Seven leading scientific societies have published a joint statement of concern for the future of UK research and innovation


© Shutterstock

In the wake of the EU referendum result, the UK’s scientific academies – the Royal Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Irish Academy and the Learned Society of Wales – have published a joint statement urging the government to safeguard the UK’s science sector against any damage caused by leaving the EU.

‘The UK’s outstanding research and innovation base is central to our economic, social and cultural well-being,’ the statement says.  It goes on to warn that the UK’s decision to leave the EU ‘presents a challenge to maintaining this excellence’. It seeks assurances from the government that key parts of the science base including funding, international collaboration and freedom of movement among researchers will not be eroded.

‘As the government explores the various options for the future relationship of the UK with the EU, we urge it to do its utmost to safeguard the UK’s assets in research, scholarship and innovation by: a) seeking the closest achievable association with the EU research programmes; b) ensuring that talented researchers from other EU countries have certainty about the opportunities to work in the UK and likewise for UK researchers to work in other EU countries; and c) providing funding that will continue to promote international collaboration,’ the statement concludes.