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CaSE’s Guide for Engaging Politicians

Advocates must convey the public’s interest in R&D to secure long-term political support.

This guidance has been informed by CaSE’s nationally-representative polling of more than 20,000 UK adults and 14 focus groups. Our advice aims to help advocates convey the nature of public support for R&D, using key statistics from our research, to political decision makers at national, regional or local level.

Visit the Public Attitudes to R&D pages for the data behind our advice.

Five Facts politicians should hear

Key statistics that show target voters are supportive of R&D and investment

Download our summary

When engaging with politicians, we recommend that advocates:

Demonstrate to political decision-makers that R&D can help achieve their policy priorities
Use key statistics that show that target voters are supportive of R&D and investment
Frame R&D in the language each party uses, without undermining R&D's non-partisan status

Five Facts that politicians need to hear

The public think that…

Specific references for each statistic are provided, but for a broad reference, please use: CaSE Public Opinion polling 2022-23.

Strengthening public support for the future

Our research has shown that the public’s attitudes towards R&D are not fixed. At the end of our July 2022 survey, having seen a series of arguments in favour of R&D investment and spent 20 minutes thinking about the topic, 58% of those who had initially agreed with the statement “R&D should not be funded by taxpayers” thought the Government should either increase or maintain the amount of public money invested on R&D.

If we can broaden and deepen public support for R&D in the future, we have an opportunity to radically transform our advocacy and work with the public as partners in making our case to politicians. To achieve this, we need to nurture public appeal, demonstrate the relevance of R&D to changing political priorities, and adopt a clear set of language for descirbing what our sector does.

The Discovery Decade programme marks a starting point for this work, and we hope to continue driving this change across the sector in the years ahead.

Our Guide for Engaging the Public aims to help advocates broaden and deepen support for R&D