Lord Heseltine, the former Deputy Prime Minister, used the 2012 CaSE Annual Lecture to call for science to help drive the UK’s economic growth.

Heseltine – who served in the Cabinet under Margaret Thatcher and John Major, and ultimately became Deputy Prime Minister – recently published his report ‘No Stone Unturned‘. The report, commissioned by George Osborne and Vince Cable, makes 89 recommendations for getting the UK back on the path to prosperity.

The full text of the lecture is available here, and a video recording is available in two parts here (1) and here (2). The event was hosted at the Science Museum, and kindly sponsored by Airbus and EADS. Over 300 CaSE members, supporters, and guests were in attendance for the speech and discussion, as well as a reception in the Museum’s Wellcome Wing.

Lord Heseltine said:

“The emergence of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa as booming economies … has been driven less by political factors than by scientific ones.”

“And so as the power of science opens new doors and turns the world into one market place, our need to stay on top of our game becomes more and more vital as ever more people compete for our share of the global cake.”

He also discussed CaSE and Nesta’s recent 4Growth report, saying that it is “an important and illuminating contribution to the debate on industrial strategy”.

This year’s lecture was actually the second time Heseltine spoke for CaSE, with the first being in 1989 when he discussed “Paying for Science” with Save British Science, as we were then known. You can also read the text of the 1989 speech.

CaSE’s director, Imran Khan, commented:

“Lord Heseltine is right to recognise the role that UK science and engineering can play in our path back to prosperity.”

“We’re grateful to him for discussing the part that our sector can play – and for highlighting our argument that the revenue from the forthcoming 4G spectrum auction should be reinvested back into science and technology.”

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