It’s a time of uncertainty. Ever since the vote for Brexit happened science in the UK has been affected and that’s certainly no secret. Although Britain is not completely out of the European Union yet, there are a few disturbances which have started to show ever since the results were released. The main consequence was the “burning of the bridges” - the relationship between the UK and the EU has been severed so that scientists in the EU do not feel welcome to collaborating with scientists in the UK. Brexit has even affected the quantity of international students who applied to study in higher education in the U.K this year, with many international students pulling out their places from UK universities after the Brexit vote, leaving many gaps unfilled. This shouldn’t be a time where collaborating over research becomes a difficult task says Martin Rees in Nature’s micro article. Convinced that independent research councils work better than governmental agencies; he also recommends that a start for solution, needs a “senior independent voice in Whitehall by reviving the post of Director-General of Research Councils, supported by a strong advisory board.” Also, there are talks as to who should be the voice of science in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations. There’s no way to disconnect science from politics so we’ll just have to work with it and have the scientific voice heard.
Special thanks to Frits Ahlefeldt for the caricature from http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/browse-author.php?a=1210