Science is Vital is extremely concerned to read reports that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is planning to cut research funding in 2014. The science budget was ring-fenced in the 2010 Spending Review and we will fight any attempt to drop this commitment.

A memorandum leaked from BIS reveals that it is considering clawing back a projected over-spend of £1.4bn by cutting the science budget and student support. According to the leaked memo, the current budget problems arose from a failure to control student numbers, especially in the private sector. The possibility of cuts will come as a major disappointment to researchers across the country; they have weathered austere times with a flat cash settlement in 2010 that has already eroded the science budget by almost 10% in real terms.

The BIS memorandum discusses cuts of £215m from the ring-fenced science budget. This would be a serious threat to science in the UK, and would constitute a reversal by the government; it would contradict the government’s publicly declared intent, as George Osborne put it last year, “to make the UK the best place in the world to do science”.

Dr Jennifer Rohn, Chair of Science is Vital, said: “The government has talked about making Britain the best place in the world to do science. It needs to make good on that promise. In March we, together with over 50 renowned scientists, called for a long-term increase in science funding to 0.8% of GDP to ensure the future of science in the UK. BIS must find ways to meet its obligations to research by maintaining its promised funding in the short term, and in the long-term, by increasing it.”

Categories: Campaign, News

6 Responses to Science is Vital responds to BIS threat to cut research funding

  1. Tracey Amhof says:

    The Universe and our world are Science, by cutting funding you may as well cut us off from everything we are. Research is vital not just for educational value but also health and well being attributes, breakthroughs in diseases etc

  2. Jools McCarthy says:

    the Twitter link from the petition signing page does not work… it leads to Twitter.com not .co.uk

    • rpg says:

      Jools, thanks for the headsup. Oddly the link is actually correct but you’re right, it’s not loading. It must be something to do with the widget we’re using. It’ll have to wait until I get home before I can trouble shoot it–but we’re @scienceisvital if you’d like to spread the news.

  3. Ann Sheppard says:

    ‘Britain the best place to do science’? Yeah George, like this was going to be ‘the greenest govt ever’ ?

  4. CLAIRE WISE says:

    And when everything is going pear shaped & we can’t cure it, where do we go then?? SCIENCE is vital to this country & the future of our countries evolution. Forget about buying a new duck house Mr MP, put the money back where we need it. INTO OUR CLASSROOMS TO MAKE BRITAIN GREAT AGAIN.

  5. Mike Caics says:

    The real problem is that the Government seem to want ‘guarantees’ in Scientific Research – and are only prepared to put in funds for those areas of Scientific advancement that show signs of yielding products or definite outcomes. Yet the whole ethos about ‘research’ is that it HAS to include a certain amount of experimentation and null-results. It is as if the Government have misunderstood or never known the true essence of scientific breakthrough. If there is no place for (and I know I am asking for trouble using this word, but I must to drive my point home) – ‘serendipity’ or ‘discovery through by-product’ then there will be NO ‘Real Science.’ As Empirical forms of Data allow us to create increasingly sensitive and accurate scientific models it will still NOT replace the ‘moment’ of truth – be it victorious or not. Under this Government the Large Hadron Collider would have been regarded as a ridiculous waste of money. I rest my case.

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