Latest Channel 4 News:
Row over Malaysian state's coins
'Four shot at abandoned mine shaft'
Rain fails to stop Moscow wildfires
Cancer blow for identical twins
Need for Afghan progress 'signs'

Science cuts 'could hit economy'

Source PA News

Updated on 23 March 2010

Failing to invest more in science could have devastating effects on the economy in years to come, a committee of MPs has warned.

Science should be one area that is spared the axe as ministers search for ways to cut costs, said a report from the Science and Technology Select Committee.

A lack of investment in science was out of kilter with the Government's policy of encouraging innovation in money spinning technologies, it was claimed.

Yet the December 2009 Pre-Budget Report announced that £600 million would be slashed from higher education and science research budgets by 2012-13.

The MPs called for an increase in science spending in Wednesday's Budget.

Phil Willis MP, who chairs the committee, said: "The Government's policy ambitions are at odds with its actions. On the one hand it champions supporting business investment in research and development, while on the other it announces cuts which threaten the very science base that underpins such businesses.

"We hope that the Budget will contain good news for science funding. Anything less has potentially devastating consequences for science in the UK."

The impression that British science is suffering from cuts was likely to drive leading academics away from the UK, said the report. There was also a risk of science becoming less attractive to students making higher education choices. Some of the brightest and best talents might be lost from Britain's science institutions, the MPs warned.

The committee recommended that teaching funding for Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects should reflect the high cost of running science departments.

Some areas of science were in danger of being undervalued because of the pressure on scientists to demonstrate the economic impact of their work, the report pointed out.

These news feeds are provided by an independent third party and Channel 4 is not responsible or liable to you for the same.

Send this article by email

Watch the Latest Channel 4 News

Watch Channel 4 News when you want

Latest Business & Money news

More News blogs

View RSS feed

Faisal Islam on Twitter

How to tweet

How and why to follow the Channel 4 News family on Twitter.

Most watched


Find out which reports and videos are getting people clicking online.

Channel 4 © 2010. Channel 4 is not responsible for the content of external websites.