Post-EU Referendum – What it means to ESOF

Vicky Rosin, programme director for the EuroScience Open Forum 2016 said: “The EuroScience Open Forum is, at its heart a European conference, but with a distinct global appeal. Scientists, innovators, students, policymakers and persons interested in science from all over the world attend and participate in the conference and it will go ahead as planned.

“As one of the UK’s first major international events after the vote, ESOF and Manchester will now serve as a platform for discussion and debate about our future relationship with the European science community and how we best move forward in collaboration.

“We remain proud of our status as European City of Science and we look forward to presenting a fantastic public engagement festival next month, Science in the City, which will be wrapped around the ESOF meeting.”

After the significant political events in the UK last week, we feel it is very important to make clear our position as we prepare to welcome you all to Manchester next month.

The simple and unequivocal message is that “the show must go on”. A great deal of work and effort has gone into delivering a fantastic meeting in Manchester and it is now even more important to use ESOF 2016 as an opportunity to have deep and meaningful discussions about the new situation we find ourselves in and how the European science community meets the many challenges ahead.

As scrutiny of what happened last week continues, it will come as little surprise that polling analysis by Nature Research suggests that 83% of researchers living in the UK voted to remain as part of the European Union. The UK scientific community fought hard during the campaign to demonstrate the value of its European linkages and to lobby in favour of a decision that would not leave UK researchers in isolation – and in turn, that those colleagues within the European Union could continue to collaborate with the UK.

ESOF’s very name reveals that it is about openness and we would implore the scientific community to embrace this by using the event to make a statement about solidarity and the commitment to global science that we all freely pursue.

Manchester continues to be proud of its status as European City of Science. We are and will remain an international city committed to bringing the benefits of science to its citizens and those of the UK, Europe and the world.

Now is the time to embrace the mantra that ideas know no boundaries and make no mistake ESOF 2016 will be a landmark moment for the future of science, as we begin navigate a course through uncharted waters. However one thing is certain, our commitment to collaboration will continue undiminished.