Science Museum Group Statement

04/06/2013

This morning, Ian Blatchford, Director and Chief Executive, Science Museum Group spoke at a press conference organised by the Science Media Centre and Campaign for Science and Engineering at the Wellcome Trust, London, on why the science budget be protected in the forthcoming Spending Review. 

Ian Blatchford, Director and Chief Executive of the Science Museum Group said,

"We welcome the Government's commitment to science and engineering and the recognition of its importance for boosting the economy.  The Science Museum Group plays a vital role in helping to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers to drive the economy,  showcase the best of British research for the British public and help them understand the complexities of modern research. However, for this success to be achieved, it is essential that the Government’s science policy is more joined up and that this is reflected in an on-going commitment to funding across the scientific community.   

In the past four years, we have dealt with a 25 per cent real terms cut in funding when the science base, funded by a different Government Department, has had to cope with a 10 per cent cut. We are investigating a range of options but if an additional 10 per cent cut is made when the spending review is announced at the end of this month, there would be little choice other than to close one of our museums, since our structural (year on year) deficit would rise from £2 million to £6 million. Cuts at this level will mean that we will again need to make savings across the whole Group, this includes the Science Museum in London and each of our sister museums in the north. I would rather have three world class museums than four mediocre museums.  I should add that charging is not on the agenda because Government policy precludes it.’

The other speakers were:  Sir Paul Nurse – President, Royal Society; John Tooke – President, Academy of Medical Science; Robin Jackson – Chief Executive, British Academy; Shar Nebhrajani – Chief Executive, AMRC and Sir John Parker  - RAENG and Anglo American.

Notes to Editors

About the Science Museum

As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum’s world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Welcoming over 3 million visitors a year, the Museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement.