Call in the boffins- they’ll know what to do!

You can almost sense the panic in the latest government call for third level funding, “Everything must contribute to economic goals. "We have 300 million, give us a solution!”*. I’ve invented a new game; points are awarded every time you hear these words on the radio “innovation, smart, flexible, concentration, ideas, knowledge, tangible ” Bonus points when you add the word economy to something else, a la “ideas economy”, “smart economy”. We don’t have universities now, we have an “education market”.  I would make it a drinking game but I heard a couple of the phrases on Morning Ireland this morning and it’s too early in the crisis to turn up drunk at work (BTW, no points for excellence, we've all been excellent for some time now). The government has created an entire layer of academics who depend on this type of funding (myself included). Until later in the year, when the winners are announced, everyone will be scurrying around building alliances.  Scurrying gently to avoid rocking the boat. I’m naturally cynical about these things, and a notoriously bad gambler, but I would put money on the government reducing the budget available at the end of the year. Meanwhile over at UCD the President is calling his staff together to tell them how unsustainable they all are. Rumour has it that the word “monorail” in being hummed in the corridors”. Monorail! [you remember that episode of the Simpsons, when a fast talking sales man convinces the town to buy a monorail”]

* For those preparing a project proposal I've created a wordle of the objectives to help you make sure you cite the key words (For the wordle below, I removed the frequently occuring words "research" and "within" so that the others were more visible)