The 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
Posted in Election 2015, Highlights, Press releases
Also tagged Alliance Party, Conservatives, election2015, Green Party, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Northern Ireland, Plaid Cymru, Scotland, SNP, UKIP, Wales
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
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
CaSE Director, Dr Sarah Main said:
“I am dismayed that the Government seems intent on thwarting its commitment to make ‘Britain the best place in the world to do science’ with immigration proposals that threaten to put off the exceptional scientists and engineers who wish to come here.” Read More
CaSE finds much to welcome in the Government’s science and innovation strategy, but important questions remain unanswered. Read More
Does government back the Chancellor’s ‘personal priority’ of science?
In this Autumn Statement, science was again singled out as the Chancellor’s ‘personal priority’. We saw indications of intent on how the government will spend the £1.1bn pa capital committed to science for the next five years in announcements of new facilities and research centres.
With many of these located in the north of England, we see how science is being used as a tool in the government’s drive to ‘rebalance the economy’. Announcements on skills and the fiscal landscape for research are welcome, but these need to be part of a coherent cross-government strategy to work. Read More
In this Government’s most widespread reshuffle to date we’ve seen multiple changes to people and portfolios that will impact on science and engineering. Read More
Former Science Minister David Willetts at CaSE’s 25th anniversary celebration in 2011
Today David Willetts steps down after four years as Science and Universities Minister. Read More
Today has seen change across ministerial responsibilities for universities, science, education and skills:
- Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities, The Rt Hon Dr Greg Clark (Formerly David Willetts – standing down at next election)
- Secretary of State for Education, The Rt Hon Nicky Morgan (Formerly Michael Gove – appointed Chief Whip and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury)
- Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise, Nick Boles (Formerly Matthew Hancock – appointed Minister of State for Business, Enterprise and Energy) Read More
‘UK scientific competitiveness at risk’
In response to today’s announcement, which sees maintenance of the science budget at £4.6bn, CaSE has produced a briefing paper on the 2013 Spending Review.
Commenting on the announcement, CaSE Director Dr Sarah Main said:
“The signs had been good – the Chancellor had said that science was a ‘personal priority’ and that he was ‘up for the challenge of making the UK the best place in the world to do science’. But instead the research community is left exposed to competition from the global scientific premier league of nations.” Read More
CaSE has analysed the speeches of David Cameron, George Osborne, Ed Miliband, Ed Balls, Nick Clegg, and Vince Cable for mentions of science, technology, engineering, maths, research, and innovation.
Vince Cable and David Cameron scored highest, with Ed Balls and Ed Miliband performing less well.
CaSE welcomes today’s announcement from George Osborne of an additional £200m for the Research Partnership Investment Fund – bringing the fund’s total to £300m. Read More
At their party conference this morning in Brighton, the Liberal Democrats passed ‘Developing a Future – Policies for Science and Research’ – a policy motion urging the Government to increase investment in science and research across the UK.
The motion was moved by former scientist Dr Julian Huppert MP, and CaSE contributed to the development of the underlying policy paper.
The Liberal Democrats’ de facto science spokesman, Dr Julian Huppert MP, has published a paper outlining where he thinks the party’s science policy should be heading.
“Developing a future” is the party’s first dedicated science policy paper since 1991 – and, more importantly, the first that has been developed while the party is in Government. As an added interest for CaSE, we took part in Dr Huppert’s consultation, and have been eager to see the outcome.
You can read the full policy paper here, but we’ve pulled out some selected highlights below.
“We can be proud of our past – but we cannot be complacent about our future”
David Cameron, Life Sciences Strategy Launch
Following the focus on the Life Sciences in the Growth Plan, the publication of today’s Life Sciences strategy and the Prime Minister’s speech provide more details on how the Government plans to build on this important area. You can read CaSE Director Imran Khan’s comments here.
The Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), the UK’s leading independent scientific advocacy group, gave an initial welcome to some of the Government’s proposals around the teaching of science and maths in schools. CaSE will produce a full, considered, reaction to the proposals in due course, highlighting remaining areas of concern.
The Department for Education announced its intention to provide bursaries of up to £20,000 for teacher training in maths, physics, and chemistry. The move comes after CaSE had raised concerns that lack of funding could leave the UK with a serious shortage of teachers able to train and inspire the scientists and engineers of tomorrow.
Commenting on the Science Budget Allocations, Imran Khan, Director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering, said:
“The allocations confirm that UK science and engineering faces four very tricky years ahead. While some of our international competitors are looking to the future, British research will be busy retrenching.”
“It is encouraging that the Government has tried to protect research where it can. It looks like capital spending on research will be hit less hard than capital spending across BIS – it’s down 41%, rather than the expected 44%. But this still means a dramatic reduction in investment in equipment and facilities, putting a big dent in Britain’s scientific credentials.”
CaSE has welcomed the appointment of Prof Adrian Smith as the new Director General for Knowledge and Innovation (DG-KI) at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills – the department responsible for the Science Budget.
The appointment comes after concern that, for the first time in decades, the position responsible for overseeing government activity on science was likely to go to a career civil servant with no direct experience of the science and engineering sector.
Imran Khan, Director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering, said:
“Having an individual of Prof Smith’s calibre and background at the top level in Whitehall is essential. It’s really encouraging that government have recognised the importance of having someone who understands the research sector in charge of science at BIS.”
CaSE has registered its deep concern over changes to how science and engineering is represented within the Whitehall department responsible for them, the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS).
Currently, Prof Adrian Smith FRS is the Director General for Science and Research (DGSR) at BIS. As well as being a pivotal figure in the Spending Review process that saw the science budget spared deep cuts, he leads the process by which the budget will be allocated to different areas of science. He is one of a line of DGSR-equivalents who have been appointed from outside the civil service and who have brought an understanding of (and credibility in) the science and research sector to the role.
CaSE has responded to the Home Office Consultation on Limits of Non-EU Migration and the Migration Advisory Council Consultation on an Annual Limit on Economic Migration to the UK
By Katherine Barnes, Science Writer
Backlash over the Government’s interim cap on non-EU migrants continued this week, with scientists and engineers from academia and industry criticising the scheme and warning of its impact on the economy. University leaders are now protesting against a “double whammy”, with impending cuts to the science budget and an immigration cap that limits their ability to bring in top talent from abroad.
The government’s temporary cap on migrants was imposed on 28 June, in order to prevent a sudden swell in visa applications before a more permanent limit is brought in next year, but the limit was based on the number of overseas staff recruited in 2009, in the depths of recession.