MPs take evidence on impact of spending cuts on science

03 February 2010

The Science and Technology Committee holds an oral evidence session in relation to its inquiry into the impact of spending cuts on science and scientific research. Watch live from 9.30am.



  • Lord Broers, House of Lords Science and Technology Committee
  • Professor Brian Cox, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester
  • Nick Dusic, Director, Campaign for Science and Engineering


  • Iain Gray, Chief Executive, Technology Strategy Board
  • Dr Tony Peatfield, Director of Corporate Affairs, Medical Research Council
  • Professor Michael Sterling, Chair, Science and Technology Facilities Council
  • Professor Alan Thorpe, Chair, Research Councils UK

With concerns growing about the effects of cuts in public spending on science, engineering and technology (SET), the Science and Technology Committee is examining the impact of spending cuts on SET and scientific research.

The Committee's inquiry is looking at:

  • the process for deciding where to make cuts in SET spending
  • what evidence there is on the feasibility or effectiveness of estimating the economic impact of research, both from a historical perspective (for QR funding) and looking to the future (for Research Council grants)
  • the differential effect of cuts on demand-led and research institutions
  • the implications and effects of the announced STFC budget cuts
  • the scope of the STFC review announced on 16 December and currently underway
  • the operation and definition of the science budget ring-fence, and consideration of whether there should be a similar ring-fence for the Higher Education Funding Council for England research budget and departmental research budgets
  • whether the Government is achieving the objectives it set out in the 'Science and innovation investment framework 2004-2014: next steps', including, for example, making progress on the supply of high quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates to achieve its overall ambitions for UK science and innovation
  • whether the extra student support, which the Government announced on 20 July 2009 for 10,000 higher education places, delivered students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses
  • the effect of HEFCE cuts on the 'unit of funding' for STEM students

Image: iStockphoto

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