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New PM Liz Truss must invest in physics research, says IOP

5 September 2022

Incoming government urged to appoint a Science Minister without delay to help tackle pressing challenges such as the energy crisis.

With the Conservative leadership contest concluding today, Liz Truss as the new Prime Minister is facing multiple challenges that must be addressed right away.

Commenting, Institute of Physics (IOP) Group Chief Executive Officer, Tom Grinyer, said: “As well as addressing the real and immediate challenges facing so many, to ensure the country’s long-term health and prosperity it is crucial that the PM prioritises and shows leadership in science as a solution to the energy crisis from day one. This crisis shows the need for new technologies to provide a range of energy sources and storage methods.

“Long-term investment in science research is essential to ensure new technologies emerge to meet the challenges we face.

“If the new government wants to maintain the UK’s position as a world leader in research, development and innovation (RDI) it needs not only a dramatic increase in public research and development (R&D) spending, but also a dedicated Science Minister to work with the scientific community and unlock the transformative potential of our world class science and innovation base.

“The IOP urges the new Prime Minister to appoint a Science Minister to lead this work today.

“This needs to be underpinned by concerted action to grapple with longstanding shortages of specialist physics teachers that deprive our young people from all backgrounds of access to a high-quality physics education that ensures a pipeline of qualified students and science workforce.”