Blair to stress importance of science

03-11-2006

Blair to stress importance of science
Prime minister Tony Blair will argue that science is "crucial" to Britain's future, in a speech later today; according to his spokesman.

In the latest address to form part of the series of lectures being given by Mr Blair under the theme, Our Nation's Future, the prime minister is expected to emphasise the importance of scientific innovation in securing Britain's future economic success.

He will also argue the need to inspire a new generation of scientists to help drive forward technological advances and is expected to explore the need to make further progress in areas such as tackling climate change and fighting disease.

Reports claim that the prime minister will also stress the importance of fostering closer links between scientists and the UK's business community in order to ensure that the country is able to fully exploit the commercial potential of home-grown inventions.

Meanwhile, Mr Blair, who yesterday visited an Oxfordshire company which has become the first producer of vegetable oil to fuel vehicles, has spoken of his own passion for science in an interview ahead of today's speech.

The prime minister told the New Scientist journal that he was "very poor at science at school", but stressed that as a political leader he had been "really taken with the importance of science to the country's future".

"I think it is to the future of the British economy as important as economic stability almost, it is almost that important," explained Mr Blair.

"The future for the British economy is about science, it is about being at the cutting edge of the knowledge economy," he added.


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