§ 9. Mr. Macfarlane
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when she last met the Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Research Councils.
§ Mr. Macfarlane
Is the Secretary of State aware of the continuing widespread concern at the further cuts in the science budget for the year 1977–78, to the tune of some 3 per cent.? Is it not doubly unfortunate that these cuts coincide with an increase in the number of science students and an increase in the potential for high energy physics?
§ Mrs. Williams
Let me say right away that there has been, as the hon. Gentleman will know, a considerable shift in the pattern of expenditure by the research councils, and I am satisfied that they have increased their expenditure on students, for the reasons that the hon. Gentleman has given. I might also add that I understand that the Royal Society is shortly to mount a series of schemes to support teams of scientists working on new projects, in particular including able young scientists who might otherwise not have an opportunity. However, I shall keep the closest possible eye on this matter, because I believe that it is very important to give our able young scientists opportunities in the future.