News of the WeekResearch Funding

Campaign for U.K. Science Helps Deflect Budget Ax

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Science  29 Oct 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6004, pp. 568-569
DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6004.568

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British researchers warned to expect funding cuts of 20%, 30%, or even 40% mobilized by writing letters to newspapers, signing petitions, demonstrating outside government buildings, and—for the well-connected—having a quiet word with departmental officers and ministers about the importance of science to Britain's future. Something worked. Even though the Comprehensive Spending Review outlines average cuts of 19% across all government departments, the main part of civil research spending, the science budget, was fixed for the next 4 years at this year's amount, £4.6 billion ($7.2 billion). Inflation will chip away at that between now and 2015, possibly by as much as 10%, but many believe much worse scenarios were being considered until recently.