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debtlessmanc

Brexit Is End Of Uk Science As We Know It

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There are an absolute cascade of these stories e.g.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/brexit-eu-latest-news-uk-science-economy-break-superpower-status-government-warning-a7134381.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/brexit-britain-latest-news-academics-threaten-to-quit-brain-drain-over-racist-xenophobic-eu-a7133316.html

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/jul/12/uk-scientists-dropped-from-eu-projects-because-of-post-brexit-funding-fears

www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5e4d843e-48f2-11e6-8d68-72e9211e86ab.html#axzz4EIuuyHKg

etc

underneath some of these are comments with endless wailing and nashing of teeth about how awful it is. How they personally have lost research grants etc

As some will know i am an academic in the science/engineering area

I really, really do not see this.

firstly i have only ever been closely involved in one european funded project. But it is widely known that they are bureaucratic and wasteful. Myself and nearly everyone i have ever spoken too about them has stories about collaborators in france/portugal/greece/spain etc who took the funding and went off and spent it on something completely unrelated to the subject they were supposed to research on.

The commission uses the money politically, it specifies that you have to hire people from outside your own country so as to promote "mobility" in practice, again, only the northern europeans do this, i was once told by a civil servant in brussels once that it was practically against the law in italy to employ a non-italian in a university and they never complied. They also insist on these poorer states being involved so as to develop them etc.

Here is the clincher though and this is how it works for me. I have an idea for a better widget, i talk to a few companies they offer some personal and money to the project. i write a grant proposal send it to a funding agency. So which agency? well the european research council (ERC) is bureaucratic, the proposals are typically 50-60 pages long, you don't get all the money or overheads. The UK agencies on the other hand proposals are only 10 pages long and much simpler and you get to keep the IP yourself. So basically if the idea is any good you send it to the UK agency. if it isn;t you gather together a bunch of 2nd rate european research groups and send it there

basically the stuff submitted to ERC is stuff no one else will fund...

My own position is that i have held around 30 grants all but one from the UK or US governments or companies

Now here is an even more interesting thing, it was announced that for the first time UK (and only UK) researchers can bid to form research consortia with US groups through their own national science foundation. This is really big news, most of my collaborations are over there (a group at MIT for example) so obviously i think this is the way we will have to go

The point of all this is that i can see how, from within my own community, the EU has promoted a culture of dependency and mediocrity. I can only presume this is repeated elsewhere

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I've been involved with medical researchers for around 30 years in the course of my job. I can say hand on heart that I can't think of a single European funded project.

Weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth - none of it based on fact.

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On a related topic, many years back I worked on an EU subsidized project with a consortium of companies involved. The British end did all the work and the Greeks, and this is not a joke, took the cash and bought a yacht with it. I know this because they invited us to Greece and gave us dinner and drinks on board. They were totally brazen about it and never contributed anything to the project.

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On a related topic, many years back I worked on an EU subsidized project with a consortium of companies involved. The British end did all the work and the Greeks, and this is not a joke, took the cash and bought a yacht with it. I know this because they invited us to Greece and gave us dinner and drinks on board. They were totally brazen about it and never contributed anything to the project.

Similar to the fact that most other EU countries ignore EU legislation that they don't agree with. The UK abide slavishly by it. We are daft. ?

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On a related topic, many years back I worked on an EU subsidized project with a consortium of companies involved. The British end did all the work and the Greeks, and this is not a joke, took the cash and bought a yacht with it. I know this because they invited us to Greece and gave us dinner and drinks on board. They were totally brazen about it and never contributed anything to the project.

It really, really would not surprise me. I never heard of anything that bad, but hiring close relatives who are not qualified for the work.

Yes several times ...

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There are an absolute cascade of these stories e.g.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/brexit-eu-latest-news-uk-science-economy-break-superpower-status-government-warning-a7134381.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/brexit-britain-latest-news-academics-threaten-to-quit-brain-drain-over-racist-xenophobic-eu-a7133316.html

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/jul/12/uk-scientists-dropped-from-eu-projects-because-of-post-brexit-funding-fears

www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5e4d843e-48f2-11e6-8d68-72e9211e86ab.html#axzz4EIuuyHKg

etc

underneath some of these are comments with endless wailing and nashing of teeth about how awful it is. How they personally have lost research grants etc

As some will know i am an academic in the science/engineering area

I really, really do not see this.

firstly i have only ever been closely involved in one european funded project. But it is widely known that they are bureaucratic and wasteful. Myself and nearly everyone i have ever spoken too about them has stories about collaborators in france/portugal/greece/spain etc who took the funding and went off and spent it on something completely unrelated to the subject they were supposed to research on.

The commission uses the money politically, it specifies that you have to hire people from outside your own country so as to promote "mobility" in practice, again, only the northern europeans do this, i was once told by a civil servant in brussels once that it was practically against the law in italy to employ a non-italian in a university and they never complied. They also insist on these poorer states being involved so as to develop them etc.

Here is the clincher though and this is how it works for me. I have an idea for a better widget, i talk to a few companies they offer some personal and money to the project. i write a grant proposal send it to a funding agency. So which agency? well the european research council (ERC) is bureaucratic, the proposals are typically 50-60 pages long, you don't get all the money or overheads. The UK agencies on the other hand proposals are only 10 pages long and much simpler and you get to keep the IP yourself. So basically if the idea is any good you send it to the UK agency. if it isn;t you gather together a bunch of 2nd rate european research groups and send it there

basically the stuff submitted to ERC is stuff no one else will fund...

My own position is that i have held around 30 grants all but one from the UK or US governments or companies

Now here is an even more interesting thing, it was announced that for the first time UK (and only UK) researchers can bid to form research consortia with US groups through their own national science foundation. This is really big news, most of my collaborations are over there (a group at MIT for example) so obviously i think this is the way we will have to go

The point of all this is that i can see how, from within my own community, the EU has promoted a culture of dependency and mediocrity. I can only presume this is repeated elsewhere

I'm also an academic, but not in a 'sexy' stem area. Thus I have NEVER seen a drop of EU money or grant. From my perspective, I can't see there being any difference to finding whatsoever. Those in a rarified and privileged subject may see things differently.

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Depends very much on subject area, I expect. Many branches of physics and astronomy are heavily reliant on international collaboration, both for the funds to build the machines and detectors, and the expertise to design, build, run the machines, the various experiments and analyse the output.

I think I'm correct in saying it is one of the areas in which the UK is a net beneficiary of EU funding. Nothing to stop the funding being honoured by the UK Govt, minus EU skims, but of course nothing is assured.

I expect there will have to be a lot of ferocious lobbying by the science community, something I know many senior science bods are neither interested in nor have any time to do it. Must be some of the hardest working types I have ever come across, pretty much work until they drop.

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The point of all this is that i can see how, from within my own community, the EU has promoted a culture of dependency and mediocrity. I can only presume this is repeated elsewhere

Sorry to shorten your post. I too am a jobbing scientist (35 years now)

I have been embarrassed by the Twitter feeds of many of my colleagues - those Twitter accounts that look for authority "Prof at University of X/Y ... while hiding behind the phrase "expressing my own views". Since Brexit, it's as if their world is ending. Comments like "Hate Won" "Support the online petition" etc, you will have seen it.

The sentence of yours that I left, could not be more true. If Brexit brings about one thing for me, the decline of participation in bureaucratic EU Framework programmes, then I will raise a glass. The science chases the funding, the funding requirements force unnatural collaborations, and by and large it promotes mediocrity.

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A few weeks before the vote I had a visit from our local councillor about another issue.

After we`d finished I said "what about this brexit thing ?"

She said that it was a worry to them as it would affect her scientist husbands funding.

I said `it`s all about the money then? " (I rubbed thumb and fingers together!).....at which point she stormed off.

3 weeks from the vote and the vi`s snap into action !

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Depends very much on subject area, I expect. Many branches of physics and astronomy are heavily reliant on international collaboration, both for the funds to build the machines and detectors, and the expertise to design, build, run the machines, the various experiments and analyse the output.

I think I'm correct in saying it is one of the areas in which the UK is a net beneficiary of EU funding. Nothing to stop the funding being honoured by the UK Govt, minus EU skims, but of course nothing is assured.

How much actual expertise do we have in those areas? Enough that there will still be enough interest in keeping us on board whatever?

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How much actual expertise do we have in those areas? Enough that there will still be enough interest in keeping us on board whatever?

We have quite a bit.. there are UK groups working on bits of ELI-NP and ESS etc.

I believe current funding is good until 2018, and even then I believe there is still an option to keep paying into European research projects from outside the EU.

Someone up thread said they thought we were a net beneficiary in this area. It may be true now, but it wasn't my understanding. They used to run industry focused talks trying to encourage UK companies to bid for European work because we simply weren't getting the payback (last one I went to was about 5 years ago though to be fair).

Interestingly, I have it on fairly good authority that a lot of people working on these EU funded projects are very pro Brexit. Make of that what you will.. it surprised me!

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It's OK. I am a bottomologist, and Brits will always fund that. :blink:

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I was strong armed into helping on a framework proposal to provide a technology solution.

The proposal was a bit crazy but the tech would have been interesting to build, so I went along with it. There was a lot of bumpf to fill out Fortunately one of the University partners had an officer whose sole job was handling and advising on EU applications. So that was OK. We picked a team with as many different countries as possible.

It was a bit of a faff putting the info together, and no doubt more of a faff for the person that had to handle all the buraecracy. When the proposal was turned down was what annoyed me, not because it was a good proposal (I thought it was a bit crazy and of questionable merit), but the reasons they cited were, well, a bit strange and not at all the ones that you would expect them to, and did not seem to be related to the criteria that the proposal was supposed to be judged on.

My applications to UK grants have been more successful, but the auditing has always disappointed me. When you spend some time creating your widget, you want to bring it and show it off to the auditors. A bit like a cat when it comes to you and coughs up that mouse its just caught for you in the garden. However they only ever seem to want to ferret through the accounts to check that you spent what you said you spent. They seem less interested in evaluating the performance of the creation, which to me comes across as a bit sad. I would like to be audited on my technical achievements as well as my ability to enter invoice numbers on a spreadsheet.

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Out of interest what useful science has all the EU funding actually done?

Quite possibly it has maintained many jobs....jobs that work will benefit some, none or many..... ;)

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