Science Is Vital
Today, Vince Cable gave a speech that, pretty much, confirmed what all those involved in science and research, were already expecting to hear. Science: expect some cuts!! Ok, but how much and where? Well, what we do know is that the department for Business, Innovation and Skills needs to make at least a massive 25% cut. If this was to happen in science funding, this would take our, already meager, allocated amount of £3.2 billion down to £2.4 billion. Cable also explained, as quoted from this article in today’s Guardian:
….there is no justification for taxpayers’ money being used to support research which is neither commercially useful nor theoretically outstanding. My preference is to ration research funding by excellence. We back researchers and research teams of international quality regardless of where they are and what they do, and screen out mediocrity.
Ok, so extra brownie points for dropping those “buzz-words” that target all those non-scientists among us….”Tax-payers’ money”, yeah everyone can connect with that!! But, one crucial point here: who gets to decide on which research falls into the categories of “commercially useful” and “theoretically outstanding”?
Another important point to address is that no other country, despite suffering from a shared financial crisis, seems to consider cuts in science as an option. For a great account of the comparisons in opinions, see this write-up, for some great points about why Vince Cable is misunderstanding the fundamental concept, see this blog and for how we should judge Vince Cable see this article.
Science is at the forefront of bringing money into the economy, by cutting funding and pulling the UK out of important projects such as Diamond Light Source, Isis and Cern this has detrimental effects both short and long-term!! We could lose a whole generation of science researchers (which slashes my PhD dream) and international interest in the UK would be drastically reduced, thus losing out on even more capital!!
- please leave comments below or on Jenny’s post (linked to above)
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Come on people, let’s do this – get in touch!!