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Brexit would have negative impact on the geosciences says Geological Society of London survey

16 June 2016

Nearly two thirds of respondents believe a UK exit from the EU would have a negative impact on their work, in a survey of geoscientists carried out by the Geological Society of London.

The survey, carried out between 13 May and 8 June, received 1,101 responses from geoscientists working in industry, research, consultancy services and non profit organisations.

Of the 863 geoscientists who responded to the question ‘what impact will leaving the European Union have on your employment sector?’, 62.5% answered ‘very negative’ or ‘slightly negative’, and  8.6% either ‘slightly positive’ or ‘very positive.’

Among respondent’s concerns was the potential impact on geoscience research and research funding – of those who responded to the question, 67.2% suggested a UK exit would have a negative effect, whilst 6.2% thought the impact would be positive.

Frequent concerns raised in comments were threats to collaborative research networks across the EU, freedom of travel and employment of EU based geoscientists. A number also expressed unease about the possible impact on UK environmental legislation.

 ‘It’s clear from the results of the survey that there is uncertainty in the geoscience community about the impact of a UK exit from the EU’ says Geological Society Executive Secretary Sarah Fray. ‘Whilst some respondents suggest leaving will have little effect on their work either way, many are concerned about the potential impact on research funding and employment.

‘Geoscience is by nature an international subject – rocks do not obey national borders. It’s no surprise, then, that many of those working in the sector are concerned about the potential consequences of leaving the EU.’

Notes for editors

• The survey, hosted by Survey Monkey, was open between 13 May and 8 June, and aimed at UK based geoscientists.

• 1,101 responses were received - respondents were not required to be Fellows of the Geological Society.

• Questions were not mandatory-of the 1,101 respondents, 863 chose to answer ‘what impact will leaving the European Union have on your employment sector?’ 241 respondents gave further comment.

• For further details of the survey results visit

• The Geological Society of London, founded 1807, is a learned and professional body, of over 12,000 Earth scientists with a remit to investigate, interpret, discuss, inform and advise on the nature and processes of the Earth, their practical importance to humanity, and, in the interests of the public, to promote professional excellence. The Society offers advice to Parliament and Government, at individual and corporate levels. Registered Charity No. 210161.