Letter published in the Guardian, Weds 3rd December
From Lib Dem Team Science
Continued investment in science in the next parliament is vital
• We were disappointed to read of the science minister Greg Clark’s unwillingness to commit to a continued ringfencing of science spending in the Conservative party’s manifesto for 2015 (via interview in Research Fortnight, 12 November). Despite expressing a hope that his party’s support of science research would “continue and deepen”, the minister declined to give assurances on a continued ringfence of the science budget if the Conservatives were re-elected.
As a group of Liberal Democrat MPs and prospective parliamentary candidates seeking a stronger voice for science and engineering in the next parliament, we are proud that our party has already committed to continuing the ringfencing of the science budget, and providing greater public funding on a longer timescale. We have challenged the other parties to match our ambition for a 3% above inflation increase for the next 15 years – so far, none of them have backed us on this.
Investment in science and engineering stimulates economic growth: every pound invested in medical research generates an estimated ongoing return of 30p per year (Wellcome Trust, MRC and Academy of Medical Sciences); a report released last month showed the UK’s space sector growing at 7% per year, employing over 34,000 people and supporting an additional 72,000 jobs downstream.
In the months leading up to the election, we will continue to make the case for greater investment in the UK’s Stem research, and hope to build consensus among all parties for a secure and sustainable science budget.
Dr Julian Huppert MP Cambridge, Simon Wright MP Norwich South, Judith Bunting PPC, Newbury, Lucy Care PPC, Derby North, Layla Moran PPC, Oxford West and Abingdon, Dr Jenny Woods PPC, Reading East, Dr Ed Long Campaign organiser, Team Science
More information about Team Science can be found, here: http://aldes.org.uk/teamscience/?p=78