Public Release: 

Scientific collaboration between the US and Britain

British Information Services

For the first time, the British Government have an official presence at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Denver, 13 to 18 February 2003. A team of science officers from North America and the UK will be on hand to explain the strengths of Britain's science. They will also be able to discuss the long and on-going tradition of scientific collaboration between the US and Britain, which continues to bring benefits to both sides of the Atlantic today.

50 years ago, in 1953, Francis Crick, an English ex-physicist, and James Watson, an American biologist, working together in the UK, elucidated the structure of DNA. Watson and Crick, with their collaborator Maurice Wilkins, later shared the Nobel Prize for their discovery.

British and American scientists have recently shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine:

  • Britain's Sydney Brenner and Sir John Sulston and American H. Robert Horvitz in 2002 for their work on how genes control the division of the body's cells; and
  • British scientists R. Timothy Hunt and Sir Paul Nurse and American Leyland Hartwell in 2001 for discovering key regulators of the cell cycle.

    British expertise in science and technology attracts significant inward investment from the United States:

  • Over 4200 US companies, including the majority of Forbes Magazine's Top 100 Companies, have a UK base.
  • In 2002 US investment in the UK totalled $249,201 million (US Bureau of Economic Analysis, July 2002) .
  • 15% of all US-owned foreign research facilities are in the UK.

    Since 1999, a number of collaborative partnerships have been set up between British and American universities:

  • The Cambridge-MIT institute is a joint venture between those world-leading universities.
  • In June 2002, the British Government committed $7 million to support the development of a major new partnership between Texas and the UK. This will support research collaborations led by Imperial College London University, Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine, the M D Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Texas Health Science Center and will focus on complimentary strengths in biotechnology, nanotechnology and medicine.
  • The University of Miami, College of Engineering, signed a strategic alliance with Cardiff University, one of Britain's leading research and teaching universities in July 2002. The international collaboration will include joint research on engineering and information technology projects, joint grants, faculty research exchanges and student exchanges.


    Notes for Editors

    1. For more information contact Chris Pook (202-213-8877) at AAAS booth # 228

    2. The Cambridge-MIT Institute

    In the US, contact: The Cambridge-MIT Institute, Room 8-403, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, Tel: 617-253-7723, Fax: 617-258-8539
    In the UK, contact: The Cambridge-MIT Institute, University of Cambridge, 10 Miller's Yard, Mill Lane, Cambridge CB2 1RQ, Tel: 44-122-332-7207, Fax: 44-122-376-5891

    3. Texas - UK
    In the US, contact: Denis Headon PhD, Rice University, Anderson Hall MS 49, PO Box 1892, Houston, Texas 77251-1892, Tel: 713-348-4118, Email:
    In the UK, contact: Mike Fisher PhD, DTI Bioscience Unit, PERA, PERA Innovation Park, Melton Mowbray, Lecestershire LE13 0PQ, Tel: 01664 501551, Email:

    4. University of Miami-Cardiff University

    In the US, contact: Miami University, Abraham Varghese, Director, International Marketing, Collge of Engineering, Tel 305-284-3351, Email:

    In the UK, contact: Cardiff University, Prof. John King, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Tel: 44-292-087-4834, Email:

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