Tag Archives: David Willetts

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS)

28 Nov

David Wilson, the great nephew of Dr Edward Wilson, Scott’s friend, writes in the Telegraph Weekend, November 24th, of worries over the future funding for The British Antarctic Survey (BAS), the scientific research institute, which for years has been at the forefront of research in Antarctica. There has been a British presence in Antarctica since 1944 and one of the greatest discoveries relating to climate change, the hole in the ozone layer, was made in an inland BAS station in 1988. A huge amount of influential scientific papers have been produced.

Financial concerns have surfaced recently however. There was a proposed merger between BAS and the National Oceanographic Centre based in Southampton, which has apparently now been ditched. The Minister of State for Science David Willetts, has stated that £42 million per year has been committed for the current review period. Budget guarantees are being considered for the next spending round. But budget cuts in BAS continue.

Antarctic science is key to the understanding of climate change. Decisions about costal defences in Britain are being based on Antarctic science projections.

This is a big issue. It is important to avoid far reaching mistakes