1. Ritchie

    Nice piece Claire. At the time of the Swiss vote we were working with a Swiss coordinator on a bid. It was a real shock to the scientists when it all rather fell apart. But I have to say the knee jerk reaction of the EC was very disappointing in response to Swiss democracy. Like a petulant child not feeling their way. It does not bode well for a NO vote. Better to work to improve the EC from within. And contrary to a lot of popular doom and gloom the UK science base gains a lot from EC funding, project opportunities and networks. National borders don’t make sense in science.

  2. t

    This doesnt acknowledge that for millions of people being in the eu has made their life worse or they have seen no benefit to them despite the massive cost of it all. So they have nothing to lose from a withdrawal as outlined in this article, the consequences would be minimal for them or even beneficial as they receive no trickle down benefits and all the money and benefits have stayed with those already in secure and reasonably paid jobs.

    UK academic science has been subjected to high levels of immigration at all skill levels from the vastly expanded eu population. There has been no increase in the size of the sector to match this and it has had a hugely negative effect for british science workers.

    • @t
      This article is not intended to cover all aspects of Eu membership but only to highlight the clear benefits to UK science and innovation that EU membership brings.
      You claim that EU membership has made people’s lives worse or that it has cost them but other than the dislike people have for ‘polski sklep’ appearing in place of their old corner shop, I’m not sure that there is any evidence that life has gotten worse as a result of EU membership or that EU membership has cost the UK more than it has added.
      I agree that benefits do not normally trickle down but inequality and tax evasion which hinder such broad ranging benefits are not EU inventions and indeed it is the UK that is widely considered to hinder international talks on such things. Leaving the EU will not affect the UK’s inequality – the UK controls that on its own and leaves its people to suffer.
      Regarding your opinion on immigration negatively affecting UK science job opportunities – there is no evidence of that whatsoever. There has been a massive expansion in the number of phd programmes and post-doctoral research jobs. There has failed to be an expansion in professorial positions but that, again, has nothing to do with the EU and is entirely to do with the UK failing to properly fund research which is a problem it has had since before it joined the EU. Once again, the UK is its own problem and the EU in this case actually helps.

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