Interesting paper by Michael Posner, who was chair of the UK Social Science Research Council (SSRC) when it was under attack by the Conservative Thatcher government in the early 1980s.
Secretary of State Sir Keith Joseph considered dismantling SSRC and asked for an independent review into its utility by an established biologist.
SSRC survived, though one notable change was made…
“Joseph opted for a public, but very light punishment: a change of name. I told him that I could persuade scores of academics to accept a name change if he would promise, on the record, the continuing independence of the SSRC. He agreed, and the SSRC was duly renamed the « Economic and Social Research Council » (ESRC). The significance of this change was the omission of the word « science », which Joseph had insisted upon and which many of us at the council and in academia found it difficult to accept.”
Read more over here.