On Wednesday 19 December the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Medical Research, supported by the Academy, held a tour of the Francis Crick Institute - Europe's largest research institute – for six parliamentarians to see first-hand how those who support, undertake and lead biomedical research work together, and to hear about why international movement and collaboration are so vital to their work.
The event followed the APPG’s June drop-in event, Science Moves: How Brexit, medical research and international mobility can make Britain fit for the future. In attendance were Baroness Masham, Howe, Finlay and Walmsley as well as Anne Marie Morris MP and Stephen Metcalfe MP.
The morning of the tour coincided with the release of the Government’s White Paper outlining plans for ending free movement and implementing a future skills-based immigration system, which placed these issues at the forefront of many parliamentarians’ minds. The group met with the Crick’s director Sir Paul Nurse FMedSci to hear about the institute’s ambition to discover more about the underlying biology of disease to improve health, and how much of the work conducted is underpinned by international mobility and collaboration.
The group then toured the Crick building, stopping along the way to speak with those on the front line of research. With 40% of Crick’s research staff European, the group were able to hear many first-hand accounts of the importance of mobility, international partnerships, and access to European funding mechanisms for research.