Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences

Science and mathematics have the ability to capture people’s imaginations, be they young or old. We are amazed by the quantum nanoworld where the laws of physics appear to break down; by the dark universe and the search for a unified explanation for our existence, and by the emerging understanding of how biological systems work at the sub-cellular level. Oxford does world-leading research in these and many other areas.

Scientific evidence also raises issues of grave concern and new research is urgently needed to address the burgeoning challenges we face in the 21st century. To tackle these global problems, Oxford is establishing a world-leading portfolio of science activities linked to business, government and industry that delivers solutions in areas such as: biomedicine; energy and resources; the accurate prediction of climatic change; emerging infectious diseases; tomorrow’s digital economy; security; sustainable engineering solutions; and the threat to biodiversity.

Oxford is well placed to meet these challenges because it can build upon strong fundamental mathematical, physical and life sciences. Its scientists can easily collaborate with many of the other disciplines in Oxford’s medical and social sciences. As a consequence, science at Oxford has expanded dramatically in recent years as can be judged by the numbers of publications in top journals like Nature. The same is true in teaching, where the proportion of science students has doubled to a third of the undergraduate population.

Rising to this challenge and growing the mathematical, physical and life sciences has put significant pressure on infrastructure and costs. We need to expand and put in place new research environments that better facilitate discoveries at the interfaces between traditionally distinct disciplines.

We have produced a bold plan for the Campaign for the University of Oxford that seeks funding for:

- A range of new interdisciplinary research units, including:

- Buildings and facilities in many of our most successful research areas, including:

- Endowed academic posts, particularly in cross-disciplinary research.

- A science innovation fund to catalyse development of uncharted research areas.

- Scholarships to attract the brightest students, irrespective of background.