Open access publisher joins call to end Horizon European impasse

Frontiers, an open access publisher, is the latest signatory to the Stick to Science campaign, urging political leaders to accommodate the UK and Switzerland in the EU’s flagship research and innovation programme

Frontiers, the open access publisher and open science platform, has become the latest signatory to the Stick to Science campaign.

Launched in February, the initiative urges political leaders to set aside their differences and end the protracted dispute surrounding the European Union’s research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe.

Six thousand signatures have been collected from across the European and global scientific community, including 11 Nobel laureates, entrepreneurs, innovators, research funding bodies, and heads of HE institutions and research institutes.

Despite that growing pressure, the EU is yet to agree continued terms of membership of the scheme with the UK and Switzerland.

In outlining their reasons for signing up to Stick to Science, Frontiers said:

“Switzerland and the UK, two of the best performing science systems in the world, are longstanding and academically important partners in Europe’s research and innovation landscape. However, some of the best minds of the British and Swiss institutions are currently unable to fully and efficiently contribute to Europe’s science and research as a result of the ongoing uncertainty.”

Advancement is best achieved when all actors in science work collaboratively together across geographic boundaries – Stephan Kuster, Frontiers

“These circumstances are hindering some of Europe’s top scientists from working together to tackle looming global challenges such as climate change, pandemics, sustainability, energy and food security,” they added

At the beginning of June, Universities UK wrote to the European Commission expressing its fear that the UK government is now at the “precipice” and could formally announce its withdrawal from Horizon Europe before the month is out.

“Scientists empower society and the ability to collaborate across borders is essential for this,” said Stephan Kuster, head of public affairs at Frontiers. “As the third most-cited publisher, Frontiers’ mission is to accelerate scientific discovery by making science open and we stand firmly for open and barrier-free collaboration among Europe’s research and innovation actors.

“We sincerely hope EU institutions, member states, and the governments of the UK and Switzerland, recognize that advancement in research and innovation is best achieved when all actors in science work collaboratively together across geographic boundaries.”

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