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Institute Of Zoology

Volume 86: debated on Wednesday 13 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has now received the report of the review group looking at the Institute of Zoology; and if he will make a statement.

Yes. It was a condition of the Government's support for the Zoological Society of London that there should be an independent scientific review of the Institute of Zoology, and I am grateful to the Advisory Board for the Research Councils for undertaking this. I have today placed a copy of its report in the Library. The board found that the institute's research was of high scientific quality, of crucial value to zoological collections nationally and internationally, and with important applications to the quality of the environment, for conservation of endangered species, the understanding of wildlife dynamics, and the preservation of leisure activities. In addition, much of the work was highly relevant to medical research. All contributors to the institute's funding received excellent value for money. The advisory board recommended that further consideration be given to providing support for institute activities at Whipsnade and suggested some increase in the block grant to the society. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has carefully considered this last recommendation, but he has concluded that it would be inappropriate to make any change in the level of grant at present. It is for the society to decide how best to allocate the resources available to it. The level of support for the society will be reviewed in 1986–87, as indicated in the statement by the then Secretary of State for the Environment on 13 December 1984, at column 580.