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How does EU membership affect UK science?


The Lords Science and Technology Committee is to hold its first evidence session next week on its new inquiry charting the ways that EU membership and science, research and innovation interact in the UK.

On Tuesday 15 December the Committee will take evidence from scientific experts with experience of working in the UK and Europe.

The witnesses giving evidence in the first session, starting at 10.40am, are Professor Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary-General, League of European Research Universities (LERU); Professor Dame Janet Thornton, Director Emeritus of EMBL-EBI and Senior Scientist, European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI); and Professor Steve Cowley, Chief Executive Officer, UK Atomic Energy Authority and Head of the EURATOM / Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) Fusion Association.

In a second session, starting at 11.40am, the witnesses will be Professor Paul Boyle, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Leicester; Professor Andrew Harrison, Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Light Source; and Professor Dominic Tildesley, President, Royal Society of Chemistry.

The evidence sessions will cover questions such as:

  • How significant is EU funding in terms of the vitality and productivity of the UK science base?
  • How could the UK participate in EU-led infrastructure programmes if it were not a member of the EU?
  • Do EU funding incentives to collaborate with Member States reduce the incentives for international, non-EU collaborations?
  • What is the effect of freedom of movement within the EU on students and early career researchers?
  • Is the balance of regulatory power between the EU and the UK correct?
  • In your area of expertise, what is the single most influential area of EU regulation?
  • What problems are caused by the different approaches to science advice in the EU compared to the UK?

The evidence sessions will start at 10.40am on Tuesday 15 December in Committee Room 4a of the House of Lords.

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