Spanish politicians, facing a general election in coming weeks, have pledged their support for a public statement made by 11 renowned Spanish scientists who called on political parties to sign up to a “state pact” on science.

In a comprehensive document sponsored by the Spanish Society of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (SEBBM), the scientists last week (February 19) outlined specific steps to bring the country';s currently underfunded research and development community up to speed with its economic position.

Over the past 25 years, the country has undergone significant economic progress without a proportional investment in research, say the signatories, including SEBBM president, Jesús Ávila, and Miguel Beato, director of Barcelona';s Center for Genomic Regulation.

“The state research budget has stagnated over the last 10 years,” says the report, which proposes sustained annual increases in research and development budgets so that it reaches 2% of gross domestic product by 2010,...

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