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Devolved Elections 2011: Letter to Leaders

18 Apr 2011

CaSE wrote to the leaders of the main political parties in each devolved nation, asking them to set out their policies for science and engineering in advance of the election.

Read the responses below:

CaSE’s Letter to Leaders:

Science and engineering are crucial to our nation’s future. In the run-up to the devolved elections, we encourage you to articulate your party’s policies on science and engineering in your publications and speeches. The public are increasingly interested in science and engineering, not least because of the vital role that these sectors should play in the economic recovery. By the time people cast their vote they need to know how each party would respond to the challenges facing science and engineering.

Prior to the election we would like to publicise a written response from your party regarding its science and engineering policies, centred around the following challenges:

1. Science, Engineering & Policy-Making

What commitments will your party make to ensure that science and engineering advice is at the heart of evidence-based policy making within government? What are your plans for setting out a long-term strategy for science and engineering? Will you commit to appointing a dedicated Science Minister, and recommit to a Chief Scientific Advisor?

2. Education

How will your party make sure that all children have access to a stimulating education in science and mathematics taught by appropriately qualified teachers? How will you sustainably fund science and engineering courses in universities?

3. Science and Engineering Research

What will your party do to ensure that excellent researchers from around the world see universities and research institutes as the most attractive place to base their work?

4. Innovation and Growth

What will your party do to provide an environment that encourages industries based on science and engineering, and that encourages higher levels of private-sector investment in research and development?

We would be delighted to work with your party as your science and engineering policies are developed and communicated. Please find enclosed a briefing that offers recommendations, with the rationale provided in the accompanying UK-wide background paper.

We have already published several articles on our website on science and engineering issues, some from parliamentary candidates. We also enclose Science , Engineering and the Devolved Elections 2011, which describes the evidence for investing in these sectors as part of the economic recovery.

We look forward to receiving your response prior to the Election. As soon as we receive it we will publish it on our website. We would very much appreciate a response by April 18th at the latest, as we will be sending hard copies of all the responses to our members and collaborators on the next day.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Hugh Griffiths FREng, Chair

Imran Khan, Director