The results from the latest astrophysics grants round are trickling out and, if these first indications are anything to go by, it looks as if the doom stalking the field in the UK is continuing. Not only are we throwing away our telescopes, but there’s now so little money in the grants system that we’re throwing away researchers as well. If the funding stresses continue, and there’s no reason that it won’t, given the research council’s preference for funding hardware in Didcot, then it will no longer be possible to have a sensible grant awarding process. Instead, noise, random effects and hidden, tiny biases, will lead to a system without community support or validity.
I suspect we’re at that point already.
Time for a new research council, again.
I could say more, but the number of four letter words would probably get this post banned.