Wakeham Review starts (2008)

The terms of reference and time-table of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) review of the health of physics in the UK have been announced.

The review will:
  • Consider the priorities for investment across physics as a whole, taking account of the need both to maintain the health of discipline, and to strengthen its wider, including economic, impact in the future;
  • Identify the contribution physics makes to other areas of research and explore how these contributions can be enhanced, with the view to strengthening the health of the UK research base as a whole;
  • Identify options for strengthening research leadership, and enhancing the opportunities in physics for young researchers;
  • With resources coming from more than one funding organisation, examine ways to improve the coherence of the UK physics programme.
  • Examine the provision of physics-based facilities, their application across the science base, and appropriate means of sustaining their operation;
  • Comment on any other issues that have implications for the health of physics in the UK.

Panel membership

RCUK will appoint a panel of 10, in consultation with Professor Wakeham.

Working alongside the chair will be:

  • Three members from the UK.
  • One from the US.
  • One from mainland Europe.
  • Four members drawn from nominations made by the Institute of Physics, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Society.
The panel will seek the views of a range of individuals and organisations both inside and outside the physics research community. An announcement on how this will be undertaken will be made shortly.
The Review expects to be able to report in autumn 2008 to the RCUK Executive Group, comprising the chief executives of the seven Research Councils, who will make recommendations to the Minister of State.