When I heard the news, I couldn’t believe it. It seemed like something out of a populist fantasy of protecting “the homeland” or an electorate overthrowing imperial control in an Ancient Athenian democracy. The UK voted to secede from the EU with the Brexit referendum. With that, my worldview was shaken again. Overcome with uncertainty and worries, different groups of people expressed their concerns about the UK leaving. Quite surreal, depressing, and anxious for everyone across the globe. Let’s hope the science will stay ablaze.
Scientists, one of the most opposed groups to the Brexit referendum, face issues with funding and research on international projects with the UK out of the EU. International students at UK universities could experience larger hurdles in gaining admission as EU nationals are up to 1 in 5 students at some universities, Times Higher Education reports. Their future is uncertain, said Theresa May. Nature, however, one of the most respected journals falsely reported that UK scientists would be put at the “back of the queue” for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). Still big names like Stephen Hawking warned, “we’ve become reliant on EU funding. We get back a little more than we put in, and associated status will need to address this. But the other thing we need to do, and what UK academia needs to do, is get much better at lobbying government.”
I sincerely hope the science community continues the way it should. While there’s a lot of worrying that can be done, there’s much more science to do. I’ll keep listening to the Sex Pistols and Stone Roses while hoping for the best for the future.