Despite the UK currently going through a generational shift in R&D investment, public support for R&D remains broad but shallow. To sustain investment, we need a compelling vision for the UK’s future, with R&D at its heart.

The Discovery Decade project aims to forge a shared and stable vision that works for the R&D sector, for current and future Governments, and for a wider base of public supporters.

Our project has developed from widespread consultation with the R&D sector and we want to continue working with partners across the sector to explore three key areas:

  • Audiences - Comprehensively researching public attitudes to R&D, covering all disciplines, R&D sectors and parts of the UK
  • Messages - Prototyping language and themes that resonate with new supporters and exploring how R&D can achieve a stronger identity in public life
  • Activities - Promoting practical ideas and best practice, and catalysing a stronger R&D voice around high-profile places and moments

Our immediate objective is the development of an open access, 'gold standard' dataset on the public’s current relationship with R&D, across all disciplines, sectors and locations. This will help us understand who we’re reaching, who we’re not, and how we can do better as advocates for R&D.

The project is being led by Kim Shillinglaw as Project Chair and Ben Bleasdale as Project Director. We welcome the chance to work with others, so please do get in touch with Ben to discuss any area of the project in more detail and how you can be involved. We've also announced the Advisory Board to support the project.