Magazine article Art Monthly

Nothing like Dame

Magazine article Art Monthly

Nothing like Dame

Article excerpt

Lynne Brindley, chief executive of the British Library who was made a dame in this year's New Year's Honours List, is one of five new members drawn from the great and the good who have been appointed to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The Council will preside over the forthcoming round of education research funding applications that will, in turn, fuel the next Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). Its membership therefore is of great interest to those engaged in research. The others are: geography scholar, Professor Roger Kain; linguistics expert, Professor Ellen Douglas-Cowie; NESTA's Richard Halkett; and 'Creative Economy' expert John Howkins, who is also, significantly, vice dean and visiting professor at the Shanghai School of Creativity, Shanghai Theatre Academy in China. The Council members are responsible for the overall strategic direction of the AHRC and for setting its 'key objectives and targets', and the 'key decisions about the research direction of the AHRC'. It is disappointing to see that there is no one with specific expertise in the visual arts, which are clearly not seen as 'key'. A quick look at the list of eight existing members of the Council who have been reappointed only confirms this imbalance: Dr Ivon Asquith, former managing director of OUP; broadcaster Sally Doganis; April McMahon, professor of linguistics at the University of Edinburgh; Rachel Cooper, professor of design management at the University of Lancaster; John Caughie, professor of film and TV at Glasgow University; Shakespearean scholar, Professor John Bate of the University of Warwick; Rick Trainor, social historian and principal of Kings College, London and Graeme Barker, Disney Professor of Archeology at the McDonald Institute (the last entry is not made up, it is a bona fide post at a research institute attached to Cambridge University, no less). …

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