UCU Supports Science is Vital – you can too

One of the decisions taken at the October meeting of the HEC was to support the ‘Science is Vital’ initiative. The video below shows Ben Goldacre and why he supports the campaign. Our union does too, so we would ask branches to take part in the activity mentioned below and ensure science is safeguarded for future generations. Below, there is an e-mail from the chair of the campaign asking for everyone to get behind it and giving more details of how you can be more involved.

Dr Jennifer Rohn, Chair, Science is Vital who is a Principal Research Associate at University College London has written to all the supporters of the campaign to say:
Science is Vital needs your help. Funding for science and engineering in the UK is once again under serious threat, and we are asking our supporters to help ensure that our new campaign makes as much impact as possible on the government as it prepares for the Comprehensive Spending Review in November.

If you want to help, here’s what you can do. If you want to find out more, see below.

– Send a postcard to George Osborne telling him why science is vital to you at http://scienceisvital.org.uk/postcard
– Come to our rally in London on 26 October – tickets available here – attend a local party or watch the live-stream
– Spread the word – forward this email to friends and family (including non-scientists), and if you use social media (#scienceisvital), share our campaign page: http://scienceisvital.org.uk/as-vital-as-ever

The background
Back in 2010, when you first signed our petition, you helped us to fight off the threat of cuts and secure a frozen ring-fenced budget for science. It has been a tough five years. Inflation has eroded that settlement and the UK’s public investment in science has declined to 0.44% of GDP, the lowest of any G8 country. The UK is pulling out of recession now, but instead of using this opportunity to reverse the decline and finally invest in science, the government has actually asked the research councils to model cuts of 25 to 40%. That would be a disaster for UK science. If we are to prevent these cuts from happening, we need as many people as possible to tell the government that they still believe science is vital!
You can make a difference by supporting the campaign. Here’s how:
– Send a message to George Osborne through our postcard campaign. Tell the Chancellor why science is vital to you personally. It’s free and it’s easy – you can submit your message (and an image if you have one) through our online form: http://scienceisvital.org.uk/postcard and we’ll print and deliver it to HM Treasury. Be funny or be serious, but above all be passionate. Once you’ve done so, share your postcard photo on social media and encourage your contacts to submit one too!
– Come to our rally at Conway Hall in central London from 7-9 PM on 26 October (tickets available here), or attend a local party to watch the live-stream. Featuring a mix of inspirational speakers from the worlds of science, policy, economics, comedy, patient advocacy and the media, this high-energy event will celebrate science and demand that the government set out a positive plan for investment. Confirmed speakers include Jim Al-Khalili, Helen Arney, Simon Singh, Julian Huppert, Adam Rutherford, Robin Ince, Sue Duncombe, Greg Foot, James Wilsdon, Lucie Green, Mark Miodownik, Naomi Weir, and Uta Frith.
– Above all, spread the word! Forward this email to friends and family (including non-scientists), and if you use social media, share our campaign page (http://scienceisvital.org.uk/as-vital-as-ever/). #scienceisvital
Together, we must tell the government Science is Vital!
PS. Please also think about joining the Campaign for Science and Engineering, a prominent and professional organisation dedicated to raising the political profile of science and engineering in the UK.