Dear Mr Lazarowicz
The Science is Vital [http://scienceisvital.org.uk/] coalition, along with the Campaign for Science and Engineering [http://www.sciencecampaign.org.uk], are calling upon the Government to set out a supportive strategy, including public investment goals in step with economic growth.
My job at The University of Edinburgh is to nurture the future generations of physicists and I would like to share my professional perspective with you.
If the investment in physics research is cut, the experts will follow the funding abroad and take the next generation of physicists with them. We know this because it has happened before. Many of my contemporaries left the country in the brain drain of the early and mid eighties. Margaret Thatcher’s cuts took a whole generation of physicists away from our institutions and made them unavailable to our young people. The world-class researchers who left in the 1980s have only just started to return – several of them live in your constituency - and they attract the very best students to the UK. These young researchers move to the UK to take advantage of the expertise that is here.
If the UK withdraws funding from the big fundamental science projects, it will lose the current generation AND the next generation for small, short-term ‘savings’ that will quickly result in a loss of expertise and a very big loss of GDP. It is estimated that a cut of £1bn in science investment (approximately 20%) will result in a loss of £10bn to GDP. As Sir Patrick Moore (a supporter of Science is Vital) says: “If we cut funds for science we’ll be shooting ourselves in the foot.”
Without investment in science research the UK risks its international reputation, its market share of high-tech manufacturing and services, the ability to respond to urgent and long-term national scientific challenges and the economic recovery will falter.
• sign EDM 767 – Science is Vital (http://bit.ly/edm767)
• sign the Science is Vital petition – (http://scienceisvital.org.uk/sign-the-petition)
• attend a lobby in Parliament on 12 October (15.30, Committee Room 10).
I look forward to hearing from you.