Discussion in 'The Coffee Shop' started by amusicsite, 24 Jun 2016.
How will it affect science here? ESA? European grants? Cooperation?
This is one of those imponderables. It's day one of a new world and I don't think anyone can see how arrangements will evolve, but hopefully it will bring new collaborations in time.
On a lighter note, I get the feeling we may as well stay home rather then entering Eurovision next year!
Unfortunately eurovision is 100% separate from the EU so we don't escape that so easily...
Well we may well be out of Europe but it looks like, if we want to continue trading with Europe and America we will still need to follow European laws and standards
Not looking good for funding and attracting the best scientist to work here.
A colleague lent me a book about the history of nuclear fusion development, which said that JET development in Culham was only saved after the UK entered the EEC. One of my other colleagues said that he knows people working on other expensive scientific research establishments, who are now worried about funding, for example, at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. I asked someone else I know, who retired last year from the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasting, whether Brexit would affect that institution. He said it might because they were in the process of planning a move. They had been considering transferring to the Reading University campus, which has its own Meteorology department, but now they have have second thoughts. I know a lot of Europeans work at the ECMWF and at JET, and they may now be feeling less welcome. Still, I believe Switzerland involves itself in international scientific projects, and it is not in the EU. I suppose something can be patched up, if there is the will.
Someone at work emailed these links, so I am copying them here so I can watch them at home.
The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee is holding an inquiry into the implications and opportunities for science and research following the EU referendum. If you feel like having your say, here’s the URL:
For those who are interested, this was an interesting meeting of the Science and Technology Committee last Tuesday http://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/f225ac03-d091-4215-b547-7b0050d33cca
Cheers, I'll watch that later. As far as some of the big ticket projects like ESA and CERN got it seems they are more international things than direct EU only projects so we should still be a player in those fields. Even if maybe a slightly diminished roll.
I watch most of that committee meeting now and the main thing that jumped out at me is that we should be spending at least 3% of our GDP on science to keep up with our main European rivals. Currently this is a lot less as we actually get more back than we put into the EU science funding at the moment. Considering most people there had a little chuckle when the 3% funding figure was mentioned then I guess we are not going to get anywhere near that. I also guess the EU science budget will not radically change and in fact the excess we used to get may well go to our competitors.
So I think we can expect the total amount of government science funding to cut...
Then there is how that money actually gets spent...
I think putting the department of environment into the new 'Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy' shows what side the new government's bread is buttered on. I can see a lot of the science budget going to big business. Quite possibly in tax incentives to try and keep them here rather than any well planned science agenda or long term science R&D goals. After all big science aims take years to work out and decades to play out and I can't see any UK government looking further than the next election. Which pretty much kicking it into the long grass for the next 3 years and probably a low priority until the European deal is made and if we do end up leaving, not a certainty yet, then it will probably be another 5 years before the government realises they need a cross party science plan. Maybe another 5-10 years before we have one...
So I expect current project running their course but it seems unlikely anything major will happen after that. Maybe some blue chip corporation (most likely defence/areospace) will get a big ticket project like SABRE will get the lions share of the government money and a small pot split up between universities. Along with a few corporations that like the new business rates cut and I'm sure the impending tax breaks that stop even more corporations paying any tax in the UK.... We will probably keep our reputation reasonably in tact for a few years. It all depends on the medium to long term outlook as to whether the benefits of doing things here are not outweighed by the advantages to operating in the EU or other nations/partnerships.
The choice of doing science here has gone from:
'is the UK the best place in Europe to do the work that the EU won competing against the rest of the world?'
'is the UK the best place to do the work the compared to doing it in the EU or anywhere else around the world?'
That seems like quite a seismic change to me and I can't see it ending well for the UK.
Well crunch time... Or not... Or who the hell knows?
But the longer it drags on the more it is hitting the sci/tec world. Business fleeing with each delay and a good excuse to downsize your workforce by closing that UK factory and move production to a heavily automated new one elsewhere. Not to mention new projects not even considering the UK as it's impossible to plan what could happen there. Just not worth the hassle.
I think the only certainty is that the longer it takes the worse our hi tech industries become.
Lost another company to Brexit, this time European Union’s Galileo satellite program affiliate Scisys Group have moved the company to Ireland so it can guarantee it keeps them EU contracts.
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