Royal Society President responds to results of 2024 General Election

05 July 2024

Responding to the result of the UK General Election, Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, said: 
“As the UK’s independent academy for science, we look forward to working with the new UK government on the role science can play in creating opportunity and solving the big issues facing our society. 

“We welcome Labour’s manifesto commitment to invest long-term in R&D. Consistent policy and sustained, real terms investment over a longer time frame will drive innovation that can deliver productivity growth and address global challenges. 

“That vision must be combined with rapid action. The next Spending Review is a critical moment to realise these bold ambitions for our country.

“The Society’s own manifesto called for the UK to lead the G7 on R&D investment. This is essential to attract and retain the world-leading researchers and businesses that shape the modern world. 

“We need an international science strategy to forge closer collaborations with partners in Europe and beyond. The government must remove barriers to global scientific talent coming to the UK: our upfront visa costs are up to 17 times higher than the average of other leading science nations.

“A comprehensive review of the education system in England is needed to equip future generations with the breadth and depth of skills they, and the UK economy, need to thrive. Implementing a long-term plan for investment and reforming mathematical education are good places to start.

“Finally, to fulfil our net zero commitments by 2050, we need a roadmap to drive investment, scale-up and deployment of green technologies that can power our lives and transition us away from fossil fuels.

“We stand ready to convene our global network of eminent scientists to work in partnership with the government and help build an equitable, healthier and greener world for generations to come.”

Read more

Read more about the Royal Society’s priorities for the next government in our Manifesto for Science.