COMMONS

Science funding: MPs take evidence from Research Councils

Spending Review 2010
18 January 2011

The Science and Technology Committee takes evidence from Professor Alan Thorpe and other Research Council chief executives to discuss the details and implications of the science budget allocation.

Meeting information

Wednesday 19 January 2011, 9.15 am
Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

Witnesses

  • Professor Alan Thorpe, Chair of the Research Councils UK Executive Group and Chief Executive, Natural Environment Research Council
  • Professor Keith Mason, Chief Executive, Science & Technology Facilities Council
  • Professor David Delpy, Chief Executive, Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council
  • Professor Rick Rylance, Chief Executive, Arts & Humanities Research Council.

Background

On 20 December 2010, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills published The Allocation of Science and Research Funding 2011/12 to 2014/15.

Alongside this, Research Councils published individual delivery plans detailing how they intend to prioritise and spend their allocation over this period.

At the time, Andrew Miller MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, commented:

"Today’s announcement reaffirms the Government’s plans to ring-fence and maintain in cash terms the resource science budget at £4.6 billion a year over the next four years. The implications of the allocations will be examined carefully by the Committee. We want to scrutinise the budgets and look at how Research Councils will meet the Government’s priorities for science.

"One area we shall be examining closely is the impact of both the resource and capital allocations on areas of blue-skies research such as astronomy and particle physics.

"Finally, because of concerns at the implications for some areas such as optical astronomy in the northern hemisphere and deep sea observatories, we will want to get some clear answers from Ministers about the Government’s more detailed plans."

Further information

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