We all like summer, especially while enjoying holidays. This year, many people suffered from summer due to the quite extreme heat in combination with dryness. Similarly, we all value science as pivotal of a modern society, but a too large impact on society may be detrimental. You may read about it in this Newsletter. In addition, you may read about the General Data Protection Regulation, of which we might suffer as well.
Impact of science
We know it all submitting a proposal. The expected impact of the proposed research and innovation is one of the major factors determining a successful application. Your project should have a significant impact on, science, economics, or the societal challenges like human health and climate change. We may all agree the general principle of demonstrating added value of science and innovation, although we may discuss the impact assessment tools used. Scientists do, however, face the challenge to demonstrate the expected impact of their science and innovation. You may recognise the strange combination of the words ‘demonstrate’ and ‘expected’. Some scientists do, therefore, really struggle with the part ‘impact’ of their proposals. Actually, it is relatively easy to write that part understanding the basics of generating impact. You need to propose the use of both, state-of-the-art knowledge and facilities of achieving impact. It is like describing, the staff, materials, and methods, to execute the proposed science, or innovation. You should convince reviewers that you are excellent in achieving impact, i.e. the target groups identified will use the results of your project at maximum.
Science may also have a too large impact on society. We see it in The Netherlands, where science impacts increasingly on politics. We may welcome this tendency of evidence-based decision-making with respect to various societal areas. It becomes doubtful concerning ethical issues.
You cannot rationalise the value of a relative. We are facing the borders of science. The scientific community should communicate clearly its’ limitations to society avoiding false expectations. It is a matter of research integrity. The faith of society in science can increase only delineating the borders of it clearly. The CEO of DRS did an attempt of such a delineation in the Dutch newspaper Trouw. You may read it here online in Newspaper Trouw (in Dutch).
TROUW, de verdieping
WETENSCHAPPELIJKE BLIK TE BEPERKT
door Jos Frantzen
9:56, 16 juli 2018
General Data Protection Regulation
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is in operation since the end of May. You may know it receiving many pop-ups and E-mails to accept the storage and use of your contact details. The majority of organisations and companies send out a quite anonymous mailing. In contrast, DRS adopted a strategy of contacting connections individually. It is a demanding task knowing solely the about 500 people receiving this Newsletter. One hundred and ten of these did receive an E-mail already. We ask others to be patient. You will receive an E-mail as soon as possible.
Some people complain about the GDPR. And yes, it is quite a lot of work, especially for small companies like DRS. We see, however, a tremendous accumulation of personal data in our company over the years. We did recognise this due to the implementation of the GPDR. It stimulated us to develop a proper data strategy. A strategy to minimise the storage of personal data and to maximise the safe use of it. In addition, we had an opportunity to clean up and refresh our connections. All in all, we do not suffer, but we profit, of the implementation of the GDPR.