Chancellor George Osborne has signalled the government's intention to maintain the UK's standing in science. Now we need more detail, says Nicola Blackwood.
It is traditional for chancellors to pull a rabbit out of the hat on the day of the autumn statement. It writes the headlines and can wrong-foot the opposition. This year George Osborne pulled out two.
Almost as unexpected as scrapping the reductions in tax credits was his announcement that the government will not only protect the science budget in real terms, but slightly raise the baseline from which this is calculated—in line with recent recommendations by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, which I chair.