The value of research?



“Assess the effectiveness of the research in the Adminstration, in relation to the resources available; the resources allocated to research are to be compared to the quality and quantity of results obtained.” This task was given by the Minister of the Environment of Finland on December 14, 1987, to five experts from Canada, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. They were invited to conduct an evaluation of the research activities in the National Water and Environment Adminstration of Finland (NWEA).

How does one evaluate the quality and quantity of research? At the beginning of the project, the team members received a parcel containing 34 summaries covering different branches of research. The 20 kg weight of the parcel, though not a measure for the quantity of research, served at least as a measure for the quantity of work the experts would face!