In a letter published in today's Financial Times under the headline 'Humanities and social sciences are vital to our modern global nation', Professor Lord Stern of Brentford, President of the British Academy responds to this week's Autumn Statement.
The British Academy welcomes the government’s recognition of the growing gap between the UK’s investment in research and innovation with a renewed commitment to a major new industrial strategy, including a £2bn increase in research and development per year by 2020/21.
Alongside this increase for research and development, the creation of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) proposed by the government in the Higher Education and Research Bill, has the potential to strengthen the impact of our research by bringing together research and innovation, business and academia, bringing a stronger strategic perspective and a voice for future research and innovation in the UK.
In the letter, Lord Stern said: “It is essential that all parties recognise the need to ensure this new investment also strengthens our crucial service sectors – now accounting for some 80% of UK GDP – which depend so heavily on the knowledge, skills and creativity that come from social sciences and the humanities. Following the Brexit referendum, it is vital that we build the workforce of the future, underpinned by these skills, in order to remain a modern, bold and global nation.”