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UK Election Watch Roundup

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A selection of science-related stories about the forthcoming UK election.

“I think there is a massive danger that science — because it will not have political champions — will struggle to have its voice heard and to find its rightful place. A lot of good people are retiring or will lose their seats, and it is hard to see how they are going to be replaced.”

Phil Willis, the current chairman of Parliament’s Science and Technology Select Committee, is worried about the number of science-minded MPs who are (like him) retiring (Times).

“You look like a mad scientist!” screeched one schoolgirl. “That’s kind of the point,” he replied.

The Daily Telegraph profiles Michael Brooks, co-founder of the Science Party.

“There are some fine words about the importance of science to the economy in all three of the major party manifestos … This is good. But at the risk of sounding like a broken record, massive damage is being done right now to some of the exciting, attractive areas of science where the UK is genuinely a world leader.”

Jon Butterworth, a physicist at University College London, frets over physics funding cuts (New Scientist’s S Word blog).

“It is encouraging that so many of those likely to be taking seats in the next parliament have made a firm commitment to protect the system of student fees from further damage. It is particularly welcome to see so many senior figures and former ministers taking a clear stand on this issue.”

Aaron Porter, president-elect of the National Union of Students, comments on the fact that 1,000 prospective parliamentary candidates have signed his organisation’s pledge to oppose university tuition fee increases.


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