Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence


Memorandum from Professor Stephen Challacombe, King's College London

  May I comment in general terms on the future of the NIMR, whilst declaring a potential interest since I am part of Kings College.

  I have four major points:

    (i)  The process undertaken by the MRC (consideration of the various possibilities, widespread consultation) seems to me to have been exemplary.

    (ii)  The recommendations of the Task Force (site in London with close links to a major research/clinical base) seem extremely sensible. The reason is that such a linkage would maximise collaboration and enable and foster robust links with translational and clinical research. This surely is the real aim and purpose if the real strengths of NIMR are to have any impact on health and healthcare.

    (iii)  Keeping the NIMR as a single and identifiable entity is important. It is an internationally competitive and splitting NIMR into smaller entities risks losing the leverage that a high quality research institute should have on training and on the public understanding of science.

    (iv)  London with its large and diverse population is the correct location to realise the aims above.

9 November 2004

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