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Monday, March 16, 2009

Watching the Watch-dog

Am watching the IUSS committee evidence session on "Putting science and engineering at the heart of Government policy"

The key question at the start of the session aimed to discover what the current debate really is about. Is it:

1) should we restructure UK science funding to target or focus research into key areas of benefit to the economy?

or

2) having decided to target research what areas should we choose to target?


Adrian Smith (Director General of Science and Research, DIUS) stated that it was clearly 1.

This was all well and good until it was pointed out that John Denham made a speech that said it was not a case of if but of what we should target.

Quite frankly this whole thing is puzzling and disturbing in equal measure. Although I support debate over the future of UK research and how it can help shape the future economy, I am far from convinced that the UK government really knows what it wants. The testimony of Professor Smith did nothing to re-assure me.

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