Friday, November 18, 2005

Scientific Research in the UK

I was in CCLRC (Council for the Central Laboratories of the Research Councils) in Northeast England (20 miles from Manchester) on Friday, Nov 18 2005. It is a basic research facility, operating three world-class research laboratories, and the one I was in was actually the Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire.

The CCLRC works with other organizations in the world to undertake collaborative research, and provide access to large scale facilities. They work with more than 500 universities and higher education institutions world-wide, as well as 160 government research councils, institutes and agencies in six continents. They have a total income of close to HK$2B, from government grant-in-aid and other research contracts with various government departments, EU, universities and industry.

It is these type of advanced facilities, long-term commitment and breeding ground for scientists that not only Hong Kong or Asia do not have, it is indeed hard to find anywhere outside of North America and Europe. When we talk about scientific research in Hong Kong or even in China, we are just not talking about the same level. There is a reason for the advancement and lead of the west over the rest of the world in science, in fact, with almost an insurmountable lead.


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