New contract between science and society could unlock funding

06 May 2008 | Story by Helen Théron

Prof Tim Stanton

Community engaged scholarship could be the key to future research funding and sponsorship, Stanford University's Professor Tim Stanton said at a recent seminar at UCT.

Stanton is a Visiting Senior Fellow at Stanford's John Gardner Centre for Youth and their Communities. His 10-year association with UCT began at around the time the university had started shaping its own responses to community needs.

Stanford added that in the US there is evidence that promotion and tenure are also tied to rewards for community engaged scholarship, part of what he described as new opportunities and challenges for universities.

"New times demand new scholarship, requiring evolving contracts between society and science," he said. "One aspect of social engagement is that it is highly multidisciplinary. Universities tend to be silos of disciplines."

Social responsiveness demands transdisciplinary research.

"There's no doubt that while it provides a richer academic experience, it also helps fundraising, both state and privately.

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