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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Scientists underline importance of staying in Europe

If there is any doubt that the UK leaving the European Union would damage our economy then surely the latest intervention by 150 eminent scientists can help to dispel it.

As the Guardian reports, a letter to the Times signed by more than 150 fellows of the Royal Society, including Stephen Hawking, says leaving the EU would hamper research in the UK, because many young scientists are recruited from Europe:

The scientists write: “We now recruit many of our best researchers from continental Europe, including younger ones who have obtained EU grants and have chosen to move with them here.
“Being able to attract and fund the most talented Europeans assures the future of British science and also encourages the best scientists elsewhere to come here.”

They also say increased funding from the EU has benefited the UK and science as a whole. They note the example of Switzerland, which despite paying in to the EU has limited access to funds and struggles to attract young talent because of freedom of movement restrictions.

“If the UK leaves the EU and there is a loss of freedom of movement of scientists between the UK and Europe, it will be a disaster for UK science and universities,” the letter says.

“Investment in science is as important for the long-term prosperity and security of the UK as investment in infrastructure projects, farming or manufacturing; and the free movement of scientists is as important for science as free trade is for market economics.”

Another important argument for remaining in the EU.
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