n-commentScience Policy

U.K. Labs: A Year of Uncertainty

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Science  31 May 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5266, pp. 1254-1255
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5266.1254


London—Most of Britain's government laboratories have been living on the edge for thepast year, while the Conservative government considers whether to close or merge them, turn them over to the private sector, or keep them in public ownership. Forty establishments that employ a total of about 20,000 staff members and spend $1.2 billion a year are being subjected to top-to-bottom reviews. Last week, the government announced its intentions for the first dozen of these labs. It said it intends to privatize most of them, but itcalled for further studies to explore how they can be transferred to the private sector.