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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...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
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...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Leonardo in a Garden Shed? U.K. Labs Get Cash Infusion, But Science Spending Still Down
29 November 2011 1:28 pm
The U.K. chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, today announced his autumn budget statement which included £200 million for research infrastructure. Researchers welcomed the new money, but pointed out that it makes only a small dent in the cuts science has endured since the government announced a "ring-fence" around research spending last year.
The new expenditure is divided up among five areas:
- £80 million for the next phase of redeveloping the Institute for Animal Health's Pirbright Laboratory
- £62 million for Research Council capital investment
- £25 million for demonstration projects in fields such as smart energy grids and low-carbon vehicles
- £20 million toward a demonstrator satellite, called NovaSAR, which uses radar to view Earth's surface through clouds. A fraction of the cost of normal radar satellites, NovaSAR could be launched in 2013 with further investment.
- £13 million for new scientific computing infrastructure
"It's really encouraging for the U.K. economy that last year's cuts are being slowly reversed," Imran Khan, director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), said in a statement. "Investment in science and engineering is vital if we're to achieve sustainable growth."
The government has increased other funding for science this year, adding a total of £295 million to research budgets. But CaSE points out that there have been effective cuts of £1.7 billion, as a result of last year's spending review, which the government claimed "froze" research spending.
"This additional £200 million for research infrastructure is good news," said Royal Society President Paul Nurse. "Today's announcements must be the start of that additional investment rather than just a one off," he added. "We have world class scientists and they need world class places to do their work—you would not keep a Da Vinci in a garden shed."