Recent highlights

These posts are some of the recent highlights from the CaSE blog. To see all of our recent news and commentary, please see our full blog.

The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown

As the dust settles, CaSE Acting Director Naomi Weir takes an in-depth look at yesterday’s Spending Review.

osborneHaving been working towards the 25th November for so long, it seems strange to have reached the 26th. But here we are.

As little red books are put away, permanent potholes are pondered, and the Speaker’s heart rate returns to normal, we can lift our heads up and take a look at some of the details of the Spending Review. From many-a-quote yesterday I believe I should expect to find the devil in them. Read More »

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CaSE responds to 2015 Spending Review

HMTCaSE has welcomed the Government’s Spending Review and Autumn Statement, announced by the Chancellor George Osborne today.

Among the headline figures, the Government has committed to protecting the £4.7 billion science budget in real terms up to the end of the parliament. Read More »

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CaSE Vacancy: Membership Engagement and Development Manager

Position: Membership Engagement and Development Manager
Location: London
Salary: £28-34,000 depending on experience
Closing date for applications: 30th November 2015
Interviews: 8th December 2015 Read More »

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Back to the Future

In preparation for Wednesday’s Spending Review, I’ve been digging through the CaSE archives to see how things unfolded back in 2010 (when I was just a young PhD student almost oblivious to the mechanisations of Whitehall’s spending decisions).

I’ve come across this helpful CaSE submission to the Science & Technology Committee’s 2011 inquiry on the impact of the Spending Review. I recommend giving it a read. It shows how the full details of the 2010 Review slowly emerged over the weeks and months following the Chancellor’s speech. Read More »

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How long can science run without batteries?

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 »

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CaSE responds to the Nurse Review

Sir Paul Nurse has today published his independent review of the UK Research Councils.

The review was requested by the Government following the publication of the Science and Innovation Strategy in 2014.

Read More »

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‘Is the world flat?’ A question from Manchester policy week

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 »

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CaSE AGM – 16th December

CaSE will be holding its 2015 Annual General Meeting on 16th December, 5-6pm, kindly hosted by the Wellcome Trust. The AGM will discuss CaSE’s activities and finances, and appoint new board members.

You can register for the event here. Read More »

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Recent Round-Up

CaSE has published its November 2015 e-bulletin, giving a summary of all CaSE’s activities and news over the last month. These include:

  • The new House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has this week published its report on the Science Budget, calling on the Government to back science in the upcoming Spending Review. Both our Acting Director and Chair gave evidence to the Committee, and the report’s publication received coverage in The Times and The Observer. CaSE has set out and commented on the Committee’s recommendations here. Read More »
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Science funding needs to be under the microscope

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 »

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Commons S&T Committee backs science ahead of Spending Review

News this morning of four Government department’s settling their lot with the Treasury marks the beginning of the end of months of evidence gathering, advocacy, guess-work, negotiation and trade-offs as the Spending Review unfolds.

Today brings the publication of the first report from the new Commons Science and Technology Select Committee on the Science Budget. The Observer picked up on the report with the headline ‘Science budget cuts would be a disaster, MPs to tell George Osborne‘. With the Times choosing the headlines of ‘False Economy‘ and ‘Lower science spending ‘threatens nation’s future‘. Read More »

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Investment in UK science – it’s a team effort

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 »

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CaSE responds to Higher Education green paper

The Government has launched a consultation on how the UK’s research funding system could be simplified. The green paper on reforms to the higher education system proposes closing the Higher Education Funding Council for England, which administers the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and allocates Quality-Related research funding to English universities. The consultation also asks for views on how the REF could be improved.  Read More »

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Arthritis Research UK; Three asks for the Chancellor

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 »

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Moves to reduce immigration will affect science and engineering

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.

Read More »

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Times are hard, but science and engineering matter

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 »

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Digging deep, aiming high; supporting UK geophysics and astronomy

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 »

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‘Future of Science Policy’ event in Manchester

CaSE is hosting a science and innovation policy event with the University of Manchester, as part of the city’s ‘Year of Science’, on 3rd November.

The event, ‘The Future of Science and Innovation Policy’, is free and open to the general public.

Read More »

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S&T Committee Chairs’ letter to Sajid Javid

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.

Read More »

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Science, productivity and the spending review

Stagnating productivity is one of the biggest problems the UK faces, and it’s the most compelling reason why, despite a tight fiscal climate, the science and innovation budget should be preserved (and ideally, increased). Read More »

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