It was welcome to see that science and innovation warranted a mention in the Queen’s speech given at the State Opening of Parliament on the 14 October.
The Queen stated that: “My Government is committed to establishing the United Kingdom as a world-leader in scientific capability and space technology. Increased investment in science will be complemented by the development of a new funding agency, a more open visa system, and an ambitious national space strategy.”
It is thought that the new UK agency would be modelled on the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). There has been speculation that one of Mr Johnson’s prominent advisors is behind this typically disruptive drive to invigorate UK R&D. However, it is worth noting that, in his biography of Churchill, the Prime Minister himself clearly expresses appreciation for the confidence that Churchill had in key scientists such as RV Jones and Henry Tizard, and the value that scientific innovation can bring.
By Nick Bennett