Two letters in yesterday’s Times called on the Government to avoid cuts to science and the universities in the forthcoming emergency budget. According to CaSE, the letters were signed by business leaders representing a third of total industry spending on science – twice government investment levels. The call was also supported by Professor Brian Cox OBE, who called potential cuts to science “economic and cultural idiocy”. One area that has already suffered massive cuts, back in the 2007 STFC crisis, was in the news on the same day as agencies stated they had contingency plans in place for certain aspects of potential space weather problems as the Sun moves to an activity cycle maximum in 2013.
NASA has also been attempting to boost its own funds by putting out a call for sponsorship of ‘citizen inventor’ competitions it is to set as part of the Centennial Challenges program. The agency provides the prizes and the challenges, but requires that someone else funds the running of the competitions.