"Science" by Kevan

Science Funding

The UK should spend at least 0.8% of GDP on scientific research and development1. 0.8% is the average amongst the G8 countries, and as of March 2015, the UK spends less than 0.5%2, one of the lowest in the G8.

Implement a favourable tax regime for private sector investment in scientific and technical research

Any data or research that is government funded will be required to be released under the Open Government License, ensuring that public funding equals public ownership. There will be an exception for government loans and innovation investment.

Compulsory Purchase in the Public Interest

Patents and other forms of IP are used and exercised for many globally important scientific and medical examples. Such protection is necessary for the organisations that produce the advancements, as they need to recoup the costs. A side effect, however, is that crucial cures and the like are subject to high costs and so spread slower than they perhaps could.

We will investigate a form of compulsory purchase aimed at important scientific advancements that would then place those advancements under an open license, encouraging wider use at lower cost.

Of huge importance to the investigation will be the need to establish a method of compensation that the scientific community can trust. Avoiding a chilling effect is essential - the compulsory purchase should be there to aid the adoption of advancements, not stifle research in the first place.

Encourage Diverse and Ambitious Scientific Research in Academia

Exploit the wide range of expertise in the full range of academic institutions by reducing the research councils emphasis on centralising research in a few large institutions.

Make research proposals fully anonymous during review to remove both intentional and unintentional bias due to the individual proposer or proposer’s institution.

Reduce the level of bureaucracy at the research councils in order to free up funding for more research.

Encourage open access to data and research information and existing results

Enforce open access of existing published journal papers - no paywalls.

Develop standardised open data and software infrastructure for reproducibility and artefacts of published results.

Facilitate/enforce the publication of negative or controversial outcomes and results to studies.

Investigate the possibility of using online communities to perform more robust and wide-ranging reviews of scientific research project proposals.

  1. As proposed by the Science is Vital campaign: 

  2. “UK research funding slumps below 0.5% GDP – putting us last in the G8”, The Guardian, March 13, 2015: