Don’t give up on the Tories?

Roger Highfield wrote a piece in the S Word highlighting the promise by Adam Afriyie (the shadow science minister) of major cuts to science whoever wins the election.

Afriyie’s response today is on the face of it pretty much an evasion of responsibility, with no hint that he sees science as important engine for economic recovery. But I see three glimmers of hope (oh what an optimist I can be).

  1. Afriyie says that he was talking about cuts Labour already plans, i.e. no extra Tory cuts (?).
  2. Maybe this will make Labour clarify exactly what their intentions are, and maybe help Lord Drayson make his case to the treasury to avoid returning us to the 1980’s in terms of science investment.
  3. What with this and this in the Sun today, and the excellent Eureka from @timesscience, it looks like someone high up in the Murdoch empire understands science. If the Tories win, maybe once they have finished trashing the BBC they’ll move on to saving science?

Ok, clutching at straws I know. But at least the people with science portfolios are engaging in a pre-election discussion (including of course the excellent Evan Harris). For many reasons science policy may be more central in the coming election than in any previous. This is a high stakes debate, but I think scientists have to accept it and get involved.

See also partly cool physics.

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About Jon Butterworth

UCL Physics prof, works on LHC, writes (books, Guardian Science and elsewhere). Citizen of England, UK, Europe & Nowhere, apparently.
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