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Creating the AHRCAn Arts and Humanities Research Council for the United Kingdom in the Twenty-first Century$
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James Herbert

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264294

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264294.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022

A False Start

A False Start

(p.1) I A False Start
Creating the AHRC

James Herbert

British Academy

In general, modern governments invest only a small portion of the national income to the generation of new knowledge. In the United Kingdom, the Department of Science and Industrial Research carried out this task until 1965. Then the Science and Technology Act changed responsibility for the curiosity-driven research to five Research Councils which are funded through the Department of Education and Science. In 1993, a White Paper, Realizing Our Potential called for the reorganization of the Research Councils. This chapter discusses the struggles of the establishment and recognition of the need for Council for Research in the Humanities. In 1961, the British Academy suggested for the creation of Council for Research in the Humanities, however it was not granted in the legislation made in 1965. Instead, a separate Research Council for social science was established, which opened up the possibility of creating a separate Research Council for Humanities. In 1990s, discussions on the reorganization of UK research funding reopened the question of how the government funds and supports research in humanities. It also opened talks for the establishment of a freestanding Humanities Research Council. Sometime in 1992, after deliberate considerations of the possible contributions of a separate research council on humanities, a recommendation for the establishment of Humanities Research Council was made. However, on the same year, the government decided not to set up an agency that would support humanities, and, in 1993, the government made a firm decision not to include humanities in any form to the circle of Research Councils — a decision which irked humanities scholars and academy members.

Keywords:   Research Councils, Realizing Our Potential, humanities, British Academy, social science, UK research funding, Humanities Research Council, Science and Technology Act

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