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date: 8 September 2010
embargo: For immediate release
Commenting on Business Secretary Vince Cable's announcement today (Wednesday) that the Government is to cut back on the £6 billion a year spent on scientific research, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'Cutting the science budget is exactly the wrong thing to do at a time when we are trying to rebalance the economy away from an over-reliance on finance and make the transition to a low-carbon society.
'Of course money needs to be spent effectively, but the most cursory examination of the history of science shows that research does not neatly break down into work that is or is not commercially viable.
'Next time Mr Cable puts on a CD, he should remember that the laser that reads his disk had no commercial application when discovered. Nor is there a clear obvious dividing line between excellence and the rest.
'Our competitors are investing in science, recognising that this is the way to build success in the global economy. The UK, by contrast, is sending the message to the next generation of scientists that their talents are undervalued.'
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