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Don't Let Politicians Forget the E Word


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Hugh Griffiths is chair of the executive committee of the Campaign for Science & Engineering (CaSE) and chair in intelligent radar systems at University College London

There has been much talk of the S Word, but the E word also needs to be firmly on the political agenda in the run-up to the election.

Science and engineering are tightly intertwined and depend on many of the same structures and principles - as do mathematics and other related subjects - typically dealt with under "science policy".

But it is important to recognise that there are specific issues for each area.

Last year, the Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Select Committee produced an excellent report on Engineering: Turning ideas into reality. The title was carefully chosen to reflect the nature of engineering itself.

This report recognised the enormous contribution that engineering makes to the UK and its economy, and argued that the government needs to develop structures and practices that allow it to take a more coherent approach to policy making in this area.

It recognised that the need to move out of recession presents a "once-in-a-generation" opportunity to restructure the economy on the strength of UK engineering.

From New Scientist
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