This morning, the research community put out its ‘A team’ and released a joint statement, and a piece in the Daily Telegraph, calling for increased and sustained investment in UK research and innovation.

The case has been made before, and yes, there have been good indications of the Government’s commitment to investing in research as part of their strategies for economic growth.

But these are pressing times, and it’s not obvious that research investment will be seen as a priority come the next spending review on 26 June. In conversation with Business Secretary Vince Cable on the Today programme*, Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, said we can not take the UK’s position as a world leader in science for granted.

It is true the UK has men and women performing world class research in the UK, but in terms of investment, we are near-bottom of the G8 league. Unless we are able to reverse the flat-cash science budget (a downward trend when adjusting for inflation), we will be competing over extra time a player down.

If ‘Renaissance man’ John Browne is right, and research is part of the foundations for economic growth we will need sustained research investment to keep the pipeline of talent and ideas flowing, moving us up the Premier league.

 

*1hr 34min 20secs in.

Here’s a picture of our very own Caroline Dynes, Policy Adviser at the Royal Society, spreading the word around Whitehall this morning…