A manifesto for science: building a more resilient and prosperous future

30 November 2023

Ahead of the next general election, the Royal Society’s manifesto for science sets out clear proposals for how the next government can build a more resilient and prosperous future. 

UK science produces enormous value for our society. We led the world in developing an effective COVID-19 vaccine, building on a strong base in biological sciences that had been cultivated over decades. From the steam engine to artificial intelligence, science and innovation have fuelled productivity, created countless jobs and turbocharged our economy in every part of the country. 

The next government must make long-term decisions that ensure the UK has a science and technology ecosystem in which fundamental research discoveries can provide the foundations to a more resilient and prosperous future. 

What the next government can achieve

Building a thriving R&D landscape fit for the future 

For the long-term future of the nation 

1. Develop a long-term plan for UK science  

2. Strive to lead the G7 in R&D intensity 

3. Develop an effective international science strategy 

In the first 100 days 

4. Reduce upfront visa costs for researchers in line with other leading science nations 

Securing a path to a net zero future 

In one parliamentary term 

5. Develop an evidence-led technology roadmap to guide net zero investment 

6. Enable immediate construction of energy storage infrastructure 

Developing skills fit for the future economy  

For the long-term future of the nation 

7. Restructure the secondary education system, introducing a broader and more balanced range of study 

In the first 100 days 

8. Reform study of mathematics and data education 

9. Ensure schools across the country have the funding necessary to offer Core Maths Qualifications, which provide important, everyday skills 

In one parliamentary term 

10. Guarantee that STEM teachers will have 35 hours of subject-specific CPD annually