Back to blog

Shadow Science Minister accuses Government of politicising science

by AprilSix Proof

Shadow Science Minister Liam Byrne has accused the Government of meddling in science by concentrating research funding towards pet projects such as driverless cars. According to Byrne, these projects do not reflect scientists’ own research priorities.

In a Labour Conference speech, Byrne accused the Government of undermining the ‘Haldane principle, which asserts that the focus of research should be driven by researchers themselves, by directing finance towards innovations that interest Ministers, such as graphene and autonomous vehicles.

Responding to the speech in the Guardian, former Higher Education Policy Institute Director Liam Byrne argued that the ‘Eight Great Technologies’ the Coalition has funnelled money towards, were all identified as priorities by scientists themselves. He also questioned whether Byrne’s speech indicates that Labour might be considering withdrawing funding from Government priorities such as big data and advanced materials.

Comment piece from the Guardian here: