Monday, October 11, 2010

Science is vital

The Liberal Democrats and their coalition partners are embarking on a large number of cuts, as we know. We also know that these cuts will significantly effect almost every aspect of government spending - and many of these cuts will, in fact, be false economies that end up leaving us far worse off financially than if we'd left the investment in place.

You can see this extremely clearly with the cuts to science funding (eg Doc Richard) which doesn't just undermine the UK's ability to rake in Nobel Prizes, it also undermines our ability to capitalise and build on scientific research that is done all around the world. It will place us, economically, in a massively disadvantaged position for a generation if we allow these cuts to take place.

Vince Cable may think there is a sharp dividing line between the economically profitable bits of science funding and the esoteric mind-bending theoretical stuff, but in the medium and long term you need deep thought as well as work on more efficient micro-processors because the dividing line between the two is not as strong as you might at first think.

More than that if we are to move to a more ecologically sustainable society new technologies are going to be absolutely at the heart of that. Not because we can carry on as normal with a few funky gadgets but because if we don't develop viable energy alternatives to coal, for example, then we simply don't have a hope of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions either quickly or substantially enough.

CASE and the science is vital campaign is part of that fight to prevent the science cuts, although am I alone in thinking that Patrick Moore's claim to "support the Science Is Vital campaign 200%!” is not the most well judged way of expressing his support for scientific endeavor!

Certainly I think it would be great if readers asked their MP to sign EDM 767 on the need to safeguard scientific research funding, as well as signing this petition yourselves. You might also like to attend the lobby in the House of Commons tomorrow (Tuesday) 3:30 – 4:30pm in Committee Room 10.

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