Undoubtedly, the vote for the UK to leave the EU has created considerable uncertainties. Like other organizations across the country, Plymouth Marine Laboratory has been trying to interpret what the outcome of this referendum might mean for us as an organization and for our staff. Our two key concerns relate to funding and people.
At PML we are very proud to have an exemplary reputation in Europe for conducting marine science and disseminating the outputs of our research in an accessible and relevant form to a range of stakeholders and end-users. Our research focuses on the many challenges facing the marine environment and such challenges require international co-operation. Accordingly, we work closely with our European neighbours on topics of mutual interest, as well as some that are of global concern. Of course, the marine environment continues to connect us all and should be considered a common heritage worthy of our communal protection and stewardship.
Having been exceedingly successful in attracting EU funding, we are keen to ensure future access to comparable levels of financial support for marine science. Accordingly, we fully endorse the statement of the Royal Society calling on the UK Government to safeguard the overall level of financial support for science.
The international nature of marine science relates not only to the scale of challenges to be tackled, but also access to the best scientific expertise and experience. Such qualities do not respect national boundaries, any more than the ocean we study. PML has established a global reputation in marine research by attracting the best scientists and students from across Europe, as well as worldwide. We work together seamlessly in an interdisciplinary and multi-national manner. Accordingly, our highest priority following the Brexit vote goes to protecting our EU staff and removing uncertainties regarding their future in the UK. At the same time, we continue to work closely with our EU partners in order to retain these important relationships for the purposes of scientific collaboration and endeavour in the face of global challenges.
Professor Stephen de Mora, FRSA, FRSB, FRSC, CChem
Chief Executive, Plymouth Marine Laboratory