A brief introduction to Purse String Theory
In September 2010, UK scientists breathed a sigh of relief when the government froze science spending at £4.6bn. With current rates of inflation, that’s a cut of 15% in real terms. For a growth agenda that aims to build industry from science, is this enough? Purse String Theory probes the issues around science policy and funding, and measures the impact of this evolving landscape on scientists and industry. See our first post for more about how we do this.
In 2009 I graduated from UCL with a degree in biochemical engineering. Having spent time working with leading researchers in some truly fantastic facilities, I learned the importance of funding to this community. Scientific endeavour is often cited as key to a prosperous economy but the global climate has meant that funding has never been in more jeopardy.
Having worked for a spell at the US National Science Foundation, I’ve become interested in how science funding is distributed – how it can encourage societally important research, but how it can also fetter science to political whim. I’m especially interested in how different countries are handling science funding through the economic crisis.
I’m a science journalist so fascinated by the idea of discovering new things that I think governments should fund research. I won’t stop saying this until I’m confident the UK government recognises the real value in science – and that means not just what we can commercialise.