Professor Terence Kealey

Dr Terence Kealey, Vice-Chancelor of the University of BuckinghamProfessor Terence Kealey was Vice-Chancellor at the University from April 2001 to July 2014. He trained initially in medicine at Bart’s Hospital Medical School, London, and on qualifying he specialised in clinical biochemistry. He studied for his doctorate at Oxford University, where he worked first as a Medical Research Council Training Fellow and then as a Wellcome Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science. After 4 years in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he moved to Cambridge University to lecture in the Department of Clinical Biochemistry. He left after 13 years to come to Buckingham. He was awarded his Professorship in March 2011.

As a clinical biochemist Dr Kealey researched into human experimental dermatology, studying inflammatory skin scaling and other aspects of human skin cell biology. He published around 45 original peer-reviewed papers and around 35 scientific reviews, also peer-reviewed. He was funded by government, charitable and industrial sources.

It was while working as a researcher that Professor Kealey discovered how distorting government money could be, and in 1996 he published his first book The Economic Laws of Scientific Research where he argued that, contrary to myth, governments need not fund science. His second book, Sex, Science and Profits (2008) argues that science is not a public good but, rather, is organised in invisible colleges, which is why Government funding is irrelevant.

It is because of Professor Kealey’s defence of independence in science, scholarship and higher education that he became Buckingham’s Vice-Chancellor. He loves being at Buckingham because it is so small and friendly and because he gets to know so many of the students personally. The high point of his week is the Economist club, which meets every Monday in term-time at 18:30 in the Tanlaw Mill, where any student who has read that week’s Economist is invited to discuss an article that interested them – and is also invited to defend their views about it! It’s a robust debating forum, that club.

Selected Publications

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