During the course of our ongoing inquiry into UK space policy, we received evidence suggesting that there could be tension within the STFC between funding for large facilities and funding for basic science within other programmes. Professor Keith Mason assured us that "there is no conflict": he averred "I am comfortable that we already have mechanisms in place that can handle this transparently and achieve an appropriate balance". Sir Keith O'Nions also assured us in January 2007 that "I think you will be quite impressed with sort of advisory structure that is being put together for STFC" and that "It is going to be a very distinctive and exciting council". He had previously described it as "a significant prize in innovation".
We will monitor the operations of the STFC once it has come into being and will look for an opportunity to discuss its progress, work and administration with Professor Mason once a reasonable period has elapsed.