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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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U.K. Science Minister Resigns
10 November 2006 (All day)
U.K. Science Minister David Sainsbury resigned today after 8 years at his post. In a statement, he said he was leaving for personal reasons and that he wanted to "pursue business and charitable activities." Although he had no budget authority, Sainsbury served as the government's public champion of science; his constant theme was that British universities need to link up with industry to promote technological innovation. He also reportedly helped lobby new legislation through Parliament that imposes tough penalties for harassment of people using animals in research.
Sainsbury, 66, is the longest-tenured minister in the Labor Party government headed by Tony Blair. As science minister, Sainsbury was in office during a major increase in U.K. research funding: Expenditures roughly doubled over a decade to more than $6 billion. Blair said today that Sainsbury had been a "huge asset" to the government. Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust, an independent charity, echoed this praise, saying Sainsbury "has been an outstanding science minister and shown extraordinary passion and commitment to his portfolio."
One of the richest men in England, Sainsbury is heir to the supermarket chain of the same name. In recent years, he has contributed millions of dollars to the Labor Party--donations that later caused trouble. Last summer, the London police interviewed Sainsbury along with many other Labor Party donors in an investigation of political contributions. Critics allege that Blair's government awarded lifetime peerages in return for money. Today, Sainsbury said his resignation was "not connected" with an ongoing investigation into the matter.