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.

CaSE analysis of parties’ commitments for science and engineering

CaSE has today published its analysis of the science and engineering policies of all the main political parties. Bringing together manifestos, speeches, letters from the party leaders, and blogs by parliamentary candidates, the analysis provides the most comprehensive view yet of what each party thinks about science and engineering. Read More »

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CaSE welcomes University of Bath as members

Prof Dame Glynis BreakwellThe University of Bath is an international centre for research and teaching excellence, achieving global impact through their alumni, research and strategic partnerships. It offers students a vibrant community characterised by its culture of high achievement, enterprise and creativity. Read More »

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CaSE welcomes City University as members

Prof-Paul-Curran-headshotCity University London is a leading international university dedicated to academic excellence as well as focused on business and the professions.

Professor Curran, Vice-Chancellor says of their decision to join CaSE:

“City University London is pleased to support CaSE in its efforts to raise the profile of science and engineering and, in particular, the need to maintain investment in education and research.  This is timely given the impending General Election and the parties’ relative commitments to science and engineering.”

Read More »

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Recent Round-Up

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

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What the Party Leaders have to say on science and engineering

Party LettersThe political parties have today set out how they would support science and engineering if they are put into power in the General Election on May 7th.

The commitments are set out in letters to CaSE, which wrote to the leader of every political party with at least one MP in Westminster, sending them our election briefings and asking them how they will support science and engineering in the next Parliament. Read More »

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The next crop of MPs must be more statistically literate than the last

In 2012, MPs elected for the current parliamentary term were asked a simple question about the probability of flipping a coin and getting two heads in a row. The correct answer, as I’m sure you know, is 25%.

Not everybody needs to be a maths whiz, and not everybody has an interest in statistics and probabilities. But when it comes to the women and men elected to run the country, who make decisions on billion pound budgets and hold government to account, it is surely reasonable to expect they have a basic grasp of the numbers. Read More »

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Latest ONS figures bring good and bad news for government investment in R&D

CaSE’s analysis shows the proportion of government spending invested in UK R&D has been decreasing since 2003, putting us below international averages and competitor nations. In 2003 1.37% of total government spending went on R&D. In 2013 this figure had dropped to 1.18%, or £8.4 billion.

We’ve analysed new figures released by the Office for National Statistics on Gross Domestic Expenditure on R&D (GERD). The stats show that GERD rose 5% in real-terms in 2013, reaching an all-time high of £28.9 billion. However, this equals 1.67% of GDP, a slight increase from 2012 but still below the European average of 2% and far lower than in the past. The government’s contribution to the UK’s total R&D spend was 0.49% of GDP. Read More »

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Prevent, transform, cure – putting people with arthritis at the heart of the election

There are around ten million people living in the UK with a musculoskeletal condition, of which there are many variations, ranging from the most common, osteoarthritis, to less prevalent conditions such as lupus.

What unites all of these conditions is the pain that they can cause and the impact that they can have on the people that have them, making it harder for them to do the things that so many of us take for granted- going to work, meeting friends, spending time with family. Read More »

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CaSE responds to 2015 Budget

In today’s budget the Chancellor stated that “future economic success depends on future scientific success”.

A successful long-term economic plan must therefore have a long-term plan for science at its core. He said the government was “choosing the future…choosing jobs… choosing the whole nation”. To do that the Chancellor, and the next government, must choose to increase investment in science and engineering over the long-term. Read More »

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CaSE 2015 Budget Briefing

New CaSE analysis shows that the UK research base has lost over £1 billion of investment over the course of this Parliament due to the government’s flat-cash ringfence policy.

It also reveals that if current government policy is maintained, overall funding for research will continue to be eroded by inflation despite recent capital spending commitments, with the overall shortfall reaching £2.3 billion by 2020.

CaSE has analysed investment since 2010 in the UK research base, composed of the resource ‘Science Budget’ and capital budget, over the term of this Parliament, comparing it to what would have been spent if 2010 budgets had been maintained in line with inflation. The analysis looks at overall research base investment and how the resource and capital budgets have individually affected investment in science and engineering. It also looks at planned investment in the next Parliament (2015/16 to 2019/20). Read More »

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Recent Round-Up

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

  • Ahead of the Election, CaSE has been inviting Prospective Parliamentary Candidates to write for CaSE on why science and engineering is important to the UK and how they would support this as a Member of Parliament. So far we’ve received over 100 responses from candidates and we’ll be publishing their comments regularly in the run-up to May 7th. Read More »
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CaSE welcomes Imperial College London as members

Imperial College Provost, James StirllingImperial College London is a science-based university with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Located in the heart of London, it is a multidisciplinary space for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle global challenges.
Read More »

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Parliamentary Candidates write for CaSE

Ahead of the 2015 General Election CaSE has been contacting Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs), inviting them to write for the CaSE website on why science and engineering is important to the UK and how they would support this as a Member of Parliament.

20% of the UK workforce is now employed in science and engineering roles. We believe that the electorate care deeply about scientific issues and would like to hear more from their candidates on the importance of science and engineering to the long-term future of the UK. Read More »

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CaSE responds to changes to GCSE practical science assessments

Ofqual has announced the adoption of a new approach for GCSE science practical assessment that will use written exam questions in place of controlled assessment.

Each exam board will have to specify a minimum number of practical activities that students must complete in class, set no lower than 8 in each individual science subject and 16 for combined science. Each school will be required to confirm that they have enabled their students to do the full range of practical work and students will be required to keep a record of their work. Read More »

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CaSE responds to Labour’s plan to cut tuition fees

Ed Miliband has today announced that a future Labour government would cut university tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000. The announcement comes with the assurance that the policy is ‘fully funded’, paid for by a cut to tax relief on the pensions of higher earners. Read More »

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CaSE welcomes new member 1E

1E are a Software Lifecycle Automation company that empower the world’s largest and most distributed organisations to simplify and speed up the complete software lifecycle. With regional offices in New York, Dublin and New Delhi, their global headquarters are in West London.

Their customers consist of public and private sector companies, including Dell, ING, Nestlé, BNP Paribas, Ford Motor Company and the UK Department of Work and Pensions, who they have helped save more than $2.5bn through the use of their technology. Read More »

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Science and engineering courses continue to increase in popularity

Last week the Higher Education Statistics Authority (HESA) released data for the number of students starting degree courses in the 2013/14 academic year.

Enrolment on science subjects (in which HESA include engineering, medicine and maths) was up 8% on the previous year and 21% in the past seven years* (from 2007/08). The social sciences, arts and humanities saw a 5% increase in student numbers on the previous year and a 10% increase from 2007/08. The total number of students starting higher education increased by 5% from 2012/13 and by 13% from seven years ago. Read More »

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Evidence Matters

Using reliable evidence honestly and effectively is crucial to making policy in the public interest – while its misuse means that opportunities for improving social outcomes are missed.

With the general election less than three months away, politicians and the media will bombard us with claim and counter-claim about the best ways to reduce crime, educate our children and care for the vulnerable – but how can the electorate know what to believe? Ask for Evidence is a new tool developed by Sense About Science for the public to hold politicians, commentators and others to account for how they use evidence – helping to sort policy claims that are backed by evidence from those that aren’t. Read More »

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Building a Stronger Future – National Academies

This Spring will see UK citizens go to the polls and exercise their right to choose who governs the country. The last election saw the formation of the first coalition government since the Second World War, and we do not yet know what 2015 will bring. These are uncertain times. Read More »

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Returners to Bioscience

The UK is facing a skills shortage. Everyone is saying it – from David Cameron to Paul Nurse – but what can we do about it? One potential source of talent lies within the so-called ‘returners’ community; those who have taken extended career breaks but often face difficulties in trying to return to work. Read More »

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