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The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee is to investigate government plans to take an axe to science, technology and engineering funding.

Lord Mandelson has repeatedly said that spending on such subjects should be strongly tied to stuff which is likely to make money. We have pointed out the difficulty in knowing this in advance before, and John Naughton does similar in The Guardian using the example of lasers which moved from being esoteric tools for quantum physicists to an integral part of hundreds of different products from DVD players to barcode scanners.

The Committee recognises growing concern about the impact cuts will have on UK science, technology and engineering. It is asking for written submissions from anyone interested in the subject to reach them by midday 27 January - details here. ®

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