News and updates from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

About David Willetts

As Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts' responsibilities include higher education, science and research, life sciences, innovation and Space policy.
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Shaping Science and Society

22 October 2012 by David Willetts

The issues are all around us I was reminded at the Science Media Centre’s 10th birthday celebration of a classic science and society issue: how science is reported and the importance of the relationship between scientists and journalists. Coverage of the Higgs Boson or the potential exploits of the Bloodhound Supersonic car capture the public imagination. This is all to the good, but by contrast the Institute of Physics recently highlighted…

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Safeguarding fair access to higher education

22 May 2012 by David Willetts

Today the Sutton Trust conference heard from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg that too often children from disadvantaged backgrounds saw certain university courses and careers as “not for people like me”. For me the need to widen access to our most selective universities is something we have to support. “Widening participation”, means creating opportunities for people from all kinds of backgrounds to realise their dream of higher education, and in…

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Science and the Olympics – faster, stronger, smarter

26 January 2012 by David Willetts

  Science has played a part in every major British endeavour and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are no exception. As well as galvanising our sporting expertise, the Games bring together some of our very best scientists and researchers, who are playing vital roles in every aspect of the event. As just one example, the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) commitment to embed sustainability in its planning obviously required…

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A Great Year for Science and Innovation

8 December 2011 by David Willetts

Today we launched the Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth, a multi-million pound package setting out the Government’s plans to boost economic growth through investment in research and innovation. One of the highlights is £75 million of new investment to give high tech innovative businesses better access to the facilities and finance they need to develop and commercialise their ideas. Another initiative will see us working with the National Endowment…

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Celebrating the value and relevance of the social sciences

8 November 2011 by David Willetts
David Willets at aconference

Last Thursday I had the honour of speaking at the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) flagship event celebrating the social sciences, held at the British Academy. This forms part of the ESRC’s Festival of Social Science, now in its ninth year. The festival is a real celebration of the breadth of social science research, with well over 100 events around the country including major cities like London, Belfast, Edinburgh,…

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To infinity and beyond the Higgs Boson

31 August 2011 by David Willetts

This month’s A Level results showed a significant rise in the number of people choosing to study science and maths. Entries for chemistry alone were up over nine per cent from last year – that’s over 4000 extra students. This is welcome news – science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills are important to our economy and society, and both universities and employers value them highly. As Science Minister, I…

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Waiting for results

17 August 2011 by David Willetts

  Good luck to all those waiting for A-Level results tomorrow after many years of hardwork. I know how anxious a time it can be, but the majority of those holding an offer from a university are likely to achieve the results they need – and there will be lots of support available to those who miss out on a place this time around. We expect there to be more…

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The next generation of healthcare

20 July 2011 by David Willetts

This week the Government looks at where we are currently in relation to the regenerative medicine field. A report, ‘Taking stock of regenerative medicine in the UK’ has been published following some good work from the Office for Life Sciences, in close collaboration with the Department of Health. It is an area that I have a great interest in and the report highlights the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead….

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Design for growth

20 June 2011 by David Willetts

  I’m delighted to say that one of the top items on my agenda this week is the ‘Design for Growth’ summit on Thursday. This is an event which BIS and the Design Council have pulled out all the stops to bring together one of the best line-ups we have seen. Among the guests attending will be Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, Jonathan Ive. He’ll be joined by Gerry McGovern…