Governments around the world have invested substantial resources to assess the societal benefit of research, despite a lack of clarity around the underlying definitions, methodologies and processes. In Australia, the ARC has just completed a review of the Excellence in Research for Australia and the Engagement and Impact Assessment. A strategy for future assessments has also been developed.
While confidence in how research systems work is crucial, acknowledgement of inherent challenges is essential for robust universities. Is there a tendency for evaluation to focus on what can be measured, rather than what should be measured when considering the societal benefit of research? Such examinations are especially pressing to ensure the evaluation of research in Australia and elsewhere is responsible, appropriate and ethical. Come along to this critical issues seminar to hear experts explore how we can better understand and revisit the appropriate or desirable role of public-funded research in society.