Science at Tory conference

Posted on October 5, 2010 by


David Willetts and George Osborne mentioned science and medical research in their speeches in Birmingham on Monday.

David Willetts talked about translating ideas into business:

There is no reason why the scientist doing the research should also have a head for business. We have to liberate our scientists from the idea they are just cogs in an economic machine and give them space to think and experiment. But then they need the entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into successful businesses. They in turn need affordable finance, lower taxes and skilled workers. And governments can help or hinder at every stage: we cannot bake the cake but we sure can help with the ingredients.

and developing the UK’s skills base:

Skilled workers are key..

George Osborne singled out medical research as one of the areas where investment could support growth in our economy:

“..we will give priority to spending that supports growth in our economy.

That means investment in the transport schemes, the medical research and the communications networks that deliver the greatest economic benefit.”

The FT reported this ahead of his speech as suggesting that medical research would be spared cuts but what Osborne actually said doesn’t really give us any details beyond the fact that he recognises the value of medical research in delivering economic benefits.

See Simon’s reflections here

Posted in: Policy