Apparently the election in England has cost science 15 science-savy members of parliament. The latest issue of Nature (Volume 465 Number 7295 pp135) appeals to researchers to get involved with educating the new parliament.
Non-partisan organizations such as the Campaign for Science and Engineering in the UK (CaSE) and the Royal Society are well placed to make a broad appeal to the new parliament.In the run-up to the election, CaSE encouraged all parties to make their positions on science known, and in its aftermath the organization must work to inform a new government’s science policies. The Royal Society, meanwhile, has a long-running programme matching scientists with MPs that could be particularly useful in educating new politicians. That programme should be put into high gear while the society considers other ways to engage parliament. Other scientific societies should rally their memberships to get the word out to new parliamentarians about the value of science. A well orchestrated, non-partisan appeal early in the life of the parliament could leave a lasting impression.
And an early and enduring impression may be crucial to preserving Britain’s scientific enterprise. Faced with a soaring budget deficit, whoever forms the new government will have to impose deep cuts on public spending. Unless researchers act swiftly, science could end up at the front of the firing line.
Recent proposed cuts in philosophy in the UK are very scary. One can get the sense that philosophy is already at the front of the firing line.
Is there a comparable effort on behalf of humanities education? Should there be? To parliament or elsewhere? What do you think?