As you might have noticed, it’s been a quiet year for Science is Vital. After a brief reaction to the 2017 budget, you’ve not heard from us in 2018. With an Executive Committee who are very busy with day jobs, and an increasingly chaotic political landscape, we haven’t got the time Science is Vital deserves.
As a result, we’ve decided to move to dissolve the organisation. We think it’s better to give SiV a final send-off, rather than just letting it gradually fizzle out.
The fact is, running campaigns is a lot of work. Whether running a lobby in Parliament, a live event and postcard campaign, submitting reports to Parliament or (how this all began!) organising a 2000-strong march on the Treasury, lots needs to happen behind the scenes to make things happen.
The other issue is Brexit. UK politics is in a state at the moment. Getting your political voice heard is tough whatever issues you care about, as arguing over leaving the EU takes centre stage. Whether it’s politicians, the media, or those of us who think science needs more funding, there’s only so much political brain-space available, and Brexit is occupying most of it right now.
What Science is Vital needs is time spent rebuilding a strong base of grassroots support, getting our message out to a new generation of researchers—a process that would need more capacity than the current Exec has to give.
We still believe that UK researchers need a grassroots voice, and that there is a case to be made for science funding in amongst the cacophony of current politics. We hope that dissolving SiV will free up space for others to step up and provide that voice. Equally, if you feel passionate and would like to talk to us about taking the reins of SiV yourself, please let us know before the AGM by emailing Andrew Steele at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s worth highlighting two groups making keeping science in the political spotlight. Scientists for EU is making a strong case for the importance of the EU to UK research, and vice-versa. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook if you don’t already! And the Campaign for Science and Engineering, or CaSE, who have been lobbying government on behalf of the science community for over 30 years.
We plan to hold our final Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday 24th July, beginning at 19:00 BST at the Prince Arthur pub on Eversholt Street in Euston. Please find an agenda for the meeting below. If you can’t make it in person, please check back on this page in the week before the meeting for info on how to get involved.
Thank you for your continuing support for UK science and hope you can join us on the 24th.
Andrew, Jenny, Stephen, Shane, Marianne, Laurence, Ben, Kimberley, Joanna, Austin, Bertie, Shikta and Graham
The Science is Vital Executive Committee
Time slot: 18:30-19:30 BST
18:30 – Executive Committee arrives
- Chair’s welcome
- Confirm minutes of previous AGM
- Finances review
- Dissolution of Science Is Vital
- Proposed dissolution of Science is Vital and SiV funds going to CaSE as per our constitution*
- Alternative plan of action for continuation (EGM required by 01/11/18)
- Questions and Answers
- Thank you and wrap-up
* For reference, the relevant section of the Science is Vital constitution:
11. Dissolution of the Organization
(a) Any resolution to dissolve the Organization may be passed at any General Meeting provided that:
i. the terms of the proposed resolution are received by the Secretary at least forty-two days before the meeting at which the resolution is to be brought forward; and that
ii. at least twenty-eight days of the proposed resolution shall be given in writing by the secretary to all members; and that
iii. such a resolution shall receive the assent of two-thirds of those present and entitled to vote.
(b) Upon dissolution of the Organization, after all Organization liabilities have been cleared, all remaining financial and material assets shall be given or transferred to the Campaign for Science and Engineering.