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If the government is serious about ‘global Britain’, why is it cutting research funding? | Fiona Tomley

Vital international scientific work, including studies into how viruses spread, is being jeopardised by short-sighted cuts

Given the ambitions outlined in the government’s integrated review of “Global Britain in a Competitive Age”, you could be forgiven for thinking that research into the causes, detection and control of emerging infectious diseases with pandemic potential was being taken pretty seriously at the highest level. The government will “build on the lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic to improve our use of data to anticipate and respond to future crises”, and intends to “drive towards a more science-led approach to the problems we face”. Or so it claims.

At the sharp end, the reality is very different. The integrated review was published five days after UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the body representing the UK’s seven research councils, posted an open letter explaining that its official development assistance (ODA) allocation had been slashed and there was now a £120m deficit in funds promised to research already up and running. This has left the programme I lead, the One Health Poultry Hub, with a 70% cut in its funding.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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