Science funding to be determined by economic priorities

“John Denham, the innovation, universities and skills secretary, has emerged an adroit player of Whitehall’s current favourite game: deciding what the economy will look like post-recession. In a speech to the Royal Academy of Engineering last week, he told the seven research councils, which between them invest £2.8bn a year on fundamental and applied science, to thrash out with the business community and his officials new ‘priority’ areas for investment. The exercise was ‘too complex’ for government to do alone, he admitted. ‘These are discussions that need to take place between research councils and companies themselves,’ he said. The funding of scientific research is being overhauled and the private sector is being invited to the table. But what a table …” (more)

[Richard Tyler, Daily Telegraph, 23 February]

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