Who pays the piper – is state science the murderer of invention?

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The Centre for Policy Studies is hosting a panel debate - "Who pays the piper – is state science the murderer of invention?" - on state science versus liberty at the 2014 Margaret Thatcher Lecture on Liberty, to be held at the Guildhall on Wednesday 18 June 2014.

The panel:

  • Chair: PROFESSOR TERENCE KEALEY – Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham
  • PROFESSOR MYLES ALLEN – Professor of Geosystem Science in the School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford University
  • BARONESS GREENFIELD – Neuroscientist and Chief Scientific Officer of Neuro-bio Ltd
  • PROFESSOR JONATHAN HASKEL – Prof. of Economics, Imperial College Business School
  • DR PAT MICHAELS – Cato Institute


  • Given that the state is the dominant sponsor of science in the UK, does this encourage scientists to second guess what the quangos and grant making bodies are likely to approve?
  • And does this in turn restrict innovation and ultimately freedom?

The conference is being held to mark the anniversary of the CPS, which was founded by Sir Keith Joseph and Margaret Thatcher 40 years ago this year.
Terence Kealey comments: “During the First World War the British state started to crowd out the private funding of research. During the Second World War the American state followed suit, and now most industrialised countries have copied the German and French models of state domination of research, particularly of academic and pure science. Contrary to myth, this domination has not shifted these countries' long term rates of economic growth, but it has moulded science in a quasi-monopolistic public sector mode. Is that a mistake?”

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