In his Budget speech this week, the Chancellor of the Exchequer repeated the Prime Minister’s ambition to “cement the UK’s position as a science and technology superpower by 2030”. The leading and unquestioned superpowers of course are China and the United States. Jeremy Hunt rebuked “declinists”, claiming that Britain could soon join the club. “Over the last thirteen years we have become the world’s third trillion-dollar tech economy after the US and China” he announced, before going on to single out the UK’s performance record on life sciences, vaccines, films and television, aviation and clean energy.