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What does the general election 2017 mean for scientific research?

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Lets take a look at what each party say they will do for Scientific Research.

  • The Labour manifesto was the commitment to increase spending on research and development (R&D) to the OECD recommendation of 3 per cent of GDP by 2030.
  • If conservatives choose to restrict freedom of movement, the EU would likely respond by suspending the UK’s full access to the EU and European Commission grants program in the same way that it did Switzerland’s after a referendum there restricted freedom of movement in 2014.
  • Conservative manifesto includes seemingly contradictory statements promising to increase the number of international researchers in the UK, but also to make it harder for international students to get visas to study in the UK.

One criticism of the Labour manifesto is that it perhaps doesn’t fully recognise the link between economic success and R&D in the same way that the Conservative one does, which states that “long term prosperity depends on science, technology and innovation”.

Nonetheless, the commitment to the creation of a science innovation fund for specific sectors is probably a good idea, and might bridge the gap between discovery and commercialisation which in the UK seems somewhat wider than elsewhere.

Lets hope that scientific research is push forward and the UK can become a leader in this field.

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