Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Science is vital

I have just signed the ‘Science is Vital’ petition established by the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) which grew out of ‘Save British Science’ in the 1980s.

As the Campaign says on its website, “the UK has a proud history of excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We are world-leaders in many fields of research, producing over 10% of global scientific output with only 1% of the global population, and despite spending less on science per capita than most of our competitors.” This is nowhere more apparent than at the annual breast cancer symposium in San Antonio, Texas, every December where British scientists punch way above their weight in terms of not only the numbers presenting but also the quality of the research. We have been fortunate to see a number of scientists we support each year.

Why should you sign this if you are not a scientist? Science investment in the UK is a crucial driver of our economy and overwhelmingly supports world-class research. We know – our research is peer-reviewed internationally. Cutting investment risks putting all this in jeopardy — especially at a time when our competitors, such as the US, China, Germany, and France, are increasing their science funding. If we do the opposite we will lose not only our science base but also our scientists and discourage inward investment which will have a negative impact on the economy – and on all of us.

Do not think for one moment that charities can pick up the slack. We are already, as you will have seen from earlier blogs, at risk of losing the Charity Research Support Fund thereby reducing the amount of research that we will be able to support.

Please follow the link here.

Thank you.

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