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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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U.K. Science Funding Shakeup: Goodbye DIUS
5 June 2009 1:17 pm
Alas poor DIUS, we hardly knew you. Born just 2 years ago, the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills is no longer. Rumors had been flying of its demise today—DIUS head John Denham was shifted to a new position as Gordon Brown’s ministers continue to resign in response to an expenses scandal rocking the U.K. government—and Number 10 Downing Street has just made it official.
U.K. researchers will care about this political reshuffle more than most because DIUS had science funding under its care. That will now be handled by yet another newly created entity, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which is formed by merging DIUS and the Depart for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. To most, it looks like a return to the pre-2007 setup despite the new department's name. The Times laments the £7 million wasted on all that fancy DIUS stationary and other paraphernalia, but scientists will have to wait a bit longer to learn what it all means and whether the new arrangement will increase the pressure to make their research economically relevant. Nick Dusic of the Campaign for Science & Engineering has already sent out a statement warning that DBIS must preserve research fund: “The department has a wide remit so it is more critical than ever that the science budget is ring-fenced so that is protected from spending problems in other areas.”
Of course, who hands out science funding could quickly change again if the United Kingdom dumps Brown’s Labour party in a general election that may come soon. Don't order that DBIS stationary just yet.