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Royal Society says UK science spending halved

D funding has fallen by more than half in fifteen years.

Robert Walgate(walgate@scienceanalysed.com)

A report published by the Royal Society — the premier British scientific academy — today, points out that research and development expenditure by UK government departments (excluding the National Health Service and Ministry of Defence) is projected to be 52% lower, in real terms, in 2001–2002 than it was in 1986–1987.

The UK spent 1.8% of its gross domestic product on research and development in 1997, the most recent year for which figures are available.

"This figure means the UK is fifth among the G7 nations and is too low for a country trying to compete globally in a knowledge-driven economy," said Sir Aaron Klug, President of the Royal Society. "The proportion of UK research and development funded by Government fell from 35.4% in 1988 to 30.8% in 1997, and we now lag behind every other G7 country except Japan in this respect."

"The [UK] Spending Review settlements [to...

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