by Terry Mawby
Followers of the UK political scene will be aware that the Prime Minister John Major, resigned as Leader of his party in June but sought immediate re-election. Following his re-election, there was a major reshuffle of ministerial posts and some organisational changes. These changes included the transfer of the responsibility for science in the UK to the Department of Trade and Industry(DTI).
The transfer of science to the DTI has been met with concern from some quarters, particularly those engaged in basic research, as the DTI has dramatically cut its research funding in recent years and at the same time refocused its funding in favour of research that would lead to wealth creation.
However The Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC, formally Rutherford Appleton Laboratory) has already been moving towards creating an environment where wealth creation can take place alongside basic science whilst the Laboratory has enjoyed close links with the DTI going back many years - many of our staff have been on secondment with them (particularly back in the days of the Alvey IT programme), we have won major contracts from them and we continue to work together in areas of mutual interest. Therefore we are looking forward to continued success.