I started a bounty recently for this question. The reason is explained in the bounty notice: most of the answers are passionately anti-Brexit. However if the answers provide the entire story, then there shouldn't be any scientists who support Brexit. Since there are - a minority, but still present - I suspect something is missing among all the answers.

I've already started a bounty, but am having second thoughts that perhaps a separate question is better, especially since I've already accepted an answer. I don't mind just awarding the bounty now and asking a new question. Should I ask a separate question instead of awarding a bounty?

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    "However if the answers provide the entire story, then there shouldn't be any scientists who support Brexit." This is a logical fallacy. How about the hypothesis that scientists who support Brexit may have based their vote/stance on arguments that are flawed, or may have voted Leave not expecting Leave to win? You seem determined to go and find some supposed reasons/claims why Brexit would be OK for British science, and not very interested in the arguments given why Brexit as it is likely to be carried out by the actual people in UK politics and UK HE will be bad.
    – Yemon Choi
    Jul 28, 2018 at 0:01
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    You also seemed strangely insistent that a 50-50-ish split among the total vote should translate into the same kind of split among British scientists, when this seems completely bizarre statistical reasoning (why should British scientists be representative, for better or worse, of those eligible to vote in the referendum?)
    – Yemon Choi
    Jul 28, 2018 at 0:02
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    Finally: many of the points you pre-emptively raised in your question have a very strong tone of: "people say X will be a negative consequence of Brexit, but I don't see why X logically follows from not being in the EU". This seems to ignore the possibility that scientists are against the actual Brexit that is likely to happen, not some theoretical best of all worlds Brexit; and moreover, it is possible to believe that UK science need not in principle depend on UK membership of the EU, while still believing that the process of leaving could be hugely disruptive.
    – Yemon Choi
    Jul 28, 2018 at 0:04
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    May I also ask: if you don't have "skin in the game", why the dogged desire to find countervailing views to some of those who do have "skin in the game"?
    – Yemon Choi
    Jul 28, 2018 at 0:09
  • @YemonChoi do you like drawing conclusions having heard from only one side of the story? I don't. If these other reasons exist, I want to hear them. If they don't exist, I want to know why some scientists voted to leave anyway. No, I'm not "strangely insistent" that scientists are split 50-50. If you read the original question there's a source that clearly states that scientist are overwhelmingly pro-remain. I should know since I put it there. But that percentage is not 100%.
    – Allure
    Jul 28, 2018 at 0:56
  • As for process of leaving: I don't know about you, but when I make decisions I look at the end goal and figure out how to get there. The process of leaving is less important. That's why the question asked about fundamental damage to British science. Also, when the vote was held in 2016, all the things that have happened since has not happened yet, so anyone who voted to remain because they knew the process of leaving was going to be painful is surprisingly prescient.
    – Allure
    Jul 28, 2018 at 1:00
  • Finally: is there something wrong with "wanting to know"? This is a very strange question coming from someone engaged in blue skies research. You're making it seem like if you're asked to review a proof which sounds reasonable, you will not go through it with a fine-toothed comb because you "don't have skin in the game" and so shouldn't have a "dogged desire" to find flaws in the proof, if they exist.
    – Allure
    Jul 28, 2018 at 1:03
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    This is a serious question: do you recognize yourself in this? I think you are setting yourself up for disappointment if you continue in this direction.
    – user9646
    Jul 28, 2018 at 19:40

2 Answers 2


It sounds like you want the opposite answer from what the question asks. I think you want to know what the upsides of brexit is for UK science. The answer to your original question make it clear that this community believes that on the whole brexit is bad, but the question does not really ask for the upside, it only asks for the downsides. If this is in fact what you are after, you should ask a new question.

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    However, I think the OP should be prepared to accept graciously that someone will post an answer along the lines of "there's no upside, it's a terrible idea", especially since the vast majority of British scientists are against Brexit. Such an answer is useful, if only as a default against which evaluate other answers. In fact it might be a good idea if the OP posts this answer him/herself Jul 28, 2018 at 16:50
  • @DenisNardin I can't post an answer to a question I don't know the answer to. I could suggest it in the question text though. And yes, if someone gives that answer that's fine.
    – Allure
    Jul 28, 2018 at 20:01
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    Here we suggest the OP to ask a new question, and when they go on asking it, the question gets closed. Admittedly, we might give the impression of an incoherent if not schizophrenic community. Jul 29, 2018 at 10:12
  • @MassimoOrtolano There is no reason to believe that a "community" (users of a commercial product) act coherently as a whole.
    – user9646
    Jul 29, 2018 at 10:55
  • @NajibIdrissi For the improvement of such a community (the fact that it's a commercial product is irrelevant), It would be useful if those who participate in reviews (close-voting, editing etc.) could take the time to participate also on meta (at least reading the meta discussions) and if there is a meta discussion about a specific question vent their objections there before taking decisions on the main site. Jul 29, 2018 at 11:04
  • @MassimoOrtolano if the question was closed as a duplicate, that would be a clear problem. In this case, the community is saying the exact details of the question make it not a good fit. I don't see any inconsistency between my answer saying ask a new question on that topic and the community saying that the specific question asked was opinion based.
    – StrongBad
    Jul 30, 2018 at 13:59
  • @StrongBad Generally speaking, I think it defeats the purpose of asking on meta. If, as sometimes happens, we invite users to ask on meta or in chat about the acceptability of a certain question and then, once said go on asking (your answer here has 8 upvotes), we close them for whatever reason, what's the purpose of asking on meta? Jul 30, 2018 at 14:17
  • @MassimoOrtolano I agree to an extent. I believe asking on meta does not give a user a blank check, but should provide a little extra leeway. Let me re-read the question to see how I feel about it.
    – StrongBad
    Jul 30, 2018 at 14:23
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    @MassimoOrtolano having re-read the question, I don't think the way it is worded is a great fit, but it is good enough that it should stay open given the entirety of this meta question. If you see it closed again, just flag it and I will hammer it open.
    – StrongBad
    Jul 30, 2018 at 14:34
  • Do you think it's better to write "Why did some scientists vote for Brexit if it has no upsides"?
    – Allure
    Jul 30, 2018 at 23:31

I would suggest asking a new question, something like 'What are the upsides to Brexit for UK scientists?', and further ask if there's a reason that scientists appear to have an opinion opposed to the larger electorate.

This will make the question seem less loaded, and hopefully draw in more views from across the spectrum.

  • Fair enough - I was going to write something like "Are there any upsides ..." but that sounds more loaded (in the other direction).
    – Allure
    Jul 28, 2018 at 20:03
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    Remarkably, this question, which simply replaced “downsides” with “upsides”, has been closed for being opinion-based while the other remains open.
    – knzhou
    Jul 29, 2018 at 9:16
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    @knzhou Both were closed at first. The "downside" one was reopened later. Now, the "upside" one was reopened also. You can see this info if you click on the "edited" history.
    – Nobody
    Jul 29, 2018 at 12:44
  • @knzhou "Why do British scientists think Brexit will be bad" is not based on opinion: it is a fact that British scientists think something and the question asks for what. The new question, OTOH, asks for the upsides, nothing else. It's inaccurate to say that the new question simply replaced "downside" with "upside".
    – user9646
    Jul 29, 2018 at 18:20

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