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Dr Mark Downs CSci FRSB, chief executive of the Royal Society of Biology, today joined other science leaders in issuing strong calls for investment in science ahead of the forthcoming spending review, saying:

“It is critically important that the Government increases investment in research and the associated skills base to secure the best future for people and the economy.

"Past investment and focus has made the UK a global leader in science, with huge strength in the biosciences. We all benefit from this excellence which took decades to build but is vulnerable after half a decade of reducing expenditure and reduced investment.

"We know that the Government recognises the importance of science, so it is critical that it acts on this knowledge and invests now to ensure real research growth and to send a clear message to bright minds and private investors that the UK still remains the best place for them to do research.

“Public investment in science generates new jobs and economic growth year on year beyond the initial investment. Five years of failing to increase research expenditure to at least match inflation has wiped £1bn off the core research budget. When coupled with the often forgotten major cuts to the research spend of each Government Department, the underinvestment in UK science will inevitably lead to an erosion of our world renowned capability and output unless investment starts to grow again now.”

Read comments from other experts and Fellows of the Royal Society of Biology.