Brexit: UK Scientists Are Not Happy

Posted: Jun 25 2016, 4:56am CDT | by , Updated: Jun 25 2016, 5:00am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Brexit: UK Scientists are Not Happy
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  • Opting Out of European Union means Changes in Future Scientific Endeavors for the UK

It is being said that opting out of the European Union means changes in the future scientific endeavors for the UK.

The scientific elite of the UK showed its disapproval of the outcome of the referendum that took place on Friday. It had been a staunch supporter of remaining a member of the EU.

This crucial decision to sever all relations with the EU means that the science establishment will have to put in extra effort in order to keep abreast of the scientific experiments and research efforts that go on in the context of the EU.

“Now that the result is clear, albeit by a narrow margin, the whole scientific community, including the RAS, will need to consider the implications for research in the UK,” the Royal Astronomical Society wrote in a statement.

The minister for universities and science, Jo Johnson, who was one of the supporters for remaining a member of the EU, reacted to the opting out by saying on Twitter that “Big decision. Let’s make it work.”

Professor John Zarnecki, the President of the Royal Astronomical Society, said, "We must remember that whatever happens, science has no boundaries. It is vital that we do not give the message, particularly to our younger colleagues, in the UK and beyond that our country is not a good place in which to do scientific research, however uncertain the economic and political environment is."

"I have been privileged during my career to have worked in a research environment in Europe which has had few borders for either people or ideas. We must strive to make sure that these rights are not taken away - this would be enormously to the detriment of UK society."

Britain’s science coteries have used the EU’s funds which amount to 8.8 billion Euros from 2007 to 2013, according to BBC. It is scientists in the UK who receive over a fifth of all the grants that are handed out by the EU.

This was a case of the more the merrier. Yet all that extra support and bolstering will have to be waved a sad goodbye now that the UK has severed all relations with the EU.

In order to ensure that some funding continues from the EU’s coffers, Britain will have to seek the status of an associated country. These countries are not a part of the EU yet they receive funds. Switzerland, Norway and Israel are included among such nations.

The associated countries have to pay a membership fee though in order to be recipients of the funds meant for research purposes. Whatever the case may be, in the future it will all depend upon the more complex political and economic factors.

Countries such as Switzerland are facing a partial associated status. That is because the Swiss are not allowing Croatians access to their labour market.

Since modern science thrives on the free association of all sorts of learned scientists and researchers, the decision to part ways with the EU may cost the UK a lot in the long run. The politics of union for various benefits is tough on those who refuse to be members and lax with those who join the cause.

UK scientists will have to re-double their efforts to make sure the government lends them grants and funds for research purposes. Science after all is dependent on leisure to explore all the wonders of existence. As for leisure, it is only possible once you have the financial means.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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