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From a distance

Virtual conferences are challenging the way the government is held to account

Professionally speaking, one of the regrettable side effects of the social distancing brought on by the Covid-19 outbreak is the increased difficulty with which journalists can speak face to face with those in power.

Playbook has always prided itself on building strong and respectfully challenging relationships with the ministers responsible for universities and science. It is part of the reason why two-time former universities minister Chris Skidmore is now one of our regular columnists, and why his fellow two-time former minister Jo Johnson appeared alongside predecessors Sam Gyimah and David Willetts at our inaugural Research Professional Live event last year.

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