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What amuses, annoys, concerns or otherwise interests me – Noodlemaz

Science is as vital as ever- fighting cuts again

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Science is Vital is a campaign group that was set up back in 2010, the last time UK science was threatened with big budget cuts.

What’s the problem?


It’s happening again, now – the Research Councils have been asked to predict what could happen if 20-40% cuts are imposed.

That is huge. Last time campaigning achieved a freeze, the ringfence or flat cash – no cuts, but after inflation takes its toll, science funding has still decreased over time, to the point we’re now last in the G8.

Head over to scienceogram to interact with these numbers more fully and see how little we spend on things like preventing cancer, heart disease and stroke – currently the 3 biggest disease killers.

How can I help?

  1. Send George Osborne a post card!

We’ve set up this simple form so that you can tell him why you think it’s important to improve investment in science, rather than undermining it with cuts. Attach a photo of your choosing, or use one of the graphics provided – the more we can showcase UK science, scientists and supporters, the better!

Check out more postcards and accompanying text at the Guardian here and in the gallery that will be on the submission page shortly. Scroll down to view my postcard+text!

2. Join in with the Rally on Monday 26th October!

We’re having an event in London (get a ticket if you’re local!) but will be livestreaming it – tech permitting – and there will be satellite events around the country so you could also attend a local rally. It’s meant to be fun, as well as bringing a lot of people physically together to help make the point that science needs continued support.

So far we’ve got definite confirmation from York, Newcastle, Southampton, Glasgow and others. If you can come to Conway Hall in London, consider going for some sciencey fancy dress – it’ll make a splash and look fantastic!

Speakers will include:

Jim Al-Khalili, Helen Arney, Simon Singh, Julian Huppert, Adam Rutherford, Robin Ince, Sue Duncombe, Greg Foot, James Wilsdon, Lucie Green, Mark Miodownik, Naomi Weir, and Uta Frith


Dear George,

Why are we so far behind the other G8 countries in science funding? It’s not good enough to say “we do well with what we’ve got” – we have to invest!

Scientists are struggling to find work here. Families are split apart. We’re losing interest from overseas students and professionals.

We can do even better than we already are, but we need the cash. We cannot survive more budget cuts – great scientists are losing out on grant funding every day. It’s ruining UK science & it’s vital!

– Dr Marianne Baker


Join us to make sure the government knows what we think before the November spending review!

Personal view

I may have left the lab but I still work with scientists and medics and many of my friends are still directly involved in research & development.

I can see first hand the impact that increasingly limited grant funding is having (I know my own job and many like it will be first to the chopping block if there are more cutbacks…), people are constantly stressed, which has knock-on effects on team morale and personal motivation. Restrictions and criteria for grant applications are becoming increasingly bizarre and inaccessible – so many great projects and people are not receiving the funding they need.

The UK has been and is a great place to do science. But if we fail to invest in better infrastructure, in our scientists – both established and early career and all in between – it will no longer be so. We must fight for our funding.


Author: noodlemaz

I prefer to think of myself as a realist rather than a pessimist, but perhaps that's just optimistic. Honest, atheist, scientist, feminist.

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