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Lords Committee to ask national academies about the impact of EU membership on UK science


Next Tuesday, 12 January, the Lords Science and Technology Committee is to continue its inquiry into the relationship between EU membership and the effectiveness of UK science, research and innovation.

It will hear from representatives from the four National Academies as well as senior figures from the world of social science within the UK.

Areas that the Committee will aim to cover include the impact of EU membership on natural science and social sciences, and how EU membership influences business investment in R&D in the UK, as well as issues such as freedom of movement of people, the provision of science advice and use of evidence in policy-making.

At 10.40am the first witnesses will be Professor Ric Parker CBE FREng, Director of Research and Technology, Rolls-Royce plc (representing the Royal Academy of Engineering); Professor Sir Robert Lechler FKC, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences; and Professor Alex Halliday FRS, Vice-President, The Royal Society.

In the second session, starting at approximately 11.40 am, the witnesses will be Professor Dame Helen Wallace, Europe Liaison Chair, British Academy; Sir Emyr Jones Parry, President, The Learned Society of Wales; and David Walker, Head of Policy, Academy of Social Sciences.

The evidence sessions will cover questions such as:

  • What do you think is the single biggest influence that EU membership has on UK science, research and innovation?
  • How significant is EU funding in terms of the vitality and productivity of the UK science base?
  • How does the UK's EU membership influence R&D investment by businesses in the UK?
  • Does the balance of regulatory power between the EU and the UK need to change?
  • What is the effect of freedom of movement of people within the EU on the science and research community in the UK?
  • How important are EU funding schemes to the social science community in the UK?
  • Are the National Academies planning to engage the wider public in the scientific dimensions of the EU membership debate?

The evidence sessions will start at 10.40am on Tuesday 12 January in Committee Room 4a of the House of Lords.

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