Curious omission

August 18, 2000

It is impossible to argue with anything that Paul Nightingale says about the economic importance of the new science white paper, Excellence and Opportunity ("White paper raises a cheer", THES, August 4).

However, he seems to have missed the most important point. From its first page, the white paper stresses the importance of fundamental curiosity-driven research, which is the basis on which all later technological and economically important advances are built. Assuming the policy of world-class support for fundamental research is now to be followed consistently, it is this element of the white paper that will be the greatest contribution to future prosperity.

Peter Cotgreave Director, Save British Science Society, London WC1

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