Scienceogram UK

Making sense of science spending

UK science funding drops below 0.5% of GDP

A new analysis of government investment in research by Scienceogram for Science is Vital has found that UK investment in publicly funded research fell to less than 0.5% of GDP 2012. Not only does the decline in investment put us at the bottom of the G8 group of countries, but it’s less than any G8 country has invested in R&D in the last 20 years.

GERD financed by government as a fraction of GDP for the G8

This graph shows investment in research across the G8 since 1996, and is a stark illustration of the UK’s lacklustre international performance when it comes to investing in science. Having ranked near the bottom of the pack throughout, the decline since 2009 has taken the UK to unprecedented lows. This is the result of the steady erosion of the science budget by inflation after being frozen in cash terms in 2010, cuts in capital expenditure, and significant reductions in departmental spending on research.

The release of these figures coincides with the launch of Tell Them Science is Vital. Campaign group Science is Vital is asking supporters of science to contact their MPs and parliamentary candidates to let them know how important science is to them and their community. With a General Election looming and during British Science Week, this is a great time to make your voice heard. Visit to spread the word and get involved!

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