In June, the Government will announce its budget for 2015-16. The Treasury, it is said, favours a renewal of the cash freeze for research funding – a freeze which has already resulted in significant cuts in real terms, making it difficult for the UK to maintain its excellent reputation for scientific research.
Science is Vital are the grassroots group that helped stave off cuts to research funding in 2010 with the support of the British Science Association, and many other organizations,. This year, the group has launched a new campaign, asking the Government to reverse the decline and modestly increase science funding in the budget for 2015-16 and beyond. Again, the British Science Association is pleased to support this campaign.
The campaign launched on March 11 with a letter in the Daily Telegraph , signed by over 50 leading scientists in the UK including Sir Paul Nurse and other Nobel laureates, challenging the Government to set itself the target of investing at least 0.8% of GDP in science. Science is Vital has also launched a public petition. Additionally, in order to prepare a report that should prove essential in making an evidence-based case to the Government, Science is Vital is collecting data on the effects of the current cash freeze on UK scientist and engineers in a survey.
You can get involved by signing the petition and spreading the word about it to friends, family and colleagues both in and out of science. You don’t have to be a scientist to think that great science is an integral part of the wellbeing of the UK economy. Anybody who is actively involved in scientific researcher or engineering, can take part in Science is Vital’s survey .
Together, as with the 2010 campaign, we can make a real difference.