13 April 2011
Over their last three party conferences, the Green Party has passed a series of changes to its policies on science and technology which complement the party's long-standing support for advances in renewable energy and low-carbon technologies.
The party's spring 2011 conference passed a motion supporting a minimum of 1% of the UK's GDP to be spent on scientific research and development.
Jim Jepps, policy co-ordinator on the national Green Party executive, said: "We cannot claim to be taking issues like climate change seriously as a nation if we are not funding vital research in this and other areas.
"The Greens are now a clearly pro-science party. We see human knowledge and scientific research as a good in, and of, itself, and as part of the solution to our problems, and the Green Party has explicitly embraced the Haldane principle." (1)
The Haldane principle is that governments and political parties can help set the overall strategic direction of publicly funded research, but were not to interfere in day-to-day funding decisions.
Jepps added: "Over the last three conferences, we've changed party policy that stated homeopathy would not have to comply with the same kinds of regulations and testing that other products that claimed to have medical benefits did. And we have condemned Labour's treatment of its scientific advisors, affirming the importance of governments to tolerate being given politically inconvenient advice." (1)
Other policy changes have included:
- removal of the party's opposition to embryonic stem cell research
- support for publicly-funded research to be published to allow use by the scientific community at large, and,
- the use of the Freedom of Information Act for privately-funded research that has "taken advantage of our publicly funded university departments"
2. The Green Party policy document on "Science and Technology" can be read in full at: http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/st