As the UK plans to increase its investment in scientific research, Sarah Main from the nonprofit Campaign for Science and Engineering argues at the Guardian that simultaneous investment in education is also needed.
She adds that lawmakers in the UK have called for increasing research and development funding to reach 2.4 percent of GDP by 2027. This, the Campaign for Science and Engineering has estimated, would be a near doubling of the amount spent on R&D, going from £33 billion ($43 billion) to £65 billion ($85 billion) in 10 years. Main notes that £7 billion in public funds have already been committed, but that additional monies from private sources would also be needed. "If achieved, this would represent the most significant shift in the contribution of science and innovation to our economy in decades," she writes.
However, Main adds that this shift could also leave people behind. To avoid that, she suggests that 10-year education push is also needed. "This would avoid the widening of perceived or real divisions and may make it more likely that the benefits of research and innovation are felt across society," she says.