Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Merit Review - Intro

 
There are 13 team members listed in development of the NSF-MRC: John Bruer, Alan Leshner, Louis Lanzerotti, Doug Randall, Diane Souvaine, Thomas Taylor, Ray Bowen, etc.

To the general email address for the National Science Board, I sent the following request for an explanation:

Title: Transformative Research and NSB/MR-11-22 

Good Day,

From what I gather out of the latest NSB report on NSF Merit Review Criteria, neither the team itself nor “stakeholders” identified by SRI included a single specialist in the history of scientific revolutions to inform the report’s definitions & understanding of “transformative”.  As this type is explicitly defined as the highest value, and the top Foundation support priority within the domain of projects “of the highest quality”, such absence seems to warrant explanation.

Substantial knowledge has been gained during the past half-century, making NSB inclusion of vague and naïve preconceptions baffling.  Examples include misconceptions of the creative process, and a definition of TR from NSF-07-032 which fails to meet minimal standards for scoping and explanation properly required of any definition.

From several perspectives, including that of strategic alignment, organizational leadership, and portfolio management, a number of observers remain baffled and are trying to understand what’s going on. 

It seems the history and lessons learned by research into successful transformative concept development has been overlooked and/or avoided since early planning during the 2005 Santa Fe workshops. 

Who might be able to explain why integration of such important knowledge continues to fail? 

Sincere Thanks,
Buck