When I moved to the UK six months ago, I kept spinning the faucet handles the wrong way to turn off the water. I ended up with a lot of water on the front of my shirt and on the floor. This is what happens when a steady stream is punctuated with some crazy new flow that we're not expecting.
Somehow the UK has ended up with a capital investment of £5.8 billion for five years of science and research funding. The injection is large (and should be compared with the annual non-capital portion of £4.7 billion, as Jon Butterworth points out in the piece below). Money for science is almost certainly never a bad thing. But it will be the consultation and careful planning of the next few months that will end up justifying the investment.
The hope, of course, is that we don't end up with water all down our shirts.
I have sat in advisory board meetings where, after hours spent sharing a few hundred thousand pounds around to keep some great science staggering along, tens of millions suddenly appear, and must be spent immediately, on something different. It can feel like a starving person in a desert being suddenly given a ton of raw pork to eat, and no fridge or cooker. Actually it is sometimes like a starving person being given a huge flat-screen TV and a bill for the electricity.