A remarkable feature of these recent cuts is the consortia of agreement. Here is a compilation of condemnation from the Great and the good of Global Britain. This now includes the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committees, The Royal Society, The Royal Society of Edinburgh, The Royal Society of Biology, The Academy of Medical Sciences, The Academy of Social Sciences, and the Development Studies Association.
The UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee condemned these and other cuts in. strongly worded letter to Boris Johnson (Prime Minister)
In the midst of a global pandemic, where we owe so much to science.. it would be paradoxical if science funding were cut. … I would appreciate your personal attention to resolving this urgent situationGreg Clark, Chair HoS Science and Technology Committee in a Letter to Boris Johnson.
See Press Release and Letter in this link.
The UK House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Followed suit this week with another strongly worded letter (follow link here).
The impact of these cuts will be widespread and will undermine international relationships and collaborations that have been built on these funds. This should be of concern to the Government, who only last week in the Integrated Review committed to “putting S&T at the heart of our alliances and partnerships worldwide”. We urge that you do everything possible to maintain funding for these activities.Lord Patel, Chair House of Lords Science and Technology Committee in a Letter to Boris Johnson
The Royal Society issued an explainer here.
Government actions undermine its ambitions for the UK to be a science superpowerRoyal Society Explainer
The Development Studies Association has issued a policy brief and a statement
The Royal Society of Edinburgh have also responded in a letter here
The decision to drastically cut funding will impede international progress in key science areas such as climate change, health, wellbeing, food/agriculture, engineering etc. on which many of our RSE Fellows, Corresponding Fellows and Young Academy of Scotland members lead (such as work addressing violence against women and girls across LMICs and COVID-19 research collaboration). These decisions will also seriously undermine our reputation as a trusted international partner.Royal Society of Edinburgh response to the ODA cuts
as has the Academy of Social Sciences here.
While cancellation of future projects says something about the UK’s priorities, cancellation of existing commitments says something even more profound about our international trustworthiness. With national and regional governments, the World Bank, various UN Committee, and wider civil societies, in the partner countries all involved in ..GCRF project partnerships, as well as leading universities across the world, the impact on our reputation will be both extensive and profound. Academy of Social Sciences response to the ODA cuts
The Royal Society of Biology has added its voice to the objections in a letter to Boris Johnson.
I share the dismay of the very many at the potentially truncated projects, ended jobs and dissolved knowledge networks as a result of cuts to the ODA budget. It is antithetic to the Government’s stated ambition to the build the global standing of UK research and innovation.Dr Mark Downs, Chief Executive, Royal Society of Biology
The Academy of Medical Sciences issued a strong statement that includes these words
we are now facing significant cuts to research funded by the Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget that will significantly affect live grants, halting new and potentially lifesaving research. These cuts will cause serious and lasting damage to international relationships and the UK’s reputation, both of which could take years to rebuild.
All of us working in research understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on the economic outlook and that difficult decisions must be made. But the pandemic has also demonstrated why investing in research is so important, and how UK science can step up to play its part on the global stage. Professor Dame Anne Johnson, President, Academy of Medical Sciences