Monbiot's Heat is my favorite book on climate change. Here is a column of his, pointing out to the general public the unwelcome, and potentially disastrous, government shift toward emphasizing 'economic impact' in research funding. Many academics make the same case, but it is good to someone outside the academic community backing this position.
Picture Charles Darwin trying to fill out his application form before embarking on the Beagle. "Explain how the research has the potential to impact on the nation's health, wealth or culture. For example: fostering global economic performance, and specifically the economic competitiveness of the United Kingdom ... What are the realistic timescales for the benefits to be realised?" If Darwin had been dependent on a grant from a British research council, he would never have set sail.Spotted by Maurice Naftalin. Thanks, Maurice!