? The Haldane Principle - Past, Present and Future

How truly independent is academic research from government? How “arm’s length” is the decision making by research councils and academies on who benefits from research grants and fellowships? Is the much-prized Haldane Principle past its sell by date?

This panel discussion aims to explore the history of the Haldane Principle, the tensions it has historically generated, those it continues to generate today, and whether it could and should remain a fundamental pillar of the way government and the research sector engage with each other.

Participating in the debate are:

David Edgerton, Hans Rausing Professor at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at Imperial College London, who will present a historical perspective of the Haldane Principle over the past hundred years

Sir Adam Roberts, President of the British Academy and Emeritus Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford, who will look at some of the present day tensions around the independence of research funding, especially in the humanities and social sciences

Andrew Miller MP, the Labour Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston and Chair of the House of Commons Science & Technology Committee, who will review the current day political pressures around the principle from both a personal and a Select Committee perspective

Chairing the event is Nigel Vincent, British Academy Vice-President (Research and Higher Education Policy) and Mont Follick Professor of Comparative Philology at the University of Manchester.