Why society needs government-funded research institutes
What: Presentation on the importance of government-funded research institutes
Who: Peter Millard, general manager science, Landcare Research, New Zealand
When: Friday, September 26, 12:30 p.m.
Where: LIB317, UBC Okanagan campus library, 3287 University Way, Kelowna
Visiting researcher Peter Millard will present his argument about the importance of government-funded institutes and the difference between the nature of this research compared to university-based investigation.
Millard, currently the general manager of science and industry of Landcare Research in New Zealand, has worked as a visiting senior scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada, and is a former science leader and senior principal researcher with the Macaulay Institute in Scotland.
He will discuss how research institutes have “gone out of fashion globally” or totally disappeared, while at the same time research budgets for universities have increased. During his presentation, Millard will explore how universities and institutes differ, and give examples of so-called ‘wicked problems’ that require complex, integrated solutions. These problems include examining land-use intensification and water quality, and interactions between large-scale pest control and biodiversity.
“Increasingly, society demands win-win scenarios and these wicked problems cannot be solved by just excellent research,” says Millard. “I argue that research institutes can deliver the interdisciplinary, integrated, mission-led research needed to solve these problems better than universities. But institutes need to be clear about the value they can bring to society and the impact of their research.”
Millard’s visit is funded through UBC Okanagan’s Invited International Distinguished Visitor Fund, which provides opportunities for faculty members to invite international colleagues to visit UBC and share their research and expertise. Millard is also speaking at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Summerland this week.
Millard’s visit is sponsored by UBC Okanagan’s Biology and Physical Geography departments in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences. His presentation is free and open to the public. It takes place Friday, September 26, 12:30 p.m., at UBC Okanagan’s library, room LIB317. Pay parking is available on campus.