The pharmaceutical industry (Pharma) has made important contributions to quality of life, longevity, economic growth and education at all levels, and is a key component of the government’s growth strategy. For decades, the UK had been a world leader in medicines discovery and research with at least 10 of the top-selling drugs worldwide (>$1bn annual sales at peak) having UK-trained PhD organic chemists as named inventors. Read More
Author Archives: James Hutchinson
Today, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) appealed for all young people who show an aptitude for science by the age of 14 to be automatically registered for Triple Science.
At a time when the economy is attempting to repair and is preparing for growth, there is a distinct need for people with STEM skills. However, 40% of companies are pointing out that it is increasingly difficult to find these people. Read More
We need a Science Minister in Scotland. Science and engineering has an impact, and is affected by a huge range of government activities – so a failure to adequately represent them could lead to Scotland falling behind in the global high-tech race.
Scotland has an immensely rich history in science and technology innovation, cultivating figures such as John Logie Baird, inventor of the television and James Maxwell, the distinguished physicist. However, this history needs to be built upon with political support. Read More
Getstats is both the issue and the midwife of a growing national consensus. There is deepening agreement that the UK, and its constituent territories, need a more numerate population …if the economy is to be rebalanced, productivity to increase, families and households to cope with the quantities of modern life and together we are to talk to one another sensibly about risk and probability and so devise lasting policies for climate change, energy and ageing. Read More
Eight out of ten Welsh universities have had their plans to charge tuition fees at the full rate of £9,000 in 2012/13. In England, more than a third of universities will be charging all of their fees at the full rate and nearly six-tenths will charge some fees at that rate.
The Welsh Government has committed to providing students who are ordinarily resident in Wales (as well as European Union students in Wales) a non-repayable tuition fee grant covering the cost of any fees that they are charged above £3,465, no matter where in the UK they study. So Welsh (and EU) students will not themselves have to pay the full £9,000.
Following on from yesterday’s blog post about Science Question Time, this is the second installment covering more of the issues discussed at the event.
This report was produced in the run-up to the devolved elections of May2011. It makes a series of recommendations for political parties campaigningfor office and for the incoming assemblies and governments. CaSE has alsoproduced recommendations targeted for each of the nations.
Written evidence from Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) to the House of Commons Public Administration Committee Inquiry into ‘Smaller Government: Shrinkingthe Quango State’
A letter to the Times highlighting the need for the government to ensure that the most talented scientists are attracted to the UK. The letter is endorsed by eight Nobel Prize Winners
CaSE briefing about the government’s plans to put in place a ‘migrant cap’ on non-EU immigrants. The document urges the government to make exceptions for qualified, competent scientists from the cap, not doing so could have adverse effects for UK universities and hinder the recovery of the economy.
This document details how science and engineering are funded in the UK including public funding and the ‘dual-support’ system. It also descries the performance of the UK research base.
This document outlines CaSE’s views on the potential damage that could result from a cap on non-EU scientists coming to the UK. It stresses the importance of scientists and engineers to the economy and gives an analysis of the ways in which exceptions can be made.
CaSE recommends that a method is found to exclude qualified and competent scientists and engineers from the migration cap. These people will have a vital role to play in the UK’s economic growth and in solving some of our urgent challenges.
A CaSE briefing on the importance of maintaining a strong research base in science and engineering. It compares the UK and its competitors, describes the return on investments, the effects of cuts and the imperative to invest.
Two education bills were presented in the Queens speech to deliver greater freedoms to schools. They may also affect the way in which science and mathematics are taught. Giving schools more freedom over the curriculum must not lead to some ceasing to offer students three separate biology, physics and chemistry GCSEs (triple science). Accountability changes also provide an opportunity for improvement.
Science and engineering did not feature greatly in the negotiation agreement underlying the formation of the new coalition government between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. This briefing looks at areas of agreement and difference in the two parties’ manifesto commitments and additional commitments made in letters from David Cameron and Nick Clegg to CaSE and elsewhere. It also covers the most relevant new government appointments and outlines CaSE’s post-election work.
CaSE has worked with the political parties, its members and others during the run-up to this election on science and engineering policies. During this election the profile of science and engineering has been raised through debates, challenges to the party leaders and asking candidates to talk about science and engineering on this blog.
We have worked in a co-ordinated fashion with other science and engineering organisations and helped individuals engage in science policy debates that are often of direct interest to a small group of professionals. It is important that the post-election campaigning continues to show that there is a broad and engaged network of individuals and organisations that care about the political decisions that affect science and engineering in the UK.
CaSE is holding a post-election meeting with its collaborators to discuss how science and engineering organisations can continue to have coherent advocacy with the new Government and Parliament.
If you are interested in science policy issues, join CaSE as an individual or organisational member and support our campaign.
A new Government has not yet been formed, but these are some of the key challenges that the party or parties will have to face up to. You can read the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour commitments on these issues in their sections of the blog.
Level and distribution of funding for science
The ten year Science and Innovation Investment Framework has guided the overall direction and spending on science since 2004. Labour only nodded towards it the run-up to the election and the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats did not commit to seeing it through. So unless a new Government commits to seeing through the Framework until 2014 there is no overall strategy for science in the UK, so a new one will have to be developed.
The first key test of the new Government’s commitment to science funding is to see: (1) if the 2010/11 Science Budget is maintained and (2) what proportion of cuts to government departmental spending hit their R&D budgets.
The election results are still unfolding, but the composition of the next House of Commons is already taking shape. Most policies that affect science and engineering are mainly determined by the Government (which will be covered in a separate post) with scrutiny by the Commons. This may change due to a hung Parliament, especially if there is a minority Government. What the Commons has traditional done in terms of science policy is the following: