Chancellor's attack on science funding base ill-advised

10 December 2009

The Chancellor's announcement today that he is to hack 600 million from the country's science research base will hit Britain both in the short term and the long term, says the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Dr Richard Pike, RSC chief executive, said: "In his pre-budget speech the Chancellor at one moment stresses the importance of science and technology science yet within minutes he wields the axe. This doesn't make sense and Britain will regret the decision.

"Other countries are investing in science to help pull their economies into the black. Contrast our approach with that of the German government, which is significantly increasing investment in science in higher education with an emphasis on disciplines like chemistry and physics. The US has made a massive injection of funding to support its universities."

"The Chancellor's approach is short-sighted and ill considered. Instead we should be putting more money into research and development to make sure that we remain at the leading edge in international competition.

This casts doubt on the government's spending priorities.

"With the Copenhagen discussions this is the time when inspirational investment is needed as a beacon for scientists everywhere." 

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