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A tale of two Haldanes

Images (l-r): Niccolò Caranti [CC BY-SA 3.0], and Inconnu both via Wikimedia Commons

As UKRI marks its first six months, there are signs that the relationship between research and government is starting to shift, says David Walker.

When UK Research and Innovation unveiled its strategic prospectus in May, it planned a conference late in the year to mark the centenary of the Haldane report on the machinery of government. The meeting would discuss the report’s most famous legacy, the principle that—to simplify in a way sure to irk historians—scientists, not bureaucrats or ministers, should allocate research grants.

So far, no conference. But on 8 October, UK R&D got another Haldane—Andy, the Bank of England’s chief economist—as chairman of the Industrial Strategy Council. It will meet for the first time in early November.

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