Funding for further development of nuclear warheads should be scrapped to avert cuts in civil research into climate change and green energy, a leading group of scientists has said.
The 36 British science professors called on the prime minister last week to protect core scientific research by cutting investment in developing nuclear weapons.
They are angry that £1 billion in extra funding has been given to the Aldermaston-based Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) this year to build new labs at a time when research budgets are being slashed elsewhere and question marks hang over whether Trident should be replaced.
In a letter coordinated by pressure group Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR), the scientists, including Nobel Prize winner Sir Harry Kroto and former Royal Society president Sir Michael Atiyah, said: “World-class research is under threat while the government continues to fund the multibillion pound research programme at the AWE.”
Dr Stuart Parkinson, SGR director, said science R&D funding should be maintained at the expense of developing a new nuclear deterrent.
He said: “Cuts to public science funding in areas such as health and environmental protection are unjustified.
“The major threats to us are energy security and climate change.”