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Science and Engineering in the 2015 General Election

07 Apr 2015

CaSE has analysed the science and engineering policies of all the main political parties. Bringing together manifestos, speeches, letters from the party leaders, and blogs by parliamentary candidates, the analysis provides the most comprehensive view yet of what each party thinks about science and engineering.

The analysis finds significant differences between all the major parties in the key policy areas of investment, education and skills, and how they will use science and engineering in government. 

CaSE’s briefing received coverage in today’s Guardian election editorial on science.

However, despite highlighting the value of science and engineering, neither of the two parties likely to lead the next government has committed to investing more in this economically-vital area. Their reluctance leaves the parties open to criticism that they are missing a clear opportunity to invest for growth.

CaSE Acting Director, Naomi Weir said:

In an election debate dominated by the deficit, I’ve had to strain my ears to pick up on proposals to tackle stagnant productivity and boost the economy over the long-term. To deliver on their promises to the public and deal with the deficit, whoever moves in to number 10 will have to get serious about growth. And that means getting serious about science.

Research commissioned by CaSE and published last year, found that every pound of public investment in R&D boosts private sector productivity by 20p each year in perpetuity. This research builds on the strong and growing evidence that public investment in science and engineering yields high returns for both the economy and society.

In the run-up to the General Election, CaSE wrote to all the party leaders asking them to set out their policies for science and engineering, and we have published a summary of their responses. CaSE also invited parliamentary candidates to write blogs for the CaSE website setting out their personal views, and over 50 parliamentary candidates have had their blogs published.

Science policy in the 2015 General Election

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