Britain's Medical Research Council (MRC) has abandoned plans to close one of its flagship institutions in north London and replace it with a scaled-down operation 50 miles away in Cambridge.
Instead, it is now considering proposals to shift the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) from its base in Mill Hill to a central London location—a distance of around 10 miles. The idea is that it could then join forces with King's College or University College to focus on what the MRC calls "more patient-based research."
The latest plans emerged from a task force set up by the MRC last year after an unprecedented revolt by scientists over the Cambridge initiative.
The institute, set up in 1913, was behind some of the major achievements in 20th century science, including the discovery of the influenza virus, the development of liquid gas chromatography, and the discovery of the sex-determining gene. But the...