Science is vital, but is it saved?

October 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

So, the Comprehensive Spending Review is out – and it seems that the past month’s campaigning has made an impact, with George Osborne pretty much name-checking Science is Vital: “Britain is a world leader in scientific research, and this is vital to our future economic success.”

So what has been going on in the past month? My guest post on The Times’ Eureka Daily blog discusses the campaign, and why I believe that science is vital. From signing the petition, which now has over 35,000 signatures, to attending the rally and lobbying Parliament, I wanted to get my voice heard. Before I entered my current guise as a journalist in training, I too was a scientist – a bona fide lab coat-wearing, Bunsen-burning scientist – and the proposed cuts to funding in the UK shocked me.

During the last month Dr Jenny Rohn, a cell biologist at UCL decided to announce “No more Dr Nice Guy” and began rallying the troops. The geek troops. Researchers, policy makers, science communicators and even ‘normal people’ signed the petition, over 2000 attended the mass meeting outside the Treasury (I’m sure many more would have come if they’d been told about Dr Evan Harris’ singing) and a lobby on Parliament ended with 110 MPs signing the EDM to say that science funding shouldn’t be slashed. She has every reason to be proud of her achievements, and has written about exactly what the campaign has meant to her.

Throughout the events there were many excellent speakers and champions of the cause, each putting forward intelligent and insightful political, scientific and even personalarguments about why science is vital.

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