LONDON — Lack of clarity about whether the European Union's research funding is intended primarily to support world class research, or whether its main aim is to promote social and cultural integration, emerged as one of the chief concerns occupying academic scientists at a hearing on Wednesday (February 5) of the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology.

The hearing was the opening of an inquiry into whether UK science is getting value for the €2.5 billion it will put into the EU science budget — Framework 6 — over the three to seven year lifetime of its different projects. On average, the UK money amounts to about 5% annually of the total UK science budget.

In its evidence, the lobby group Save British Science (SBS) said the lack of clarity about the political purpose of the Framework programmes, "leads to unhealthy confusion about the criteria...

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