EXTRACT FROM JOHN DENHAM'S SPEECH TO THE
ROYAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING, LONDON29 APRIL 2008
"For many years, the British government
has been guided by the Haldane principlethat detailed decisions
on how research money is spent are for the science community to
make through the research councils. Our basis for funding
research is also enshrined in the Science and Technology Act of
1965, which gives the Secretary of State power to direct the research
councilsand, in practice, respects the spirit of the Haldane
But in the 21st century, I think three fundamental
elements remain entirely valid.
That researchers are best placed
to determine detailed priorities.
That the government's role is
to set the over-arching strategy; and
That the research councils are
'guardians of the independence of science'.
These should be the basis for Haldane today,
and over the decades to come, and I am happy to re-state them."