Royal Society response to Labour’s Plan for Science

11 August 2014

The Royal Society has responded to the consultation on Labour’s Plan for Science. The response is based on reports and analyses previously carried out by the Society, and on work being prepared for future spending reviews.

The Society believes that science and innovation are crucial to the future social and economic prosperity of the UK, as outlined in the statement Fuelling prosperity published jointly by the UK national academies. A long-term plan for science and innovation, building on and supporting the already strong system in place, is necessary, as decisions made today will have a long-lasting impact on the future prosperity of the UK.

In the response, the Society argues that a successful plan for science and innovation should:

  • Build on the existing strengths of the UK science system.
  • Provide a flexible long-term framework that enables the UK to collaborate and compete internationally.
  • Be broad in scope to encompass the UK’s richly diverse and integrated science and innovation system.
  • Have excellence as the primary guiding principle for decision making in research investment.
  • Assign Government an active role in encouraging business investment in research.
  • Promote the use of evidence in policy-making, both nationally and internationally.
  • Include concrete proposals to develop, retain and attract the skilled individuals the UK will need.

The Royal Society is willing to comment on the plans and proposals of the other main political parties.