'Will they use my findings? No idea'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 April, 2009, 12:00am

A professor has conceded he has no idea whether his research findings will be taken on board by the relevant bureaus when formulating policy.

Lui Tai-lok, professor of sociology at Chinese University, recently completed three years of research into public policy. The research, costing HK$916,000, was titled 'Who Gets Ahead or Stays Behind: Life Chances and Social Mobility in Hong Kong'.

Social mobility is the degree to which an individual's or group's descendants move up or down the social classes. Central to the issue is whether such movement is based on achievement or factors beyond the individual's control.

Asked whether he had been told that findings of his project would be passed to governmental departments, Professor Lui said he had no idea about the arrangement.

'I don't know how they are going to make use of it. The findings will be made public in academic journals and seminars. They can quote from these sources and need not inform me.'

The government and the Research Grants Council, which administers the funding scheme, do not claim copyright or any other intellectual-property right to the output of funded projects.

Academics or investigators are encouraged to pass their findings to the Central Policy Unit to ensure timely dissemination of research results for the reference of the government.

The administration wing said the Central Policy Unit had passed the findings of the 21 completed projects under the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme to the relevant policy bureaus and departments for reference. It added that it was up to the bureaus and departments to take the findings of the research into account when they formulated certain policies.

The Central Policy Unit intends to hold a forum this year where researchers of publicly funded projects will be invited to share their findings.