Top-level group to discuss Brexit with science community stakeholders

7 March 2017

Universities and science minister Jo Johnson is heading a high-level working group to discuss the UK’s exit from the EU with the science and innovation communities, with the IOP and three other learned societies being represented on the forum by Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) president Professor Sir John Holman.

Top-level group to discuss Brexit with science community stakeholders
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Professor Holman is representing the RSC, IOP, Royal Society of Biology and Council for Mathematical Sciences on the group, which has representatives from other scientific societies, universities, government and funding bodies.

The forum, known as the High Level Stakeholder Working Group on EU Exit, Universities, Research and Innovation, exists to discuss issues of common interest in approaching the UK’s exit from the EU and the emphasis will be on “considering all factors related to research and innovation that need to be taken into account as government policy develops”, the government says.

It will also share intelligence about the health of the sector, evidence of the impacts and opportunities for the sector following Brexit (where possible) and information about changes to the research and innovation landscape that might become relevant to policy development post-Brexit.

 Holman said: “I am very pleased to be able to represent our four organisations, to give a balanced view of the implications of leaving the EU across science and mathematics. I will be working in close partnership with senior representatives and staff from all of those organisations and I look forward to participating in open and in-depth discussions with other stakeholders.”

Commenting on the new forum, the IOP’s chief executive, Professor Paul Hardaker, said: “The working group is already making an important contribution to the Brexit discussions on science and our learned societies have an important role to play in that. We are delighted to be working together with our sister societies from biology, chemistry and maths and as a team we provide a valued and respected input into the work of the group.

“We have some challenging issues to tackle ahead of us over the next 24 months but all of those around the table are working hard to address these and to make sure that, whatever the outcome, UK science remains world class.”