We are still trying to finalize details for the rally in London. Meantime, we have just emailed student unions and heads of department around the country informing them that the petition is live and asking for help in gathering support.

Thanks to everybody who has helped, both in getting this show on the road and spreading the word.

Categories: News

One Response to All systems go

  1. Peter Allen-Williams says:

    Lost your email – here’s my correspondence with the MP

    Dear Stephen Phillips,

    Thank you for your prompt, if rather disappointing, reply.
    I believe that good science, underpinning good engineering is the foundation of the UK’s past and future prosperity.

    I would be interested to know the areas where you do think you could express an informed view.

    Best wishes

    Peter Allen-Williams
    From: stephen.phillips.mp@parliament.uk
    To: peteratrudgard@hotmail.com
    CC: emma.salisbury@parliament.uk
    Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2010 22:38:49 +0100
    Subject: RE: RE:Importance of science

    Dear Mr Allen-Williams,

    Many thanks for your further email.

    I am not in a position to comment one way or the other on the passage you have set out in your email and, if you will forgive me, politicians have in the past spent far too much of their time expressing views about matters which they think their constituents wish to hear but which they have no right to express given the state of their own knowledge.

    The issue which you raise is not within my core areas of policy interest although I am aware that others in the House are focussed on the matter. What I can say, as a generality, is that I am supportive of proper scientific research and funding for such research in order to ensure that the United Kingdom maintains its position as a major economy. That does not mean, however, the scientific research is or should be immune from the necessary cuts in public expenditure which the government has to make given the mess which we have been left by our predecessors.

    I will forward the minister’s reply when I have received it.

    With Kind Regards,

    Stephen Phillips

    Stephen Phillips QC MP
    Member of Parliament for
    Sleaford & North Hykeham

    House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
    t. 020 7219 7146
    e. stephen.phillips.mp@parliament.uk
    w. http://www.stephenphillips.org.uk

    From: Peter Allen-Williams [mailto:peteratrudgard@hotmail.com]
    Sent: 12 October 2010 21:32
    To: PHILLIPS, Stephen
    Cc: SALISBURY, Emma
    Subject: RE:Importance of science

    Dear Stephen Phillips,

    Thank you for your speedy response to my email.
    I will be very interested to hear what the Minister has to say on the subject of the importance of science.

    I would also be interested to hear your own views on my comment in the original email –
    “.. I believe this is particularly important in allowing the UK to maintain its reputation for world class science, which we can use to develop the low carbon tools needed for a truly sustainable economy – an area where we could become a world leader with the right political leadership…”

    I found this echoed in one section of a very reasonably written union publication by the PCS passed to me by a colleague
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Best wishes

    Peter Allen-Williams
    From: stephen.phillips.mp@parliament.uk
    Dear Mr Allen-Williams,

    Many thanks for contacting me about this important issue.

    My universal practice, I have to tell you, is not to sign E.D.M. These do not come to the floor of the House, are no more than parliamentary graffiti and tend to detract from the weight which ministers will otherwise give to the matters which I do raise with them directly. They also cost the taxpayer a huge amount of money for no discernible benefit.

    What I have already done, is to write to the minister responsible to ask him for his comments and the government’s policy on this E.D.M. As soon as we have a response, I will of course forward this.

    I do hope that you will find this acceptable and of assistance.

    With Kind Regards,

    Stephen Phillips

    Stephen Phillips QC MP
    Member of Parliament for
    Sleaford & North Hykeham

    Error! Filename not specified.

    House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
    t. 020 7219 7146
    e. stephen.phillips.mp@parliament.uk
    w. http://www.stephenphillips.org.uk

    From: Peter Allen-Williams [mailto:peteratrudgard@hotmail.com]
    Sent: 12 October 2010 09:03
    Dear Stephen Phillips,

    I am one of your constituents and I work as a research manager for the Environment Agency.

    I would like you to:
    – sign E.D.M. 767 – Science is Vital (http://bit.ly/e d m 767)
    – sign the Science is Vital petition – (http://scienceisvital.org.uk/sign-the-petition)
    – and attend a lobby in Parliament on 12 October (15.30, Committee Room 10).

    The evidence is clear that investing in research brings a range of economic and social benefits, and that severe cuts at the very moment that our competitor nations are investing more could jeopardize the future of UK science because:

    1. Cuts will harm the economy
    2. Cuts will waste the investment we have already made in facilities and people
    3. Cuts will hurt world-class research, not eliminate waste
    One example of this is Prof Howard Wheater, a former colleague of mine who was one of the most effective researchers at Imperial College for many years. He has recently moved to Canada because of the better prospects there!

    The Science is Vital [http://scienceisvital.org.uk/] coalition, along with the Campaign for Science and Engineering [http://www.sciencecampaign.org.uk], are calling upon the Government to set out a supportive strategy, including public investment goals above or at least in step with economic growth. Without such investment and commitment the UK risks its international reputation, its market share of high-tech manufacturing and services, the ability to respond to urgent and long-term national scientific challenges, and the economic recovery. I believe this is particularly important in allowing the UK to maintain its reputation for world class science, which we can use to develop the low carbon tools needed for a truly sustainable economy – an area where we could become a world leader with the right political leadership.

    I have signed the petition at http://scienceisvital.org.uk/sign-the-petition/.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Yours sincerely,

    Peter Allen-Williams
    Badgingarra,
    Heighington Rd,
    Canwick,
    LINCOLN
    LN4 2RN

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