The following letter was written in October 2016, but, aware that the opposition to Brexit on this blog can be passionate, to say the least, I think that Epicurean moderation and respect for the opinions of others require me to publicise an interesting pro-Brexit point of view from Angus Dalgleish, a professor of oncology research at St George’s, University of London, an expert in his field:
“Brexit will be a boon for scientists?
“There has been a “chorus of doom” about the negative impact Brexit will have on scientific research. Well, I’ve no concerns about leaving the EU – in fact, it will be a blessed relief for people in my field. Britain used to be one of the best places in the world to do clinical trials. But the EU Clinical Trials Directive of 2004 more or less killed off the trials industry, with onerous, overcautious new regulations which have stifled innovation.
“Thus researchers are now barred from looking for exciting new uses for old drugs – I, for example, conducted trials with a TB vaccine in cancer patients – practices that used to yield breakthroughs. As for the allocation of grant money, this – as my experience on an EU cancer commission taught me – is mainly “determined by lobbying, not by peer-reviewed decisions”. Leaving the EU will allow us to escape this “constipated culture” and return to “a freer, researcher-led and much more creative approach to regulating medical studies and saving lives”. (The Daily Telegraph and The Week).
Good news? However, I must say I am surprised to learn that the UK is free of the problem found everywhere else, namely that grant money is not “determined by lobbying, not by peer-reviewed decisions”. Amazing!