Take a quick look around you. Everything you see at some point in its conception or production will have had a scientist involved. You are included in this too, the understanding of your body’s physiology, development and even the thoughts you are thinking have been discovered by scientists. All the medical interventions you and those around you have encountered: down to scientists. STEM is such an important part of all of our lives because we are constantly and inescapably linked to the product of those in the STEM field’s labour. Understanding ourselves and the world around us as it changes is not only important but can add so much beauty and wonder to our lives.
Breakthroughs and new discoveries in STEM are happening all the time and communicating this science to the general public and creating a more scientifically literate population is vital for so many reasons. We can allow people the opportunity to learn about the world around them and help them make more informed decisions or encourage children to consider pursuing an interesting and worthwhile field which has more job variety than you could imagine.
STEM is related to so much, offers up a vast field of careers for so many people, and helps to make al our lives better, but unfortunately, STEM funding is not safe. We are all unfortunately aware of the large budget cuts to various sectors planned by our current government, and science is not getting off easy either. We currently only spend 0.44% of our GDP on publicly funded research and development, which is much less than other European countries, and is ridiculous really considering how important this is to every single one of our lives. Sharing what the STEM world does with everyone is equally as important too as without understanding it will never get that support it needs. We are in a position to be world leaders in new scientific breakthroughs that can make our lives better, and offer lots of jobs to young people who have been inspired to pursue a life in STEM. It really is important that we protect this, as we are all affected by scientific research, every single day.
‘Science is Vital’ feels the same, and is on a mission to change this. It is a grassroots organisation campaigning for an increase in total public expenditure on R&D from 0.5% to 0.8%. As part of this campaign they have asked people to write a postcard to George Osbourne telling him why science is vital to them. The postcard deadline is Nov 7th, but if it’s too late for you to send one, have a read of other peoples and see why they think science is vital, or listen to the brilliant speakers at their recent event here.
STEM is, and has been for centuries, an incredibly important part of all of our lives.
- Holly Palmer