As the UK heads to the polls to decide whether it will remain in the EU, I decided that a fresh, more positive view was required. Frankly, the continuous ‘take back control’ spiels and immigrant bashings are boring at best, dangerous at worst. Hugely respected scientists have openly declared how vital the UK’s membership in the EU is for the future of science.
Here is a selection of these scientists with a brief blurb detailing their achievements and contribution to society…because listening to them is an awful lot more sensible than citing claims that it’s costing us £350 million a week to give benefits to the lazy immigrants stealing all our jobs.
(As an aside, #BremainyMcBremainFace is probably the best thing to come out of these campaigns).
Professor Peter Higgs
Nobel laureate and theoretical physicist. Predicted the presence of the Higgs boson, which according to the Standard Model of particle physics is how certain particles can have mass. The Higgs boson was confirmed in 2013 after a series of complex experiments.
Sir Paul Nurse
Nobel laureate and geneticist. Identified the genes cdc2 and Cdk1 involved in cell cycle progression in yeast and humans, respectively. Disruptions of a ‘normal’ cell cycle can result in cancer.
Sir Martin Evans
Nobel laureate and biologist. The first to culture mouse embryonic stem cells as well as inducing specific gene modifications in mice. The advances that he made contributed greatly to the development of disease treatments.
Dr Sydney Brenner
Nobel laureate and biologist. Established the use of C. elegans as a model organism and discovered that the DNA genetic code cannot be overlapping. He was also involved in demonstrating the ‘triplet’ nature of protein translation, in that three bases encode one amino acid.
Professor John O’Keefe
Nobel laureate and neuroscientist. Discovered place cells, neurons which are activated when you enter a particular place, in the hippocampus of the brain. He also discovered theta phase precession, a type of oscillatory pattern produced by the brain.
Sir John Gurdon
Nobel laureate and developmental biologist. Discovered the adult cells can be reprogrammed into pluripotent cells, advancing the field of stem cell biology.
Sir John Walker
Nobel laureate and chemist. Characterised proteins found in the mitochondrial membrane as well as the sequence of the mitochondrial genome. He also helped confirm how the ATP synthase enzyme functions.
Dr Tomas Lindahl
Nobel laureate and cancer biologist. Isolated an enzyme called DNA ligase, involved in the joining of DNA molecules. He is considered an leading expert in the mechanism of DNA repair, something which has application in the understanding of infections and cancer.