CaSE was launched in March 2005, evolving out of its predecessor Save British Science.
SBS was founded in 1986, following the placement of an advertisement in The Times newspaper. The idea came from a small group of university scientists brought together by a common concern about the difficulties they were facing in obtaining the funds for first class research.
The original plan was simply to buy a half-page advertisement in The Times to make the point (the original advertisement can be viewed in the 20th anniversary booklet), and the request for funds was spread via friends and colleagues in other universities. The response was overwhelming. Within a few weeks about 1500 contributors, including over 100 Fellows of the Royal Society and most of the British Nobel prize winners, had sent more than twice the sum needed. The advertisement appeared on 13th January 1986, and the balance of the money raised was used to found the Society, taking as its name the title of the advertisement.
A newsletter was sent out to members the following December, and the first AGM was held on 30th October 1987, with a distinguished lecture given by Sir James Lighthill, then the provost of UCL. SBS and CaSE have continued to hold distinguished lectures every year.
The first full colour newsletter was produced in spring 1994 (an image appears in the anniversary booklet). SBS continued to campaign from its office in Oxford until 1998. That year the organisation went professional, taking on full time staff, and moved to its present location in Tavistock Square, London.
On 13th January 2011 CaSE held a 25th Anniversary Reception, hosted by the IET. CaSE marked the event by challenging leading figures in the community to set out what they thought the major policy issues of the next 25 years would be. The crowd of 150 people was addressed by David Willetts MP, Universities and Science Minister, Lord May, former Government Chief Scientist, and Prof Denis Noble and Dr John Mulvey, co-founders of Save British Science.
CaSE is now an established feature of the science and technology policy scene, supported among universities and the learned societies, and able to attract media attention. We are accepted by Government as an organisation able to speak for a wide section of the science and engineering community in a constructive but also critical and forceful manner. We are free to speak without the restraints felt by learned societies and similar bodies, and it is good for Government to know someone is watching closely.