Before Christmas, the Conservative Party decided to put science atop the agenda by appointing Robert Key, MP for Salisbury, to the new position of Shadow Science Minister. With Labour's Science Minister, David Sainsbury, hidden away in the Lords, this was a clever move to score points on important science issues in the House of Commons. At least it could have been. We called the Conservative Central Office information unit this week and a cheery spokesperson said: "No, we don't have anything like a Shadow Science Minister." Are you sure? "Yes, definitely. No Science Minister."