Brexit: EMS urges politicians to stand guard on free scientific collaboration

The European Mathematical Society acknowledges the fact that the expressed will of the people is the highest authority in a democratic society and it must be respected. Nevertheless we regret the outcome of the British referendum and we are afraid that it will influence scientific life in all parts of Europe in a negative direction.

The present European Union is, of course, not ideal and we hope that this week's events will inspire a profound reflection about ways to improve it. We view the EU as a safeguard for the free circulation of people and ideas which is vital for progress in science.

On a short time scale some damage can hardly be avoided, and we can only appeal to all parties involved in the resolution of the problems created by the referendum, to the British government in the first place, to act responsibly in the search of a new equilibrium.

Europe and the World experienced in the last century repeatedly situations in which a political vis major entered brutally the life and work of individual scientists, and we know very well how difficult it was to restore a fruitful climate. The entire scientific community, and mathematicians in particular, must show solidarity and the will to protect what we rightly regard as one of the most precious European assets: ample opportunities for open and inspiring collaboration without political obstacles.

 June 24       Pavel Exner
                      EMS President

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