The UK has a world-beating science base – but The Tories don’t take science seriously

The Tories don’t take science seriously.

I wish the new Science Minister well in her new position but the problem is the Tories just aren’t serious about science. We have had:

7    Changes of Minister in 4 years

3    Months without replacing the Science Minister position

The Government’s record on science speaks for itself ?

It has also been revealed that Liz Truss is chairing just 3 of her cabinet committees – none of which have a science focus. Comparatively, Boris Johnson chaired 11 of his 20 committees – including the National Space Council.

After just three meetings and one year, Liz Truss has disbanded the National Science and Technology Council. The NSTC was established in 2021 to help make the UK a ‘global science superpower’.

The UK has a world-beating science base: we rank third, only behind the US in China in Science and Technology journal articles. Due to Tory lack of investment and strategy, we do not convert our rich science base into a high skill, high wage, high-productivity economy.

The average science minister lasts 9 months. We have had ‘Innovation strategy’, an ‘R&D roadmap’, a ‘science plan’, an ‘Office for Science and Technology Strategy,’ ‘grand challenges’, industrial strategies, ‘sector deals’, ARIA and 2 re-organisations of UKRI.

The ‘Shared Prosperity Fund’ represents a 43% cut compared to previous funding, harming regions which were already in desperate need of investment. Concentration on GSE excludes the rest of the UK from growth, prosperity & opportunity science provides.

The number 1 issue for UK based scientists and researchers right now is participation in the European Union’s Horizon Funding programme.  Losing access to Horizon would be a disaster for the UK’s leading researchers who’ve already lost collaborative opportunities.

The Government claimed to have a ‘Plan B’ for Horizon Europe. But after years of chaos and broken promises, we had the (now ex) Science Minister lobbying his own Government on Twitter to try and get the Treasury to properly fund a ‘Plan B’ alternative.

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