CaSE's new Assistant Director Daniel Rathbone takes a look back over his first month in the role

I’ve been at CaSE for a month now, joining on 14th January as Assistant Director, so I thought it would be a good time to offer some reflections on what I’ve learned so far and my ideas for the future.

I came to CaSE from the House of the Lords Science and Technology Committee. Working for the Committee meant that what I was working on was always guided by the Committee and its priorities and focus. So, one of the first things that struck me starting my new job at CaSE is the ability I have to shape policy positions and the freedom I have to decide what to do and when to do it– something I am really looking forward to making the most of!

I have spent much of the first month getting to know my new colleagues at CaSE and they are a great bunch – really dedicated to the work of creating an environment that allows Science and Engineering to thrive in the UK. They have helped me out as I’ve found my feet and made me feel welcome and that has allowed me to hit the ground running.

This has meant getting out and about a lot – meeting members, stakeholders and Government officials to find out all about what is going on in the world of science policy (the broad areas of which I am sure you can guess: Brexit, R&D investment, immigration). These meetings have been really useful for me to see the lie of the land and to start to establish important relationships that will be vital for me to start advancing the work of CaSE.

Back in the office I’ve been getting up to speed on all the great work that the team have been doing on R&D investment and the 2.4% target. My job over the coming weeks will be to put together a policy briefing on R&D investment and what the Government needs to be thinking about and doing to achieve its welcome target of 2.4% of GDP spent on R&D by 2027. This work will be important ahead of any Spending Review later this year, and CaSE will be continuing to make the case for how R&D investment can bring economic and societal benefits for the whole UK.

In my first couple of weeks I also had to pull together, with plenty of help from James Tooze, our Policy Officer, a submission to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on the effects of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit on science in the UK, at short notice. This was a good opportunity for me to read up on all the previous work CaSE has done on Brexit – and to see from the other side all the work that goes into putting an inquiry submission together!

All in all I’ve had a really enjoyable, if hectic, first month and I am really looking forward to getting even more stuck in the work of CaSE. And the way 2019 seems to be shaping up so far, I’m not sure its going to get any less hectic!

You can find out who else is in the CaSE team

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