Wednesday, 20 October 2010

More on Spending on the Science Base

A lot of leaks before the announcements.  The Times (gated) reports the science budget is to be frozen in real terms, that is a much lower cut than the 40% being talked about.  They kindly quote my work with Gavin Wallis, which is here and explained on You Tube is hereAs they also note, David Willetts has been very energetic in defending the science base: here is one of his speeches here  and evidence in front of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (which also kindly quotes our work).  The spending review document confirms these rumors: page 6: "maintaining the science budget in cash terms over the
Spending Review period with resource spending of £4.6 billion". Hats off to David Willetts and those campaigning for Science.  Note that the science budget, unless something has changed that I don't know about, includes all research council monies, so includes research spending on arts and social sciences.

Update.  Here's the FT after the spending review day

UK science spending flat at £4.6bn a year
Science escaped the big cuts that some researchers had feared from the government’s spending review unveiled on Wednesday. The government’s core “science budget” will remain flat at £4.6bn a year over the next four years, amounting to a likely reduction of around 10 per cent in real terms.

"Asked what had changed since the 1980s, when the Thatcher government slashed research spending, David Willetts, science minister, replied: “The scientific community has been able to produce empirical evidence about the economic returns from research. The Treasury buys the argument that scientific research contributes to long-term growth.”