Matt Ridley: In the name of science, Britain must leave the EU

Posted: May 17, 2016 by tallbloke in Analysis, Big Green, Education, EU Referendum, solar system dynamics

Matt-RidleyCapX has a cogently argued piece from Matt Ridley on the reasons why Britains science endeavours would be benefited by #Brexit.

Britain – for its size – is probably the world’s leading scientific country. We have less than 1% of the world’s population, but 15% of the most highly cited scientific papers, and more Nobel prize winners than any other European country. We are world leaders in biotechnology and digital technology and our greatest potential collaborators and potential rivals in both fields are in Asia and America, not Europe.

So it is vital that we remain open to the world, not stuck in little Europe. A regional customs union protected by tariff walls and run from a central bureaucracy is a 1950s idea – an analogue project in a digital era, as Michael Gove puts it. In an age when container shipping has collapsed the cost of intercontinental trade; when the internet and budget airlines and Skype have made it as easy to collaborate with Asia and America and Africa as in Europe, regionalism makes less sense.

Harmonising standards is a good idea, yes, but doing so at the regional level makes no sense. In fintech, in car making, in ag-tech, in digital, in biotech – the action is at the global level, where our voice is just 1/28th of a seat. We could be chairing these bodies.

Science is a global activity. Every time you go to a lab you meet people who originated everywhere and anywhere, yet all speak the same language, by which I don’t mean English, I mean reason, I mean a love of evidence, a passion for truth. Britain’s been an especially welcoming country for scientists. Our labs are more diverse even than our premier league teams.

Full article

  1. Tim Hammond says:

    I do like Ridley, but it’s strange that he believes the particulates/Nox nonsense. The claims suffer from all the problems he highlights for other things such as the neocortinoids, yet he continues to believe them.

  2. Wayne Job says:

    The man is right, remember your title is not England but Great Britain, whilst us aussies call Poms {prisoner of her majesty] we also you and you deeds both past and present in high esteem. Tying your coat tails to the ragtag mob of Europe was a big mistake. The only other mob with more nobel prizes and savvy are the Jews that I also hold in high esteem. Your exit from the EU would give your country the freedom to make huge trading deals with the commonwealth of old. Go for it. Wayne

  3. mrmethane says:

    Why does East Anglia come to mind?

  4. hunter says:

    The EU is an artifact whose time has passed.

  5. John Silver says:

    “digital technology”?
    He must be thinking of Clive Sinclair, right?

  6. Fanakapan says:

    Poor argument !

    One only has to see whats happened to the world of Science in the USA, which Ridley probably fully approves of, to see the fallacy of the argument.

    Open Science is the key, in Ridley world science would likely become the handmaiden of FastBuck Inc.

    One just has to see the situation in the USA where publicly funded research cannot be accessed without stumping up cash, to see that the EU for all its faults is maybe more friendly to Open Science than a UK becoming a minime of America might be ?

    Science driven by Profit, or Science driven by curiosity ?

  7. AJB says:

    Or science driven by vested interest, lobbied for by NGO using our taxes handed out by central project enhancing EU bureaucrat? The circular curiosity of the useful idiot.