Gareth Roberts (physicist)
Sir Gareth Gwyn Roberts FRS, FREng (16 May 1940 – 6 February 2007), was a Welsh physicist specialising in semiconductors and molecular electronics, who was influential in British science policy through his chairmanship of several academic bodies and his two reports on the future supply of scientists and how university research should be assessed. He was knighted in 1997 for his services to higher education.
Academic and public service career
Following posts at the New University of Ulster and the University of Durham, where he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1984, he was appointed to a Visiting Professorship in the Department of Engineering Science at Oxford and to a Fellowship at Brasenose College in 1986. He presented the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures in 1988.
He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield from 1991 to 2000. From 1995 to 1997 he was Chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals (now called Universities UK). In 1997 he was also President of the Institute of Physics and was knighted for his services to higher education.
He was the founding president of the Science Council from 2000 to 2007.
He has held two major industrial posts, the first in the United States, where he was senior research scientist with the Xerox Corporation and later as Director of Research and Chief Scientist of Thorn EMI.
Later, he was Chairman of cancer diagnostics and pathology specialist Medical Solutions plc, and of the management committee of the University of Oxford's Begbroke Science Park, and was also a board member of Isis Innovation, the exploitation arm of the University.
SET for Success
In March 2001, the UK Government commissioned Roberts to undertake a review into the supply of science and engineering skills in the UK. The final report, entitled SET for Success was published on 15 April 2003. The report set out thirty-seven recommendations to the Government, employers and other organisations about how to maintain and develop the supply of people with science, technology, engineering and mathematical skills into research and industry. All his recommendations were accepted by the Government. These included providing additional resources for schools, universities and research bodies, and the promotion of school/business links. The review led to increase of the stipend paid to PhD students, and a number of initiatives to encourage women and young people to consider a career in science.
The review of research assessment
In June 2002, after the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) of 2001, the four funding bodies for UK higher education commissioned Sir Gareth Roberts to review the future of research assessment in the UK. The report "The review of research assessment" was issued for consultation in May 2003. Many of Roberts' recommendations were implemented for the 2008 RAE, the first review following the completion of the consultation exercise.
- Hilsum, C. (2011). "Sir Gareth Gwyn Roberts. 16 May 1940 -- 6 February 2007". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2011.0016.
- "Sir Gareth Roberts". 2007-02-06. Retrieved 2011-05-24.
- "Directory of Fellows and Foreign Members". The Royal Society. Retrieved 2007-02-11.[dead link]
- "Column 659 of House of Commons Hansard Debate for 17 Jan 1992". 1992-01-17. Retrieved 2007-02-11.
- "Research Quality Framework Expert Advisory Group: Membership" (PDF). DEST. Retrieved 2007-01-31.
- "Gareth Roberts biography". Said Business School. Retrieved 2007-02-11.[dead link]
- "Sir Gareth Roberts appointed as chairman" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-02-08.
- "SET for Success". HM Treasury. April 2005. Retrieved 2007-02-11.
- "Dinner Discussion Summary, Sir Gareth Roberts’ Review, Held Tuesday 22nd October 2002" (pdf). Foundation for Science and Technology. October 2002. Retrieved 2007-02-11.
- "Written answer, Trade and Industry, SET for Success". 2007-01-26. Retrieved 2007-02-11.
- "Funding bodies consult on the future of research assessment". Higher Education Funding Council for England. 2003-05-29. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
- "Quality profile will provide fuller and fairer assessment of research". Higher Education Funding Council for England. 2004-02-11. Retrieved 2007-02-11.
- Research Councils UK
- Joint funding bodies’ Review of research assessment
- SET for Success, Final Report of Sir Gareth Roberts' Review
- Roberts recommendations on the UK GRAD programme website
- Science Council Founding President of the Science Council
- Obituary in The Daily Telegraph, 22 February 2007
- Obituary in The Guardian, 17 March 2007
- Obituary in The Independent, 5 March 2007
- Obituary in The Times, 20 March 2007
|Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield
|Presidents of Wolfson College, Oxford