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British Professors Protest Plan to Promote Socially Useful Research

Thousands of British academics, including six Nobel laureates, have signed a petition opposing a proposal that would require 25 percent of government-financed academic research to be assessed on its societal and economic impact. Protesters carrying a giant poster of Albert Einstein also marched on Parliament on Wednesday in a demonstration organized by Britain’s main faculty union. Opponents of the proposal, first aired in September, say the measure would hinder the kind of blue-sky research that has been at the heart of many scientific and technological advances.

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