UK Scientists Could Lose $1.4 Billion Annually after Leaving the EU

Science authorities in the United Kingdom are now worried that the country may lose up to $1.4 billion annually in science funding that flows from the European Union. 

Science authorities in the United Kingdom are now worried that the country may lose up to $1.4 billion annually in science funding that flows from the European Union. The unprecedented nature of the UK's decisive referendum to leave the EU means that British universities could experience sever shortfalls in staffing and research funding.


According to Nature, "UK universities currently get around 16% of their research funding, and 15% of their staff, from the EU," and a majority of professional scientists were opposed to leaving the EU. The science journal has profiled responses from British and American scientists on the topic of the Brexit, finding confusion, worry, dismay, and little optimism for the future of British science. 

It is not only science funding that is at stake because of European funding pools. Britain may lose out on certain funds as a direct result of its withdrawal from the EU if the Brexit stops the free movement of people to and from the country — a fundamental freedom on which the EU is premised.

As Neil deGrasse Tyson explained, "What is certain is that innovations and investments in science and technology are the engines of tomorrow’s economic growth."

Discouraged by the prospect of dry funding pools and uninviting immigration systems, promising foreign scientists could decide to forgo an attempt to establish themselves in Britain. Brain drain of this kind was recently unthinkable in a nation as cosmopolitan as Britain, but as "Leave" campaigners coalesced their message around worries about an immigrant influx, nativism became a rallying cry for many Britons who wanted to leave the EU.

Another American scientists, NIH director Francis Collins, explains the ways in which recession had adversely affected scientific research in the US. Were the British economy to falter similarly, opportunities for scientists would similarly decline:

According to the British daily newspaper The Guardian, Nobel prize-winner Paul Nurse said Britain’s scientists would have to counter isolationism if UK science was to continue to prosper: “This is a poor outcome for British science and so is bad for Britain,” he said. “Science thrives on the permeability of ideas and people, and flourishes in environments that pool intelligence, minimises barriers and are open to free exchange and collaboration.” 

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Space toilets: How astronauts boldly go where few have gone before

A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.

Videos
  • When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
  • Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
  • Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
Keep reading Show less

Steven Pinker's 13 rules for writing better

The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Steven Pinker speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Media)
Personal Growth
  • Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
  • When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
  • Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Photo: Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less