Feeds

Britain gets shiny new science minister

Fresh from changing the climate in Defra

High performance access to file storage

Ian Pearson has been named as the new minister in charge of science in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS).

The MP for Dudley South comes to the role from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs where he was minister of state for climate change and the environment. He replaces Malcolm Wicks who oversaw science policy for the eight months after Lord Sainsbury stepped down.

As minister of state for science and innovation, Pearson will have control of a £5bn annual budget, and responsibility for the following:

  • Business and science
  • The research base
  • The research councils
  • Innovation
  • The Technology Strategy Board
  • British National Space Centre
  • National weights and measures laboratory
  • The Design Council
  • The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, liaising with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
  • Liaison with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
  • Energy Technologies Institute
  • Commission for Environmental Markets and Economic Performance

Enough to make anyone's head spin, right?

But he also faces a monumental task: to re-ignite an interest in science among students and the general public against a background of closing science departments, a lack of qualified teachers, falling numbers of students and courses to accommodate them, and what many consider to be a declining of the science syllabus.

New PM Gordon Brown has stressed the economic importance of science in the UK, and has promised to up the science budget to £6.3bn by 2010 as part of his drive to make sure Britain is not outpaced by the developing world.

According to his voting record on TheyWorkForYou, Pearson is an occasional rebel, defying his party line on critical issues such as the smoking ban. He liked the Iraq war, doesn't want an investigation into how it all started, and is very much in favour of ID cards.

Pearson himself has yet to issue a statement on his appointment. We have no doubt he is delighted, and looking forward to the challenge ahead. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
IBM Hursley Park: Where Big Blue buries the past, polishes family jewels
How the internet of things has deep roots in the English countryside
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Honeybee boffin STINGS OWN WEDDING TACKLE... for SCIENCE
Not the worst place to be stung, says one man
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.