Lord May, the president of the Royal Society, believes that the system of funding university research in the UK needs reform. We hope that Charles Clarke, the Education Secretary, is listening to him. The dual support system, whereby research is funded through research councils, which finance project costs directly, and through the Higher Education Funding Council, which distributes money for infrastructure, is a mess. Meeting the demands of both mechanisms is hugely costly, according to Lord May, who is also critical of the research assessment exercise. We need a system of funding and distributing money for research that is not over-bureaucratic. How about a proper inquiry by an outsider into the secret garden of research funding?