UK government officials are warning that cuts to the government's science budget will lead to a "brain drain" of researchers leaving the country, says the Guardian's Alok Jha. In a letter to science minister David Willetts, chairman of the House of Lords science and technology committee Lord John Krebs says several labs have already lost researchers to institutions in other countries, and that further cuts to science spending — like the 25 percent cut the government is planning for all its departments — would cause even more drain, Jha writes. Graduate students have been leaving the UK for research institutions in the US and Germany because of a lack of resources, he adds. In addition, the UK is struggling with its own problem of government funding for stem cell research. In the UK, the issue is not a problem with the courts, but rather that the government has invested too little money into the research. "Richard Sykes, chairman of the UK stem cell foundation, blamed the previous government for failing to honor its commitment to help researchers turn their discoveries into medical therapies and urged coalition ministers to revive support for the field," Jha says.
Sep 23, 2010