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Lecture Lord Robert May

Lecture Lord Robert May

The Paradox of Managing Creativity in Science

Lecture Lord Robert May

The Paradox of Managing Creativity in Science

Date:

March 07, 2005, 6:30–8 p.m.

Venue:

Schering AG, Auditorium
Müllerstrasse 178
Berlin-Mitte


Why do governments spend public money on scientific research, and the diversity of patterns among countries both in expenditure on basic science and also in the outputs of new knowledge and innovation. Against this background, Lord May will offer suggestions on how best to “manage creativity.” These include avoiding hierarchical institutional structures and oppressive bureaucracies, encouraging risk taking, making sure good science is not hindered by institutional or disciplinary rigidities, and above all creating systems – based on peer-reviewed excellence – where young people are set free to express themselves.

This talk will survey why governments spend public money on scientific research and examine the diversity of patterns among countries both in expenditure on basic research and also in the outputs of new knowledge and innovation.

Against this background, Lord May will offer suggestions on how best to “manage creativity.” These include avoiding hierarchical institutional structures and oppressive bureaucracies, encouraging risk taking, making sure good science is not hindered by institutional or disciplinary rigidities, and above all creating systems—based on peer-reviewed excellence—where young people are set free to express themselves.

Robert McCredie, Lord May of Oxford, OM AC Kt, President of The Royal Society (2000–2005), holds a professorship jointly at Oxford and Imperial College, and is a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford. From 1995 to 2000, he was Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government and Head of the UK Office of Science and Technology. His career includes a Personal Chair in Physics at Sydney University aged 33, Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology and Chairman of the Research Board at Princeton, and in 1988 a move to Britain and Oxford as Royal Society Research Professor. Particular interests include how populations are structured and respond to change, particularly with respect to infectious diseases and biodiversity.

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