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Science: Expenditure

Volume 506: debated on Tuesday 2 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much the Government has spent on promotion of the UK’s science base since 1997. (318147)

Government spending on promotion of the UK’s broad science base is widely distributed among the science-using Departments and a number of agencies and non-departmental public bodies, such as the research councils.

Within BIS alone (and formerly as DIUS and DTI), the Science and Society team spends a focused budget, drawn from the science budget allocation, on a number of key national activities. Budgets for this work have increased from around £1.25 million in 1997/98 to £17.4 million for the final year (2010/11) of the latest comprehensive spending review, reflecting both the sustained increases to the science budget and the increasing importance on public engagement and the relationship between science and society in the UK.

While BIS leads many Government activities, and is accountable to my right hon. and noble Friend the Minister of State for Science and Innovation, other Departments across Government directly promote either the science they fund, or the value of science in delivering their own objectives. For example, in January 2008 DCSF announced a £140 million strategy to educate the next generation of scientists and mathematicians, and provide more STEM teachers. This programme includes a significant science promotion element.