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Britain Faces Brain Drain As Cuts Force Top Scientists To Leave Country

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/sep/30/science-research-spending-cuts

So many threads on this recently so a mod may choose to merge.

I find this sad. No matter how negative you are on our education bubble, we should definitely be leading the world on high end Scientific research.

I've followed bear news for years now, but it's really feeling like we're losing the bits of genuine competitive advantage that we do have.

As per the article, Germany, Singapore, even the US (which has always been more meritocratic) start to look really appealing to bright and mobile young people who can't compete in their own high cost econmy.

Edited by Kyoto

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http://www.guardian....h-spending-cuts

So many threads on this recently so a mod may choose to merge.

I find this sad. No matter how negative you are on our education bubble, we should definitely be leading the world on high end Scientific research.

I've followed bear news for years now, but it's really feeling like we're losing the bits of genuine competitive advantage that we do have.

As per the article, Germany, Singapore, even the US (which has always been more meritocratic) start to look really appealing to bright and mobile young people who can't compete in their own high cost econmy.

yep, all those golf course managers....David Beckham studies and meeeja degrees.....

course, the article is nonsense, the drain is to the banks.

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Not new.

When I fled to Italy in the lesser recession of nearly 20 years ago, it was precisely because I failed to find suitable work in the UK after my fixed-term research contract had ended and the funding dried up. Hence a job there seemed better than no-job.

I learned later that research jobs in UK universities were down by 11% that year. I was one of them.

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It is very visionary of Singapore to lure away top talent for their biomedical research. Especially stem cells. They see that biological research especially frontier things like stem cells are going to be immense businesses down the road. I actually think stem cells will become one of the biggest industry in the world over the next generation.

Like how Pharmacueticals is now a $700 billion dollar global business. And still growing. The glaxos and pfizers of the stem cell era have yet to be made. And it is yet to determined where they will be based and who will get the most tax revenue from.

Honestly why aren't we spending 10 times as much on this type of research?

And another point I wanted to make is not only does the funding need to be there.. but there has to be a willingness to fund visionary ideas. Even ideas that seem crazy. Thats one amazing thing about US military funded research, they fund things that sound like science fiction. In fact some science fiction gurus sit on their grant awarding bodies.

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snip

Honestly why aren't we spending 10 times as much on this type of research?

snip

honestly?..because a bank can make more money lending its junk bonds to the BoE and using the cash in the stock market than lending to the 000's of doubtful research ideas, most of which get nowhere.

IS stemcell treatment something that is mass market?

or something that only insurance based medicine can pay for?

however, anti pain pills have a ready everyday market.

KISS...thats the key.

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yep, all those golf course managers....David Beckham studies and meeeja degrees.....

This isn't about that. It's high end research - which results in new companies, new industries, new engineering, new knowledge, better healthcare, better quality of life.

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Not new.

When I fled to Italy in the lesser recession of nearly 20 years ago, it was precisely because I failed to find suitable work in the UK after my fixed-term research contract had ended and the funding dried up. Hence a job there seemed better than no-job.

I learned later that research jobs in UK universities were down by 11% that year. I was one of them.

Do you think the average post-doc in the 20s or 30s is more mobile than in those days though? Not sure if I've changed, but it feels like a smaller world than ever and I have few loyalties to the UK.

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This isn't about that. It's high end research - which results in new companies, new industries, new engineering, new knowledge, better healthcare, better quality of life.

sorry, do we produce those any more?

see my above post about your following list of benefits.

new knowledge needs to take a back seat when the price of chicken reaches unaffordability.

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It's all a load of ********.

No one is going anywhere. Maybe a phD student has gone to Brazil for a holiday - but which country has the money right now for research grants? none.

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new knowledge needs to take a back seat when the price of chicken reaches unaffordability.

That's what the article is about though. As we retrench to take care of the basics, we lose our international competiveness.

We clearly need to make cuts and 'come back down to earth' in many areas, but doing so in one of our few remaining areas of competitiveness, one that could create new industries in future, is misguided.

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Do you think the average post-doc in the 20s or 30s is more mobile than in those days though? Not sure if I've changed, but it feels like a smaller world than ever and I have few loyalties to the UK.

We were pretty mobile back then, too. We had EU mobility rules as a passport through red tape, and plenty of folks went further afield (for example, my friend from Cambridge who first got me into cycle-touring moved permanently to Oz not long after his PhD in applied maths).

But then, mobility among scientists goes back a lot further. For example, listening to Marcus du Sautoy this week, it struck me how the university of Göttingen once was the world centre for maths.

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It's all a load of ********.

No one is going anywhere. Maybe a phD student has gone to Brazil for a holiday - but which country has the money right now for research grants? none.

sorry but this is very real. this is my area of work and given the numbers of cuts at the moment scientists feel no loyalties towards the companies they work for. In the last year i know of 6 people who have moved abroad and companies are actively recruiting scientists from the UK to get them to move aborad esp to the US and switzerland at the moment for medical research, i had a consultant phone me up just yesterday telling me about some great opportunities if i was prepared to move away. If anything the rate is increasing as the money in research in the UK dries up.

All the big companies are pouring money into stem cell research btw, in fact all the names mentioned in this thread and the other big boys are actually all working together on it, as well as their own internal research programmes and is probably the only growth area in medical research at the moment.

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All the big companies are pouring money into stem cell research btw, in fact all the names mentioned in this thread and the other big boys are actually all working together on it, as well as their own internal research programmes and is probably the only growth area in medical research at the moment.

So there are enough jobs for all the scientists in the US and Switzerland? Is stem cell research exempt from the spending cuts?

So who employs them in the UK? Is all uk stuff govt funded?

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That's what the article is about though. As we retrench to take care of the basics, we lose our international competiveness.

We clearly need to make cuts and 'come back down to earth' in many areas, but doing so in one of our few remaining areas of competitiveness, one that could create new industries in future, is misguided.

you cant be competitive IF YOU ARE DEAD!

Stem cell chickens??

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sorry but this is very real. this is my area of work and given the numbers of cuts at the moment scientists feel no loyalties towards the companies they work for. In the last year i know of 6 people who have moved abroad and companies are actively recruiting scientists from the UK to get them to move aborad esp to the US and switzerland at the moment for medical research, i had a consultant phone me up just yesterday telling me about some great opportunities if i was prepared to move away. If anything the rate is increasing as the money in research in the UK dries up.

All the big companies are pouring money into stem cell research btw, in fact all the names mentioned in this thread and the other big boys are actually all working together on it, as well as their own internal research programmes and is probably the only growth area in medical research at the moment.

that grass, I bet its ever so green there in the US..or Switzerland....

How about something other than stem cell research?

wasnt there a LEGAL problem with stem cells...you know..stealing stuff from discarded human life?

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honestly?..because a bank can make more money lending its junk bonds to the BoE and using the cash in the stock market than lending to the 000's of doubtful research ideas, most of which get nowhere.

IS stemcell treatment something that is mass market?

or something that only insurance based medicine can pay for?

however, anti pain pills have a ready everyday market.

KISS...thats the key.

Once stem cells can cure and even rejuvinate parts of peoples bodies they will pay anything to get the treatments. Singapore can see that this type of futuristic investment is what it needs to make to go to the next levels of wealth. Its also that long lead time with heavy capital investment that can give a place like Singapore or a Switzerland such an advantage.

Imo Britain should keep playing in that game. But lately we have been seducted by speculation. Why throw £5 billion at an emerging area that could take a long time to mature into that global industry.. when you can bet £5 billion on currency swaps or subprime bonds.

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Once stem cells can cure and even rejuvinate parts of peoples bodies they will pay anything to get the treatments. Singapore can see that this type of futuristic investment is what it needs to make to go to the next levels of wealth. Its also that long lead time with heavy capital investment that can give a place like Singapore or a Switzerland such an advantage.

Imo Britain should keep playing in that game. But lately we have been seducted by speculation. Why throw £5 billion at an emerging area that could take a long time to mature into that global industry.. when you can bet £5 billion on currency swaps or subprime bonds.

what stemcells? where do they come from?

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As per the article, Germany, Singapore, even the US (which has always been more meritocratic) start to look really appealing to bright and mobile young people who can't compete in their own high cost econmy.

Its not just about funding.

The pound is so low it is making skilled/qualified UK workers look cheap in high salary countries like Switzerland.

The Swiss franc has risen from 42p to 65p in 2 years.

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what stemcells? where do they come from?

99% of the promising research I have read about is with adult stem cells, taken from the patients own body. They isolate the adult stem cell for that body part, then replicate it millions of times, in these cell incubators. Ideally you insert back in many millions of young versions of the patients own stem cells back into that body part. Then those young stem cells go and replace aged cells over time. For example 30% of a person's bone is replaced naturally every year.

I have actually heard of 1 trial involving embryonic stem cells though.

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Honestly why aren't we spending 10 times as much on this type of research?

By we I guess you mean the government. If it going to be so lucrative the we should be private investment.

Im sure lots of scientists have been employed looking for cancer treatments for decades, where are the free treatments they discovered? There arent any.

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So let me get this straight, we don't need these high-minded scientists because, well if they're really needed the 'market' will pay for them. Yet on the other hand many people on here moan about the dumbing down of UK society? How short-sighted are you?!?

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By we I guess you mean the government. If it going to be so lucrative the we should be private investment.

Im sure lots of scientists have been employed looking for cancer treatments for decades, where are the free treatments they discovered? There arent any.

Nothing is free, but if cost is your primary concern about medicine, and being "lucrative", then you're a rather disturbing person. I'd rather saving lives was the main concern in developing treatments, not being lucrative.

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So let me get this straight, we don't need these high-minded scientists because, well if they're really needed the 'market' will pay for them. Yet on the other hand many people on here moan about the dumbing down of UK society? How short-sighted are you?!?

Its the we you dont seem to get. We the tax payers do not need to pay for high minded scientists. As we have found with everything the tax payer pays for its a complete waste of money and ends up with very poor results.

There is also no link between this and the dumbing down of society. Have you talked to someone who has left school recently? They can barely communicate, I could read and write at that level when I was 11.

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Its the we Jonnhy Storm you dont seem to get. We the tax payers do Johnny Storm does not need to pay for high minded scientists. As we have he has found with everything the tax payer he pays for its a complete waste of money and ends up with very poor results.

Got any evidence to back that assumption up?

There is also no link between this and the dumbing down of society.

O RLY? Any evidence or is this again just your opinion?

Have you talked to someone who has left school recently? They can barely communicate, I could read and write at that level when I was 11. Bo

Utter ********. Yes the average is going down but in the range of people who aspire to going to do high-end research I doubt it's changed much, giving room for scientists being worse at language, arts students at maths etc.

You don't speak for me anymore than I speak for you so don't make assumptions that are full of shit.

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