A new UK campaign has been launched to prevent ‘destructive levels of cuts to science funding’ amid widespread reductions in public spending.
The Science is Vital campaign has already attracted nearly 16,000 signatories from scientists and other supporters of scientific endeavour for their petition to the UK Government, calling for protected investment in science and engineering as a crucial element for future global competitive excellence and economic growth. Indeed, it is suggested that intellectual capital in these areas should form a major part of national economic outputs. Supporters of the campaign are also encouraged to join a protest rally in London and to lobby Parliament.
Clearly, scientists and engineers have a vested interest in preventing possible cuts to any sources of research funding; however, the argument that science is a crucial element for future economic growth is a sound one. This is not to say that money should not be spent wisely and to the best effect in science and technology, as in everything else, but in general there is a genuine danger that the UK’s current global pre-eminence could rapidly diminish – without an obvious replacement in economic output.