As 26 June draws nigh, I’m starting to get a little nervous about the outcome of the UK Treasury’s decision on the 2015-2016 budget, which will decide how much public spending will be allocated to the science budget. Science is Vital has been hard at work trying to sway hearts and minds with our latest campaign – for those of you who were snoozing in the back, you can catch up by reading a piece Richard, Stephen and I wrote back in March that sums it all up in the Guardian.
The Royal Society of Chemistry has been pushing in the same direction, as intrepidly described by Matthew Brown a few weeks ago. Following on from that post, the RSC has just today released the full briefing, which is available for download.
Take a look – it’s a good read. They call for 0.7% of GDP to be spent on science by 2020. Science is Vital has called for an eventual target of 0.8% (the G8 average) – which if the RSC’s call is heeded at a steady, incremental rate, would be achieved by 2025.
Meanwhile, our petition remains open for signatures, and you have until Friday to make your voice heard on our UK scientist funding survey, which will go into a report for Government that we at Science is Vital are currently scrambling to finish off. Last but not least, it’s not to late to write to your MP!
Working together, we really can make a difference.
Note added 7 June 2013 07:23:
Yesterday, Chancellor George Osborne dropped hints that science would be “protected” in the next spending review, although he didn’t go into details. While this is encouraging, the Government has always referred to the 2010 ring-fenced cash freeze as a protection, so I’m not certain this news is any different from what we were expecting based on earlier insider information. I hope to be proved wrong on the 26th, though!
Ozzie is dropping strong hints we might be ok. We’ll see…
Hmmm. By “protect” he could just mean “not cut”, which was the solution we heard they favored months ago. I like the “long term” reference he makes, but hope that’s not merely a long-term ring-fenced cash freeze…
On this side of the pond, the situation is very grim. Labs are closing, new invstigators are not getting funded, and even for those with funding, the “Sequester” has us being hit with 5.5% cuts in existing (and already heavily cut) budgets. The insidious and less visible damage, but certainly palpable, is on the next generation of scientists. Students and post-docs are seeing the pressure of this type of job, and looking for other careers.
Might not be the worst thing that ever happened to them, forcing them to consider other options. Seeing as how the vast majority would not get a permanent position in academia even in better times. But yes, I feel the US’s pain. It must be awful right now.