Brief summary of Judith Bunting’s speech to conference, September 2012
I am here to support Julian Huppert’s campaign to ring fence the science budget and for a 3% above inflation increase for the next 15 years.
That this proposed increase seems large, goes to show how low research funding in the UK is right now. It will take 15 years of 3% annual increases for research funding in the UK to get even close to Germany’s funding for science, as a percentage of GDP.
According to a Wellcome Trust report published back in 2006, every pound invested in medical research generates a of 30p per year – and that’s ongoing, so 30p this year, and next, and so on for a very long time. (Wellcome Trust, MRC and Academy of Medical Sciences).
If we want a healthy economy, we need a healthy scientific research base to underpin invention and development in the UK.
Britain is today a world leader in science and technology. Scientific research underpins UK innovation, industry and employment. It also plays a huge role in our exports and the investment we attract to these shores. Maintaining this leadership requires investment and I call on the government to ring fence the science budget and commit to a 3% above inflation increase for the next 15 years.