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UK government puts weight behind science

Tony Blair's government has underlined its commitment to UK science in the strategy document just released.

Helen Gavaghan(gavers@supanet.com)

YORKSHIRE — The UK science strategy published yesterday (23 July) links the increases in science spending announced last week firmly to the government's leading economic policy of boosting productivity levels in the UK to match those of the US, France and Germany.

Arguing there is growing evidence that technological innovation (fed by science) increases productivity, the strategy provides the guidance that research councils and government departments must follow in the coming months as they apportion the money for science announced last week.

Backed by The Treasury, The Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for Education and Skills, and presented by an impressive line up of senior ministers, the report signals that science is increasingly seen as a high-profile political issue by this government.

"Coming so soon after Tony Blair's strongly pro-science speech to The Royal Society in May, there is a sense in which it is simply the...

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