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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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U.K. Government Injects Nearly $1 Billion Into Research
5 December 2012 2:33 pm
The United Kingdom's finance minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, announced a new lump of money today, some £600 million ($965 million), for scientific research. The new funding—part of the chancellor's autumn budget statement, a sort of half-year report on the U.K. economy—will be spent on big data and energy efficient computing, synthetic biology, energy storage, and advance materials, according to RCUK, the body that represents Britain's seven research councils.
Researchers have largely welcomed the new funding. "Science adds significant value to the economy and society so to see it prioritised alongside school infrastructure, fast transport links and new houses is very positive," said Paul Hardaker, chief executive of the Institute of Physics in London, in a statement.
Some observers, however, say the new spending is simply making up for earlier cuts made by the current government. Soon after its election in 2010, the governing coalition froze the science budget and slashed capital spending on research infrastructure. The result is that the amount of government money spent on research is being eroded by inflation. According to the pressure group Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), the government has made up some of the shortfall with bits and pieces of new funding announced over the past 2 years, but today's £600 million is the largest so far. "We were hoping that the Chancellor would continue his trend of supporting science and engineering, and are really delighted with this new commitment - the total amount of new funding since 2010 has now reached almost £2 billion," said CaSE Director Imran Khan.