Government spending on research brings crucial benefits
These are difficult times for the economy. Next month, the Government is set to announce the results of its recent Spending Review, looking at how much it is going to spend on each area of the UK’s economy.
Yesterday, at a meeting in Parliament, our chief executive Dr Harpal Kumar championed the crucial role of medical research in the UK. He was speaking at an All Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Research event about “Investing in medical research for the UK’s future”.
It was a great chance for Harpal to talk about the fantastic, life-saving medical and scientific research that’s going on in the UK, and how it’s vital that our Government maintains its spending on science.
Actress Angelina Jolie has had surgery to prevent breast cancer
The news today is full of reaction to US actress Angelina Jolie’s decision to have surgery to reduce her chances of breast cancer.
She made this difficult decision because, having lost her mother to ovarian cancer, she discovered she carries a faulty copy of the BRCA1 gene – which put her at very high risk of getting both forms of the disease.
If you haven’t read her brave and thoughtful piece in the New York Times, it’s worth doing so.
But in the light of the considerable interest, and the fact that many people will undoubtedly have questions, we wanted to pull together a few quick thoughts and facts on the topic of inherited breast cancer generally, and the BRCA1 gene specifically.
We have a responsibility to spend our supporters’ donations wisely
Our research is funded by the public – around 80p in every pound donated to us is spent on this vital work – so we have a responsibility to make sure our supporters’ cash gets spent on the very best science that will make a difference to people with cancer.
We’ve written before about how our funding committees allocate millions of pounds, raised by our supporters, to scientists, doctors and nurses across the UK. But we thought it might be helpful to lift the lid on the finer points of our funding processes in a bit more detail.
The following story is an illustration of what happens when someone applies to us for funding.
We’ve changed the name of the researcher, but all the details are taken from a real-life situation.
The 2010 film The King’s Speech was a national triumph. So at Cancer Research UK we’re dismayed to have to report that we’re not exactly rolling out the red carpet for yesterday’s Queen’s Speech.
In fact, quite the opposite.
The Queen’s Speech – which outlined the Government’s focus for the next year – has, shockingly, left plans to put tobacco products in plain, standardised packaging, on the cutting room floor.
The government has thus failed to deliver on a policy that would help protect children from a product that has no safe level of consumption.
So today, nine months since its consultation closed in August 2012, we’re left hanging, still waiting for the government to make a clear statement of its intentions.
In that time more than 150,000 children have started smoking – the beginning of an addiction that kills half its long-term users.
In light of this disappointing decision, we wanted to outline, clearly and simply, which organisations support this measure. Also we thought it worth exposing the vested interests of its opponents. This is all worth knowing, because this fight isn’t over; this is not “The End”.
Today, the Queen set out the Government’s priorities for the next year
This morning the Queen opened the third session of the 2010-15 Parliament with a speech in the House of Lords.
Her speech was written by the Government, and outlined its legislative agenda for the upcoming parliamentary session (which will last roughly a year).
And over the next couple of days, both Peers in the House of Lords, and MPs in the House of Commons will debate its contents.
Cancer Research UK takes a great interest in the Government’s plans, and how we think they will affect cancer patients and research into the disease.
So what are the key points for us from this speech?