Tim Peake has called for more investment in science and research and development (R&D). The British Astronaut spoke out as he revealed his top science and education institutions in the UK to celebrate the National Lottery’s 25th birthday.
Tim Peake said the government is starting to recognise how important it is to invest in science and R&D, but that more can be done in order for the UK to reap the rewards of future technologies.
“I think that slowly the governments are realising what our future is – whether it’s around autonomous vehicles, whether it’s around quantum computing, artificial intelligence, potential future energy sources such as nuclear fusion – if we don’t invest in R&D then we’re not going to reap the rewards of what potential that has to offer us in the future,” said Peake.
“And I think slowly that the government is realising that and starting to invest a more appropriate amount,” he added.
National Lottery awarded £596m to science museums
He told the PA news agency that National Lottery funding allows children to visit science institutions free of charge, develop an interest in the industry, and potentially go on to work in R&D.
“It allows these establishments to increase their attractions and to improve the number of exhibits that are there, and also keep the UK at the forefront of having these incredible establishments that are able to remain open to the public and remain free for people to go and visit,” said Peake.
“I think that you can’t underestimate the impact of what this funding allows these types of projects to do, and how the local economies benefit from it, and also the people go visit them.”
Over the last 25 years, the National Lottery has awarded £596 million to science museums and science and education projects.
Funding allows children to visit science museums for free
Peake’s ten top scientific attractions in the UK, which have all received National Lottery funding, include the Science Museum in London and Cheshire’s Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre.
Also on Major Peake’s list are the Eden Project (Cornwall), Glasgow Science Centre, Museum of Zoology (Cambridge), Royal Navy Submarine Museum (Portsmouth), and Stargazing with Revitalising Redesdale (Northumberland).
Rounding out the top ten are the W5 Science & Discovery Centre (Belfast), Oxford University Museum of Natural History, and the National Museum Cardiff.
“The National Lottery has played a significant part in furthering science and education over the past 25 years and this can be seen in abundance through these attractions,” said Peake.
Images: Heritage Fund