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发布时间:2020-02-24 16:50:32
There’s a hair care advert that says

“There’s more to life than hair… but it’s a good place to start.” I have been pondering the science equivalent in recent weeks. There surely is more to life than science. But, my goodness, it’s a good place to start. This very week, in 1986, British scientists were so worried about the fate of science in this country that they placed a full page ad in the Times calling on the public to “ask your Member of Parliament to help save British science before it is too late”. The advert was paid for by contributions from 1,500 scientists across the country, long before the notion of crowdsourcing. This extraordinary uprising was prompted by a dire situation. The advert spoke of “science in crisis”, “opportunities missed”, “scientists emigrate”, “whole areas of research in jeopardy”.

In a time of swingeing cuts to universities and a falling science budget, scientists felt they needed a voice to stand up for science in parliament. The pressure group Save British Science was founded, later renamed the Campaign for Science and Engineering, and we have strived 福彩3d福彩图谜总汇牛彩网 to provide that voice ever since. So was science saved? Does it still need saving?Science is vital if Britain is to prosper – make sure your MP knows that Read moreIn some ways, UK science and engineering are in rude health; a spacewalking British astronaut

, another Nobel prize in chemistry, scientists on primetime TV. But while the remarkable achievements

of a few capture our imaginations, there is a quiet army of many thousands throughout the UK searching, investigating, inventing for our futures. It is these people who rely on the government, whether they’re forecasting rainfall in developing co

untries at the Met Office

or pipetting invisible pellets of HIV in a university Category 3 containment laboratory. Th

e government funds research through all manner of bodies

and d

epartments, across all imaginable disciplines. More money, more experiments, in short.Although the government’s science budget fell in the 1980s, it rallied through the 1990s and early 2000s. In recent years, s

cience has been loudly championed by the chancellor and the science budget has been afforded relative protection during a long and deep recession. But science and engineering are not just funded by the “science budget”, but by research budgets across all government departments –

defence, energy, climate change or health – and here they have been hit hard. In fact, total government spend on science, engineering and technology is now almost as low as it was in 1986.I can sympathise with the difficult job of making large b

udget reductions, and I can see why cutting a research budget is tempting. Will anyone notice? But research solves expensive problems, finds smarter ways of doing things, actually creates money and reaps rewards for us all. And when areas of science are cut, it takes a very long time to recover. From nuclear R