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Our History

CaSE was launched in March 2005, evolving out of its predecessor Save British Science. A press release announcing the name change is available on the left.

SBS was founded in 1986, following the placement of an advertisement in The Times newspaper. The idea came from a small group of university scientists brought together by a common concern about the difficulties they were facing in obtaining the funds for first class research.

The original plan was simply to buy a half-page adverisement in The Times to make the point, and the request for funds was spread via friends and colleagues in other universities. The response was overwhelming. Within a few weeks about 1500 contributors, including over 100 Fellows of the Royal Society and most of the British Nobel prize winners, had sent more than twice the sum needed. The advertisement appeared on 13th January 1986, and the balance of the money raised was used to found the Society, taking as its name the title of the advertisement.

A newsletter was sent out to members the following December, and the first AGM was

held on 30th October 1987, with a distinguished lecture given by Sir James Lighthill, then the provost of UCL. SBS and CaSE have continued to hold distinguished lectures every year, a list of which is available in the 20th Anniversary Booklet, which can be downloaded using the link on the left.

The first full colour newsletter was produced in spring 1994 (an image appears in the Anniverary Booklet). SBS continued to campaign from its office in Oxford until 1998. That year the organisation went professional, taking on full time staff, and moved to its present location in Tavistock Square, London.

CaSE is now an established feature of the science and technology policy scene, supported among universities and the learned societies, and able to attract media attention. We are accepted by Government as an organisation able to speak for a wide section of the science and engineering community in a constructive but also critical and forceful manner. We are free to speak without the restraints felt by learned societies and similar bodies, and it is good for Government to know someone is watching closely.