Royal Society response to Autumn statement

05 December 2012

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has today announced an additional £600million of capital investment in science over the next three years

Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society has welcomed the additional cash which builds on George Osborne’s recent speech at the Royal Society where the Chancellor celebrated British Science and committed to doing more to back it.

Paul Nurse said: “Innovation is the key to sustainable economic growth for the UK and science is the raw material of innovation.  The Chancellor clearly understands this and his ongoing commitment to investing in science, despite the difficult financial circumstances, is very welcome.  We have some way to go to match the public and private investment levels in research and development of some of our competitor economies but we have the advantage of already being truly world class in many areas of science.  The announcement today of an additional £600 million of capital investment will hopefully help ensure that our world leading scientists have world leading facilities with which to work.

“In a speech at the Royal Society last month the Chancellor identified eight areas where he believes the UK already has an edge and these are undoubtedly areas where we are strong and have the potential for application.  However, we must also make sure that we maintain capital and other support across a broad range of science.  We must not narrow our focus too much and risk sacrificing the ideas that will create growth decades from now.”