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Back page gossip from the 4 October issue of Research Fortnight.

Christmas comes twice Overseas science conferences seem to have become the unexpected beneficiaries of Brexit—or at least, that’s the case for the 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting, which will take place in Austin, Texas in mid-February. According to its website, there will be two main sponsors: the European Commission and the UK…listed separately.

Mystery men Shadow industrial strategy secretary Chi Onwurah has been checking the status of science advice across Whitehall, writing to ministers to confirm whether they have appointed a chief scientific adviser. But when universities and science minister Jo Johnson produced a handy list, some of the appointments on it—including Philip Duffy at the Treasury and Trevor Huddleston at the Department for Work and Pensions—proved rather unfamiliar. Asked when they had been announced, press officers at neither department were able to answer straight away. One at the Treasury followed a baffled silence with: “I didn’t know we had one.”

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