Union Chief Faults U.K. On Spending

PALMERSTON NORTH, N.Z.—The head of the major trade union representing scientists and technologists in Britain has denounced "the failure of successive British governments, particularly the present Conservative administration, to provide sufficient funds for science and for R&D, or to take a positive lead in drawing up a national strategy for science."

By | February 23, 1987

PALMERSTON NORTH, N.Z.—The head of the major trade union representing scientists and technologists in Britain has denounced "the failure of successive British governments, particularly the present Conservative administration, to provide sufficient funds for science and for R&D, or to take a positive lead in drawing up a national strategy for science."

Speaking at the ANZAAS Congress here last month, Clive Jenkins, general secretary of the Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial Staffs, said the situation was not much better in the rest of Europe.

"Europe has a considerable capacity for advanced research and has some outstanding centers of excellence," he said, "but it is falling way behind in the technology race, both in terms of production and application. The U.S.A. and Japan sell the European Economic Community three and five times more computer equipment and electrical goods, respectively, than they buy from it, and use between four and five times more silicon chips per head of population."

Jenkins said the advanced technology and electronics sector must grow, not only to provide jobs but also to ensure technological independence. European governments have tried to catch up by encouraging domestic companies to establish joint ventures with American and Japanese firms, he said, but they run the risk of losing their indigenous technology and winding up with only assembly and sales operations.

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