Being less than a week away from the publication of the Spending Review, the science and engineering community is drowning in suspense and uncertainty. And let’s be honest, “A country that lives within its means” isn’t exactly an optimistic title for the document that will define the research and innovation atmosphere for the next five years. Read More
The CaSE blog compiles comment and opinion from across the science and engineering policy sector.
For a better navigation of the blog take a look at our tag cloud.
You can also register for up-to-the-minute email alerts for the CaSE blog.
To many onlookers, a ‘flat cash’ settlement in the forthcoming Spending Review would be a pretty good result for UK science. They may be right, in the context of a worryingly tight fiscal round, that it might be. But there are many – particularly in UK science – who think it would be a disaster.
This was the context for a seminar held by CaSE at the University of Manchester’s Policy Week earlier this month. Speaking alongside Naomi Weir of CaSE, Graeme Reid of CaSE and UCL, Andrew Miller, former Chair of the Science and Technology Committee and Andrew Jones of AstraZeneca, we discussed what we thought might happen in the Spending Review, why we thought it would happen and what that would mean for science over the longer term. Read More
As the Government approaches the 2015 Spending Review, it is important that we argue the case for science spending to be, at the very least, maintained at its present levels. The investment of public money in research drives the investment of private R&D money in the UK. It is a pool of scientific, engineering and medical excellence that keeps multinational companies like GSK and innovative engineering firms such as Rolls-Royce in the UK, not a sense of national loyalty. At a time when many other developed nations are increasing their budgets for scientific research, we risk our pool becoming smaller. Read More
The British Heart Foundation is the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research in the UK, funding around £100 million of new research each year. This research is helping us to understand why heart disease occurs, how to diagnose it more quickly and treat it more effectively. Read More
The 2015 Spending Review was always expected to be tough, as Government looks to find consolidation measures totalling £37 billion and reach a budget surplus by 2020. Recent events have, however, been unexpected – not least the stance of the House of Lords in delaying changes worth £4.4 billion to tax credits. But whether or not the outcome on 25 November matches our expectations, we must continue to be clear on our hopes. Our three asks for the Chancellor are aimed at achieving better quality of life for people with arthritis, alongside economic benefit. Read More
My guess is that bidding for a research grant is ultimately no different to submitting for any piece of work. Your prospective client needs to see you have the best people and ideas available and can deliver the right results at a reasonable price.
If you are bidding for a grant and want a foreign scientist next year, you may need to think again about the people or the price.
In a few weeks time we shall know the outcome of the Government’s spending review, and for most areas of the economy it won’t be pretty. Ever since financial crash of 2008, instigated by reckless lending by the banks, the overriding thrust of public policy has been to reduce and control the public sector deficit. Science and innovation have weathered the storm better than some areas so far, partly thanks to good work by successive science ministers, but there are no guarantees for the future. Read More
It’s (almost) always about the money
The cycle of spending reviews has become very familiar. A budget sets out headlines, rumours of deep cuts follow, before we see outcomes a little better than expected, and the science community breathes a deep sigh of relief. Read More
Yesterday, past and present Chairs of the House of Lords and House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committees wrote to the Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, urging him to increase spending on the Science Budget and to support innovative businesses. They also cautioned against rushed reorganisations of funding structures that could have unforeseen and negative consequences.
2015 feels like it may end up being a watershed year for the environment.
When science and politics come together in harmony, great things can be achieved. The Paris climate summit at the end of the year will coincide with the impact of the most significant El Nino event since 1950 starting to be felt. The UN released human population growth projections, estimating an additional billion people inhabiting our planet by 2030, and also agreed 17 new Sustainable Development Goals. Read More
When the Treasury published its guidance on the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review in July in a document entitled A country that lives within its means their aims were immediately clear: tight fiscal discipline. In other words, major reductions in the budgets of many central government departments.
Some budgets have been protected, and this includes health. The threat is therefore focussed on unprotected budgets – which includes money that is distributed to life sciences research through the Research Councils. Any reduction in science spending would be disastrous not just for this generation of scientists but for those yet to come as many, including CaSE, have argued so eloquently. The ultimate impact on the UK’s prosperity is a genuine worry since spending on research and education have been shown to pay off handsomely. Read More
Cancer Research UK is the world’s largest independent cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Last year we spent £434 million on research in institutes, hospitals and universities across the UK, supporting research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
Our pioneering work has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates in the UK double in the last forty years. Read More
2,079 members responded to the union’s survey in June: A highly qualified and age diverse group, including 27% women. Just over a third of responses came from the civil service, with a similar number from the private sector and the remainder from members in a range of other organisations including charities, research institutes, public-private partnerships and universities. Read More
London is the most popular city in the world for international students. We currently play host to 40,000 from continental Europe and 67,000 from the rest of the world. They enrich the city and country by sharing their cultures and becoming friends of Britain in ways that boost our diplomatic and trade links in future years. Read More
You have to talk in fiscal terms about the economic growth that science brings, and there’s plenty of evidence to back that up. It’s to make the case for investing in science, rather than in listening to the public, or thinking creatively and emotionally about what science can give us. It’s about marketing the product, rather than understanding how it was created. Read More
Seen from the ground, growth in sales and profits, rewarding careers opportunities, exploitation and dissemination of new technologies are just some of the obvious consequence of companies’ innovation efforts. And in their own words, manufacturers who participated in some recent EEF research told us why innovation matters to them…
The upcoming spending review has meant that we have all had to re-examine our assumptions on this score. Ordinarily, I am a strong believer in science for science’s sake but, in really debating whether the science budget should be protected, it has become clear that there are many other reasons for doing so.