The “Conference of the Italian Academics and Researchers in the United Kingdom” focused on the consequences of Brexit for Italian researchers and students currently living in the UK. The event was organised by the Italian Embassy in London and the Association of Italian Scientists, AISUK, in the UK on the premises of King’s College in London on June 30.
The Conference was opened by the Italian Ambassador to the UK, Pasquale Terracciano. Among the others attending the meeting were Prof. Massimo Inguscio, President of the National Research Council,CNR, the Minister Fabrizio Nicoletti, Director General for Innovation and Research of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prof. Antonio Guarino, AISUK President, and Prof. Roberto Di Lauro, Scientific Attaché of the Italian Embassy in London, as well as many Italian and English academics and scientists.
The UK has a community of over 5,000 Italian scientists and academics, who work across the spectrum of the sciences, ranging from physics to engineering to biomedical, social and human sciences. A community which also welcomes a considerable number of Italian students, nearly 7,000, who are enrolled in master programmes and PhD courses. It is the second-largest academic community in the UK after the German community. Up to this date, the United Kingdom has been a success story in the field of research. However, Brexit was received with great concern by the English Academy. The Scientific Office of the Italian Embassy in London conducted a survey on a sample of approx. 650 Italian academics working in the UK and 82% of them said they wanted to move to another country or at least consider that possibility following the decision the UK made to exit the European Union. Moreover, a third of those who wanted to move to another country are thinking of resettling in Italy. There are many reasons that have brought about such a drastic change, including the ending of EU research funding and the subsequent decrease in scientific exchanges.
Besides discussing all the Brexit related issues and its impact on the Italian academic world in the United Kingdom, the event included the presentation of the “ItalyMadeMe” awards to the recent graduates and PhDs working in the UK who have been recognised for their research work.