A passion for science and a boost for the economy

By: Peter Salkus | 29th February 2012
Peter Salkus, Teas & Development Engineer

Sir Paul Nurse, leading geneticist and Nobel laureate, spoke of his passion for science when he gave the recent Richard Dimbleby lecture on the BBC.

Sir Paul said: “The UK has a great advantage with a very strong life science research base, a unified health service and an active pharmaceutical industry. If all three work together we can carry out research which will not only improve our health services but help our economy. It is time to turn the NHS into a health care producer as well as a healthcare provider.”

He mentioned the need for greater collaboration between publicly funded research and private companies to help turn ‘discovery research’ into effective applications.

Sir Paul iterated many times how [good] science will help and drive the economy, and promote economic sustainability. But that a cultural shift is needed to recognise this crucial role that science will play and not just be seen as a drain on resources by the public, politicians and the Treasury.

From the science and discovery comes the engineering and manufacturing. Despite years of decline, the UK government believes that manufacturing will help get the country out of recession and boost economic growth. But while the government is keen to financially support the banking sector it seems reluctant to invest significantly in bolstering science and manufacturing in this country.

I think we need to get on Sir Paul’s bandwagon and get government and society to accept the importance of science in our culture and its ability to improve our economy and support sustainability.


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