Memorandum submitted by Aporia (CRU 21)

 

 

Memorandum

 

1. The purpose of this submission to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (hereafter referred to as the "Commons Committee") is primarily to cross-reference material already submitted under the auspices of the possibly related House of Lords Science and Technology Committee (hereafter referred to as the "Lords Committee") call for evidence regarding the setting of research funding priorities [i].

 

2. In particular, the material already submitted makes reference to Aporia's WHiSPeRiNG GaLLeRY that serves to document some of the, as yet, possibly taken-for-granted "machinery of government" mechanisms that have been subverted in order to manipulate and suppress research data, which is at odds with the otherwise expectation of an operating environment respectful - if not immediately supportive - of due scholarly impartiality and acceptable scientific practice as against a backdrop of, inter alia, the Haldane Principle [ii].

 

3. As at the time of making this present submission to the Commons Committee, Aporia has only just managed to engage Prof Adrian Smith directly in his capacity as Director General for Science and Research during a brief exchange following his oral evidence session with the Lords Committee on 4 February, 2010, where he stated that "there is no evidence whatsoever that the ... starting point - which is to assess excellence and fund the most excellent research - as the starting point - that has not [sic] been subverted in any way" [iii]. During the ensuing exchange, Aporia expressly sought to kindly draw Prof Smith's attention to the existence of the WHiSPeRiNG GaLLeRY that had already been made available to the Lords Committee by way of example, perhaps, to the contrary [iv].

 

4. Aporia's WHiSPeRiNG GaLLeRY has since been updated to openly reflect this initial exchange and the email subsequently sent to persons involved in relation to the linked data sets, in order to carefully highlight the need to distinguish between "anonymous data" and "anonymised data" with regards archival integrity of emergent public interest disclosure practices for all parties concerned [v].

 

5. In the first instance, Aporia continues to make best efforts to communicate possibly related evidence to the Lords Committee in good time and in good faith, including copy correspondence of this present memorandum being submitted forthwith [vi]. In the second instance, Aporia welcomes any and all derivative requests from the Commons Committee for the same once the Lords Committee has had a chance to configure its own deliberations.

 

6. In this sense, Aporia notes the possible sensitivity of this present memorandum with regards the timing of the information referred to herein at this stage in the Lords Committee deliberations, and as such would suggest that it may not be in the public interest to publish this memorandum without due consideration on the part of the Committees of both Houses in conference together with Aporia, for the time being at least. At any event, Aporia reserves all rights generally.

 

 

Aporia

February, 2010

 

Endnotes marked i-vi to appear as follows with all online cited references having been accessed as at the day of submission on 6 February, 2010:

 

[i] See Memorandum to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee by Aporia, September 2009 at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/strfAporia250909.pdf

 

[ii] See Ministry of Reconstruction, Report of Machinery of Government Committee, December 1918, Cd 9230, p 15 at http://ia341318.us.archive.org/1/items/reportofmachiner00greaiala/reportofmachiner00greaiala.pdf and note the possible (missed) understanding of this particular nuance with regards the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Putting Science and Engineering at the Heart of Government Policy, July 2009, HC 168-I, p 40 at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmdius/168/168i.pdf which only references p 30, 34, and 35 of the same.

 

[iii] A recording of Prof Adrian Smith's oral evidence session to the Lords Committee can be viewed via clicking on the "watch this meeting" link appearing at http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/MeetingDetails.aspx?meetingId=5774

 

[iv] Aporia's WHiSPeRiNG GaLLeRY is openly and anonymously accessible at http://ap0riasofar.wordpress.com with Parliamentary Archival reference to be confirmed in due course.

 

[v] See WHiSPeRiNG GaLLeRY exhibit at http://ap0riasofar.wordpress.com/2008/06/05/uidm-refinement-in-action/ and attending commentary including comment number 410 at http://ap0riasofar.wordpress.com/2008/06/05/uidm-refinement-in-action/#comment-410

 

[vi] Any and all additional material may be made available to the Commons Committee at the joint discretion of the Lords Committee and Aporia on written request.