Core funding must be increased for Wales to shed Cinderella science image
14 March 2012
The Royal Society of Chemistry welcomes the initiative to invest additional money in science in Wales through the 'star' system.
But the society says that for Welsh science to shed its 'Cinderella' status a much higher level of core funding is required.
Professor Keith Smith, of the Royal Society of Chemistry council and Cardiff University, said today:
"Professor John Harries, the Chief Scientific Advisor, has done a good job of bringing important scientific issues to the fore and the idea of the new 'star' system for Wales - of importing thoroughbred scientists from around the world - is a dramatic gesture which we welcome as an imaginative initiative, which might well raise the profile of science here.
"However, there is the 'Cinderella' aspect which attaches to Wales - we appear to be much lower on the scale of performance and reputation than England and Scotland, but we do not have a level playing field.
"In England science receives a much loftier level of core funding, especially since the introduction of the premium for students of vulnerable and strategic disciplines, and in Scotland the funding situation is better again.
"So, if the star system takes off, that is good.
"Nevertheless it must be backed by a level of core funding that places us on a level playing field with England and Scotland.
"We must have laboratories and other infrastructure that are funded as well as the rest of the UK.
"This is nothing to do with intellect or ambition, as we know that the talent is here in Wales. But there has to be financial underpinning similar to that available to science elsewhere in the UK."
Science for Wales
A strategic agenda for science and innovation in Wales
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