EDITORIAL

Lifebelt for UK Science

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Science  05 Nov 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6005, pp. 731
DOI: 10.1126/science.1199567

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Summary

When the United Kingdom's coalition government, formed in May this year, proposed to eliminate the budget deficit by slashing annual public expenditures by more than £80 billion per year, there was anxiety about science funding. Would the United Kingdom follow the United States, France, and Germany (and the emerging economies of the Far East) and prioritize scientific research as part of its economic recovery and growth strategy? Or would it align with Spain and the Czech Republic, where these areas were cut? Two weeks ago, the Spending Review announced a “flat cash” science budget of £4.6 billion per year for the next 4 years (with no allowance for inflation). This gives the United Kingdom a fighting chance of preserving its science base. But major concerns remain.