Hundreds of scientists have gathered outside the Treasury to protest against expected cuts to science funding

The rally was organised by the Science is Vital campaign, whose petition calling for no cuts to funding has been signed by more than 20,000 people.

Speaking at the protest, the former head of the Medical Research Council, Professor Colin Blakemore, said cuts would be “disastrous”.

The government says science spending must stand up to “economic scrutiny”.

The protest comes in advance of the coalition government’s first comprehensive spending review, due on 20 October.

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