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Question time

The research world needs answers from the new prime minister

As Liz Truss made her first speech as Conservative leader on Monday, she thanked her political party for its part in “one of the longest job interviews in history”. While some academics might challenge her on that detail, there is no doubt that the country’s leadership vacuum cannot be filled soon enough.

Unfortunately, an end to the previous paralysis is so far the most positive spin that can be put on Truss’s victory, as far as the research sector is concerned. In a contest dominated by the cost of living crisis, there was scant mention of R&D from either Truss or her defeated rival, Rishi Sunak. Meanwhile, her antagonistic attitude towards the EU since converting from the Remain stance she held during the Brexit referendum has not sat well with an outward-looking sector, even before we get to the question of participation in EU science programmes.

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