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Laureates Warn Against Hard Brexit

A 'hard' Brexit could harm science across the UK, warn a number of British Nobel laureates and Fields Medal winners.

As the Guardian reports, 29 award-winning scientists wrote a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in which they urge the UK to soften the blow of Brexit on science. According to Metro, they further argue that barriers to scientific collaboration in the EU would "inhibit progress, to the detriment of us all."

"The increasing chaos – because that's what it looks like – around the Brexit negotiations is causing huge concern among scientists," Paul Nurse, one of the letter signatories and Nobel laureate, told BBC Radio 4's Today program, according to the Guardian. "The government doesn't seem to be putting this at the top of its agenda." This, he adds, is particularly demoralizing younger scientists.

The Guardian adds that a survey of more than 1,000 people at the Crick Institute, which Nurse directs, found that 97 percent thought that a hard Brexit would be bad for science in the UK and 82 percent thought it would also be bad for science in the EU.

Sam Gymriah, the science minister, also told BBC Radio 4 that "unprecedented" amounts of funding would be going toward UK science in the next few years.