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expert reaction to general election being called to happen on 4 July 2024

Experts comment on Rishi Sunak calling a general election for the 4th July. 


Danielle Hamm, Director of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics said:

“The regulatory challenges associated with developments in biomedicine and AI are set to intensify as we continue to search for ways that innovation can better the health and wellbeing of our nation. We believe, any government wanting to harness the potential of science and technology will need to better anticipate and respond to the ethical challenges presented by them. We look forward to working with whomever is voted in, helping them to embed ethics more overtly into the policy development process, so that we all benefit.”


Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, said:

“The upcoming election provides the opportunity to build a thriving R&D landscape fit for the future. To achieve this, the next government must offer the certainty the research and innovation sector needs by creating a long-term strategy for science. 

“There are enormous challenges, and huge opportunities ahead, from achieving net zero to adopting transformative technologies like artificial intelligence. A thriving research sector is central to realising these ambitions. We also must invest in skills, reforming education and the visa system will be key to ensuring the UK continues to attract and develop the world-leading researchers it needs.”


Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s Chief Executive, said:

“The Tobacco and Vapes Bill is one of the most significant public health interventions in living memory. Smoking causes around 150 cases of cancer every day and places huge pressure on the NHS. 

“All parties must ensure this world-leading Bill is passed through Parliament before dissolution. Saving lives must transcend politics, and nothing would have a bigger impact on reducing the number of preventable deaths than ending smoking.”


Beth Thompson, Director of Strategy, Wellcome, said:

“The next government will have a huge opportunity to boost science and secure the UK’s role in transforming the future of human health.  Long-term funding, an immigration regime that can attract top talent, and world-class infrastructure will unlock R&D investment and maximise the impact of science for the UK’s economy and place in the world.”


Dr Alicia Greated, Executive Director, Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), said:

“This election is an exciting opportunity for the R&D sector to make an impact – an opportunity to embed support for R&D among policymakers, an opportunity to drive positive change and, most importantly, an opportunity to bring everybody with a stake in UK R&D into an exciting conversation about our shared future.

“During the imminent campaign period, and in party manifestos, we want to see a commitment from parties to: long term and sustainable R&D investment, unlock skills for a more research-intensive economy, build on and leverage regional strengths in R&D, drive business investment in R&D.”



Declared interests

The nature of this story means everyone quoted above could be perceived to have a stake in it. As such, our policy is not to ask for interests to be declared – instead, they are implicit in each person’s affiliation.


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