Volume 90 Issue 21 | p. 24 | Concentrates
Issue Date: May 21, 2012

U.K. Scientists Protest Funding Strategy

Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: protest, British science, funding, EPSRC, U.K.

Protesting how the U.K.’s main funding agency for chemists is divvying up its budget, about 100 researchers took to the streets of London last week. They staged a funeral procession with a vintage horse-drawn hearse and a casket laden with flowers arranged to spell “science.” Calling themselves Science for the Future, the group led the procession from Westminster, the U.K.’s seat of government, to 10 Downing St., the prime minister’s residence. The root of the unrest, which has included petitions and letters over the past year, is funding decisions by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The agency is giving higher priority to research in areas with foreseeable applications rather than open-ended science and will decrease funding for Ph.D. students. Imperial College London’s Anthony Barrett, who is a leader of the protest movement, has called EPSRC’s strategy “misguided” and “the death of British science.” In response, the funding agency issued a statement saying, “EPSRC is committed to ensuring that the U.K. continues to have an enviable international research reputation, punching above its weight in quality, and maximizing the societal and economic benefits of what we invest in.”

 
Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
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