Brexit e poi?

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L. Cifarelli   29-06-2016    Leggi in PDF
Credits: tonsnoei / 123RF Archivio Fotografico, http://it.123rf.com/profile_tonsnoei

Sicuramente l'esito del referendum del 23 giugno 2016 nel Regno Unito e il conseguente Brexit dall'Unione Europea hanno creato un notevole scompiglio, anche nel nostro mondo scientifico.

Il 24 giugno è stata diramata una dichiarazione del Presidente della Società Europea di Fisica, lo svizzero Christophe Rossel, che traduce appunto questo stato d'animo:

«The European Physical Society (EPS) regrets the outcome of the vote by the British people and their decision to leave the European Union. In spite of all possible consequences that might arise from this choice, the popular decision must be respected like in all democratic processes. The result of the UK's referendum will certainly bring the leaders to start a wider discussion on the future of the Union. Even if Europe might loose a strong and respected research partner, the scientific community must remain united and aim in fostering further the international collaboration, especially when urgent solutions to global challenges are required.
Indeed, one of the strengths of scientific research is its international nature and the free exchange of people and ideas across borders, a policy and philosophy strongly supported by EPS. At a time when the EU Commission wants to develop and implement open science policy to improve the quality and impact of European science, in particular by better interconnecting research infrastructures, it would be unfortunate to see such efforts refrained by political decisions.
The withdrawal of the UK from the EU will indeed have negative consequences for its universities and researchers. Like Switzerland is experiencing it with its status of partial associated country in Horizon 2020 and all the required negotiations to reach bilateral agreements, access to EU funding will become more difficult  for UK scientists. In spite of yesterday's vote, EPS will further develop and strengthen its excellent relationship with the Institute of Physics (IOP), and this with the help of all its other national Member Societies.
It is the mission of EPS to advocate for physics research and its contribution to the economic, technological, social and cultural advancement in Europe. Its role is also to represent the European physics community in providing independent input into science policy issues. In this function EPS calls on the UK Government and the EU Governing Bodies to act with all respectful means to ensure a smooth transition and maintain the good integration of the UK scientists within the European landscape.
»

Lo stesso giorno, anche il Direttore Generale del CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), l'italiana Fabiola Gianotti, ha diffuso il seguente comunicato:  

«Many people have expressed their concerns about the consequences of yesterday’s vote in the UK for CERN, and for the UK’s relationship with CERN. CERN is an intergovernmental organisation subject to its own treaty. We are not part of the European Union, and several of our Member States, including Switzerland, in which we are headquartered, are not EU Members. Britain’s membership of CERN is not affected by the UK electorate’s vote to leave the European Union. We look forward to continuing the very constructive relationship we have shared with the UK, one of our founding members, long into the future.
CERN was founded on the principle of international collaboration, and our success over the years is built on that. We will continue to work proactively to encourage ever-greater international collaboration in particle physics, and to help ensure that the UK continues to play a very active role.
»  

Personalmente, mi rammarico dell'accaduto, almeno per me inaspettato, una decisione che storicamente valuto un controsenso. Ma al tempo stesso ritengo non sia il caso di lasciarsi prendere dal panico. Nell'associarmi a quanto detto da Rossel e Gianotti, vorrei ribadire che, malgrado l'incognita di questo nuovo e inquietante scenario di Brexit, occorre rinforzare il nostro consolidato e inarrestabile impegno di collaborazione scientifica, senza segreti e senza frontiere. L'abbiamo fatto persino quando era in piedi il muro di Berlino. L'uscita del Regno Unito dall'UE non farà certo della Manica un nuovo muro.


Luisa Cifarelli
Presidente della Società Italiana di Fisica-SIF
Fellow dell'Institute of Physics-IOP



Brexit, what next?

Surely the outcome of the referendum of 23rd June 2016 in the United Kingdom and the resulting Brexit from the European Union have created considerable disarray, even in our scientific world.

On June 24th, a statement by the President of the European Physical Society, the Swiss Christophe Rossel, was circulated, translating precisely this state of mind:

«The European Physical Society (EPS) regrets the outcome of the vote by the British people and their decision to leave the European Union. In spite of all possible consequences that might arise from this choice, the popular decision must be respected like in all democratic processes. The result of the UK's referendum will certainly bring the leaders to start a wider discussion on the future of the Union. Even if Europe might loose a strong and respected research partner, the scientific community must remain united and aim in fostering further the international collaboration, especially when urgent solutions to global challenges are required.
Indeed, one of the strengths of scientific research is its international nature and the free exchange of people and ideas across borders, a policy and philosophy strongly supported by EPS. At a time when the EU Commission wants to develop and implement open science policy to improve the quality and impact of European science, in particular by better interconnecting research infrastructures, it would be unfortunate to see such efforts refrained by political decisions.
The withdrawal of the UK from the EU will indeed have negative consequences for its universities and researchers. Like Switzerland is experiencing it with its status of partial associated country in Horizon 2020 and all the required negotiations to reach bilateral agreements, access to EU funding will become more difficult  for UK scientists. In spite of yesterday's vote, EPS will further develop and strengthen its excellent relationship with the Institute of Physics (IOP), and this with the help of all its other national Member Societies.
It is the mission of EPS to advocate for physics research and its contribution to the economic, technological, social and cultural advancement in Europe. Its role is also to represent the European physics community in providing independent input into science policy issues. In this function EPS calls on the UK Government and the EU Governing Bodies to act with all respectful means to ensure a smooth transition and maintain the good integration of the UK scientists within the European landscape.
»

On the same day, also the Director General of CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), the Italian Fabiola Gianotti, has issued the following communiqué:

«Many people have expressed their concerns about the consequences of yesterday’s vote in the UK for CERN, and for the UK’s relationship with CERN. CERN is an intergovernmental organisation subject to its own treaty. We are not part of the European Union, and several of our Member States, including Switzerland, in which we are headquartered, are not EU Members. Britain’s membership of CERN is not affected by the UK electorate’s vote to leave the European Union. We look forward to continuing the very constructive relationship we have shared with the UK, one of our founding members, long into the future.
CERN was founded on the principle of international collaboration, and our success over the years is built on that. We will continue to work proactively to encourage ever-greater international collaboration in particle physics, and to help ensure that the UK continues to play a very active role.
»

Personally, I regret what happened, at least to me unexpectedly, a decision that I consider historically a contradiction. But at the same time I believe there is no need to panic. Echoing what was said by Rossel and Gianotti, let me stress that, despite the unknown of this new and disturbing Brexit scenario, we must strengthen our consolidated and relentless commitment to scientific collaboration, without secrets and without frontiers. We did this even when the Berlin wall was standing. The exit of the UK from the EU will certainly not make the Channel a new wall.


Luisa Cifarelli
SIF-Italian Physical Society President
IOP-Institute of Physics Fellow

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