• Martin Yuille

      Hi Ian:

      You sound like the happy man who jumps off the Eiffel Tower.

      “Look I’m flying” he says.

      Realising he has no parachute he says: “We can sort that out later”.

    • Brexit is an wilful act of self-immolation by the people of this country. Anyone who works in science, research, design and engineering would realise that leaving the EU would have severe consequences for R&D in the UK. Anyone who didn’t suffered from wilful ignorance or fell for the demagogues.
      The day after the vote a friend rang me from a University, as they had a call uninviting them off a £20 million EU bid. Yes it happened that fast and now the R7D pipeline for UK Universities in EU grants has been cut. Belatedly the Government said they would fund exiting projects but that means the next three years Universities have to look elsewhere for 16% of their funding. What happens to the Joint European Torus in Oxford when the needs new funding? Will we be cut out of European Fusion research? We can’t even tell the Japanese what kind of deal we are looking for to stay in the single market and David Davies just told the country that outside the single market was good enough.
      We must flight this stupidity and expose these demagogues because we should be in an age of enlightenment not an age of stupid.

      • Martin Yuille

        I agree with you Martyn. One of the things that non-scientists (and even some scientists) don’t understand or recognise is that R&D is so often really just a pilot project for a new process or industry in the real world.

        People have a disconnect between research and reality.

        And the reality is that new technologies and industries are nearly all global in their initiation, development and maturation. There are technical and socio-economics reasons for this globalisation.

        So if reality is global, then much of research has to be global too.

        And a country that forsakes its important position in that global research in the name of ‘taking back control’ is simply losing control of its ability to help shape tomorrow’s world.

        Where our country most loses out is in the ability to shape research infrastructures. Researchers must have such facilities and networks but of course there is a continuous turnover of individual researchers. We are replaceable (not disposable!). Research infrastructure (properly sustained and improved) is, by contrast, irreplaceable.

        And the EU’s emerging landscape of research infrastructure across all the natural and human sciences is the richest and best in the world.

        For the UK to distance itself from that, to “take back control” would be an act of national suicide.

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