LONDON—Nearly one-half of the United Kingdom's university earth scientists will become second-class citizens if a classification of their institutions proposed in a report to the country's University Grants Committee (UGC) is accepted.

The report is widely seen as a blueprint for reorganizing research funding throughout the sciences. It calls for a three-tiered university system, with expensive research equipment concentrated in top-level universities and little or no opportunity for research in the lower two levels.

At present all 36 university departments in geology and geophysics can try, in principle, to conduct world-class research in various topics. But the report, from a group led by University of Cambridge geologist Ron Oxburgh, argues that this approach spreads the available funds and equipment too thin.

The report says most money should go to 10 or so "level one" centers that would be expected to compete with large departments overseas, especially in the United States....

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?