We have had occasion before on this blog and in the pages of the LRB to note the enthusiasm shown by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in helping government to liberate academic research from antiquated notions of free intellectual inquiry. Its latest inspiration is this announcement of opportunities for what it is pleased to call ‘follow-on funding’. The idea seems to be that you get money to develop completed research into things that can be sold, a new lurch forward in the commercialisation of thought entirely in keeping with the AHRC’s absorption, a few years ago, into the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. But it’s hard to be certain, because in the pile-up of corporate jargon, empty verbiage and general illiteracy of the announcement, it’s difficult to discern what, in the end, ‘forms the underpinning rationale for this highlight call’. Not to worry: anyone with dreams of monetising their research into the letters of Elizabeth Gaskell, or the role of international diplomacy in the court of Henry VII, can seek clarification from Robert Keegan, the AHRC’s Knowledge Exchange Portfolio Manager.