21 September 2018

Brexit threatens to harm UK science

Dr Ludovic Highman has contributed to a new report on Brexit in which he highlights the threat it poses to UK science and research.

In the report, produced by Green MEP Jean Lambert, Dr Highman argues that research and science are inherently cross-border, transnational activities.

He points out that greater impact is gained through international co-authored publications, which are on average more highly cited than UK domestic publications. For the UK, most of that cooperation currently takes place with EU partners.

He argues that there are no obvious ways for the UK to find suitable partners or research funding schemes that replicate the benefits enjoyed from EU membership. Horizon 2020 (the framework programme from 2014-2020) is the only international research and innovation programme of its scale in the world, with a budget of roughly €80 billion. Outside the EU, only Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore are research powers on par with leading EU countries.

Dr Highman concludes that the UK must seek association status to the European Framework Programmes and net migration targets must remove international students from the total count. The UK must work harder on being perceived as a welcoming study and work destination.

Science and research: Attending conferences is the tip of the iceberg is published in ‘Migration and Brexit: A call from migrants, communities and sectors for a migration policy that benefits all’.