Every so often a motion comes to conference which strikes a chord with you, a motion that you feel personally attached to. In the Policy for Science and Research I found that policy.
In the news there is a lot of talk about how to kick start economic growth, to rebuild the economy and to boost jobs in the UK. However, a lot of infrastructure projects such as the home building and high speed rail projects, while they will provide the immediate jump that is needed to get things moving again, do not set us up for the long term. This motion is looking to do just that, to help provide the UK with an economy for the future.
The main gist of the motion was to look at STEM subjects and scientific research. Starting in primary school through to post graduate research and beyond. I spoke in favour of this motion, drawing on my own personal experience, about how difficult it is to continue to study to postgraduate levels without a source of funding, hence the need for a postgraduate loan. But going further to encourage the development of scientific careers that are well paid, and provide good employment prospects, not the current year by year postdocs that currently exist.
We should also note that when we are looking to build a future economy it is impossible to predict exactly where the next technological leap will come from. No one could have predicted the uses for the internet, or for lasers. And it should not be up to politicians to decide what money is spent where. We need to let blue-skies thinking happen, and invest in all areas of scientific advancement.
Read the full policy paper here