Financially speaking, being in the EU is clearly good for British research - even leaving aside the less-quantifiable value of freedom of movement and collaboration which is so essential.

"In 2007-2013, the UK gave a total of 78bn euros to the EU. Of this, 5.4bn was specified to go to the EU's R&D programme. But in return, 8.8bn euros came back to the UK for R&D."

On the other hand...

"Prof Angus Dalgleish, of the University of London, is a spokesman for "Scientists For Britain". This is a group of researchers arguing the case for an EU exit."

This professor is a member of UKIP, who are led by a man who is objectively racist. I therefore don't take his opinion very seriously. Maybe he's a fine researcher, I don't know, but that doesn't stop me developing an instant and profound dislike for his political opinions.

"He is the organisation's only spokesman, he says, because arguing the case for a British exit is unfashionable in research circles, and individuals who do so, especially if they are junior, find themselves "belittled" by their superiors."

Or, maybe it's unfashionable because all of that lovely EU funding that helps British research. Being from Cardiff (which built some of the instruments for the Herschel space telescope) and having a PhD supervisor who has a £2 million European grant for analysing Herschel data, I have a somewhat biased view that the EU is good for science. Even though I have not the slightest interest in anything Herschel does nor did I receive any funding directly from the EU.

"Prof Dalgleish says that arguments in favour of the UK remaining are motivated by the "narrow self-interest" of large scientific institutions and universities that receive millions of pounds of funding from the European Union."

Might it be that he wasn't able to get a European grant himself, perhaps ? Key words, "large scientific institutions". Hence, exiting the EU will harm the majority of researchers.

A more sensible chap says :

"At a time when science is getting more collaborative, more international in scale and more tightly focussed on the big societal challenges we face - the EU is a brilliant mechanism for doing science at that scale and we would be mad to turn our backs on a mechanism for collaboration that we have painstakingly built up over 25 years or more, to return to a pre-collaborative mode in which we are going it on our own."

The EU, like any political institution, is not perfect. Sometimes it can act for political reasons rather than for what's best for science. But there's no way to avoid that, because that will happen in any arrangement, and I have yet to hear of any good examples of the EU stifling research. On the contrary, there are many scientific problems that are simply too big for us to tackle on our own and many facilities we need access to that would be much harder for us if we left the EU. 

Small scale research is vital. But while the EU demonstrably enables large-scale projects like CERN and the SKA, I see no evidence that it somehow prevents smaller research projects. Both are needed, and both are enabled by the EU. 
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