Mike Galsworthy

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Mike Galsworthy
Picture of a man in his late thirties with long, tousled hair wearing a jacket and a shirt with an open collar
Michael John Galsworthy
OccupationProgramme Director of Scientists for EU, Visiting Researcher London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Known forCo-founder of Scientists for EU and Healthier IN the EU
Academic background
Alma materKing's College London
ThesisA psychometric and quantitative genetic study of cognitive task performance in a heterogeneous stock (hs) population of MUS musculus (2003)
Academic work
Main interestsScience policy, Behaviour Genetics

Mike Galsworthy is the co-founder of Scientists for EU and Healthier IN and a media commentator about the effects of Brexit on the scientific community in the United Kingdom.[1][2] He is currently a visiting researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and was previously Senior Research Associate in the Department of Applied Health Research, University College London (UCL).


Galsworthy gained his PhD in Behaviour Genetics from the King's College London in 2003. His doctoral supervisor was Robert Plomin.[3] He reported that his first scientific publication received international press attention.[4][5][6] Foreshadowing aspects of his media career, he said of the experience: "I found that clearly explaining scientific results and aims to a lay audience was quite a challenge, but also very rewarding.”[5]



Galsworthy completed ten years of postdoctoral work in Switzerland and Slovenia, returning to London in June 2012 to take a position as Senior Research Associate at UCL.[7] He is affiliated with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine as a visiting researcher.[8][9][10] His research interests include health services research, research mapping, and science policy of the EU.[11]


Since 2012, Galsworthy has been involved in initiatives in science policy and grassroots pro-EU activism. He works full-time for Scientists for EU.[12]

Galsworthy is an executive member of Scientists for Labour, a socialist society affiliated with the Labour Party.[13][14] He drafted their policy plan, The economic and societal need for science, which was published in June 2014.[15]

Scientists for EU[edit]

Galsworthy advocated grass roots support for continued EU membership long before the announcement of the 2016 EU referendum.[16][17][18] On 8 May 2015, the day after the UK general election 2015,[19] Galsworthy co-founded pro-European Union (EU) research advocacy group Scientists for EU[18][20][21] with fellow scientist Rob Davidson.[22][23][24]

Galsworthy articulated two concerns that Scientists for EU aimed to address: "first, a lack of clarity and cohesion within the community on EU benefits and Brexit risks; and, secondly, a lack of public understanding on the UK/EU relationship in science."[18] His decision to found the organization was driven by his reaction to the tone and content of the Brexit debate, which he described as a "colossal, nationwide rejection of expert opinion" fostered by "media... focused on the political soap opera, not the facts".[25] As Programme Director of Scientists for EU, Galsworthy lobbied for EU membership across mainstream, scientific, and social media.[26] Scientists for EU became a high-profile organization presenting the case for EU membership, largely due to Galsworthy's media presence.[27][28][29]

In March 2016, Galsworthy presented evidence on the impact of EU membership on UK science to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee.[18][30] Galsworthy answered questions about the balance between structural and competitive EU funding for science, the effectiveness of EU science collaborations, and the potential loss of influence over EU scientific regulations after Brexit.[18] Commenting on the committee's report in April 2016, Galsworthy stated that the EU science programme offered "huge added value" to the UK and "the overwhelming balance of opinion is for remaining in."[31]

Following the referendum, Galsworthy's immediate priority was to document its impact on the UK science community.[12] Hundreds of scientists contacted Galsworthy voicing concerns about the future of scientific research in the UK after Brexit, many saying they planned to leave the UK.[32][33][34][35][36] For some, xenophobia was a significant concern.[33][34][37] Galsworthy concluded, "It is clear that the UK has overnight become less attractive as a place to do science." [35]

Galsworthy has continued to publicize the benefits of EU membership for Britain and the negative consequences of Brexit for science and healthcare, including uncertainty over immigration and funding, and the loss of influence over EU regulations and policy.[9][20][38]

Despite the referendum result, in Galsworthy's view Scientists for EU has been successful in raising the profile of science in UK politics.[12] In 2017 both Labour and Conservative election manifestos committed to raising the budget for research and development to 3% of GDP. In Galsworthy's view, "This is a big step up from the general election of 2015 where science didn’t feature. I think the referendum really helped push that onto the agenda."[39]

In August 2018, Scientists for EU highlighted to the media that, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the UK would no longer be eligible for three of the EU's major funding programmes. According to Galsworthy, this would mean "losing over half a billion a year in high value grants".[40]

In a profile in Nature, September 2018, Galsworthy said that Scientists for EU had changed its focus: Instead of representing the interests of British science in the Brexit negotiations, it was partnering with People's Vote to prevent Brexit altogether. The change was motivated by the diminishing window of time for negotiations and the increasing likelihood of a "no-deal" Brexit.[41]

Healthier IN the EU[edit]

Together with Rob Davidson and Martin McKee,[42] Galsworthy co-founded Healthier IN the EU,[22] a grassroots organization making the health case for continued EU membership.[43][28]

Galsworthy and McKee co-authored an analysis of the effects of Brexit on the NHS, published in The Lancet, that predicted negative consequences for healthcare in Britain under every scenario.[44] The paper was widely publicized in the mainstream press.[45]


Galsworthy appears as himself in the anti-Brexit documentary film Postcards from the 48% (2018).[46][47]

Political views[edit]

Galsworthy is affiliated with the Labour Party.[14]

Galsworthy was dismayed by the anti-intellectual tone and content of the Brexit debate[25] but does not see this as a feature of the UK political landscape more generally.[48]

According to a profile in Der Standard, Galsworthy "persistently seeks clarification and sees it as a central science mission in the era of fake news."[10] Galsworthy opposes what he sees as the debasement of knowledge in populist politics.[33][48]

He has described President of the United States Donald Trump as "a dictator in American caricature form".[49]


Title Director Release Date Ref.
16: Listening to Unheard Voices Dominic Buxton 1 September 2017 [50]
Postcards from the 48% David Wilkinson 6 July 2018 [46]


  1. ^ Galsworthy, Mike (24 December 2015). "Convinced by arguments to leave the EU? Consider the damage a Brexit would do to British science". The Independent.
  2. ^ Galsworthy, Mike (1 June 2016). "In a world of cross-border cooperation, Brexit will harm the UK". New Scientist.
  3. ^ Galsworthy, Michael John (2003). A psychometric and quantitative genetic study of cognitive task performance in a heterogeneous stock (hs) population of MUS musculus (PhD thesis). King's College London.
  4. ^ Galsworthy, Michael J.; Dionne, Ginette; Dale, Philip S.; Plomin, Robert (2000). "Sex differences in early verbal and non-verbal cognitive development". Developmental Science. 3 (2): 206–215. doi:10.1111/1467-7687.00114. ISSN 1363-755X.
  5. ^ a b "One Student's View". Observer (APS). 20 June 2003. Retrieved 1 August 2018. “It was a fantastic opportunity to have a first-author paper so early on, and working with a sample size of thousands. The results of that paper came out in the national and international media. Not that the study was earth-shattering, but the press clearly liked the link between genetics and girls outperforming boys in early verbal development. I found that clearly explaining scientific results and aims to a lay audience was quite a challenge, but also very rewarding.”
  6. ^ Chaudhuri, Anita (17 July 2000). "Vocal discord". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  7. ^ Staff writer (17 July 2013). "Spotlight on Mike Galsworthy". UCL News. University College London. Retrieved 12 July 2018. This week the spotlight is on Dr Mike Galsworthy, Senior Research Associate in the Department of Applied Health Research (DAHR)
  8. ^ LSHTM Communications Team (19 April 2013). "European Commission must innovate to get value from €70 billion science funding programme". lshtm.ac.uk. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  9. ^ a b Wilsdon, James (14 July 2016). "Six leading scientists give perspectives on UK science after Brexit". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  10. ^ a b Illetschko, Peter (31 January 2018). "Fakten gegen die britische Gerüchte-Politik" [Facts against British rumor politics]. Der Standard (in German). Retrieved 29 July 2018. versucht es Galsworthy beharrlich mit Aufklärung und sieht das auch als eine zentrale Aufgabe der Wissenschaft in Zeiten von Fake-News
  11. ^ Michael Galsworthy profile, theconversation.com
  12. ^ a b c Abbott, Alison; Callaway, Ewen; Cressey, Daniel; Gibney, Elizabeth; Vesper, Inga (2017). "How Brexit is changing the lives of eight researchers". Nature. 543 (7647): 600–601. doi:10.1038/nature.2017.21714. ISSN 0028-0836.
  13. ^ "About Us". Scientists for Labour. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  14. ^ a b Galsworthy, Mike (18 February 2014). "Eurosceptics could damage British science and innovation". The Guardian.
  15. ^ Byrne, Liam (11 July 2014). "Scientists for Labour Respond to One Nation Labour's Plan for Science – 11 July 2014" (blog). liambyrne.co.uk. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
    Citing link to:
    Galsworthy, Michael; Davison, Rob (27 June 2014). Scientists for Labour - Policy Plan: The economic and societal need for science (Draft) (PDF). Scientists for Labour.
  16. ^ Galsworthy, Michael; Browne, Michael (11 September 2013). "Britain should stay in the EU … for science". The Conversation.
  17. ^ Galsworthy, Mike (1 January 2016). "The EU vote isn't just about Westminster – we need grassroots campaigns too". The Guardian.
  18. ^ a b c d e Mike Galsworthy (et al), Programme Director, Scientists for EU (1 March 2016). "The Relationship between EU Membership and the Effectiveness of UK Science: Oral Evidence Session". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). United Kingdom: House of Lords, Select Committee on Science and Technology. Video.
  19. ^ "Who we are". scientistsforeu.uk. Scientists for EU. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  20. ^ a b Kelly, Éanna (11 October 2017). "UK scientists told: in no-deal Brexit scenario they will have to leave EU research projects". Science Business. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  21. ^ Chaffin, Joshua (9 December 2016). "Britain's Europhiles splinter into dozens of grassroots movements". Financial Times. Retrieved 12 July 2018. (Subscription required (help)). ...Scientists for the EU has emerged as a social media champion... Scientists for the EU has more than 173,000 Facebook followers.
  22. ^ a b Lynskey, Dorian (28 April 2018). "'It's not a done deal': inside the battle to stop Brexit". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  23. ^ Mason, Rowena (1 February 2018). "Groups opposed to hard Brexit join forces under Chuka Umunna". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  24. ^ Stone, Emma (13 October 2015). "Scientists launch campaign to oppose UK exit from EU". Chemistry World. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  25. ^ a b Gatehouse, Jonathon (8 June 2016). "Brexit vs Bremain: It's decision time". Maclean's.
  26. ^ Citations:
  27. ^ Finn, Mike (2018). British Universities in the Brexit Moment: Political, Economic and Cultural Implications. Emerald Group Publishing. ISBN 978-1-78743-743-2.
  28. ^ a b Marsh, Stefanie (6 October 2017). "A Harsh Wake-Up Call for Some Brexiteers". The Atlantic. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  29. ^ McKee, Martin; Galsworthy, Michael J. (2016). "Brexit: a confused concept that threatens public health". Journal of Public Health. 38 (1): 3–5. doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdv205. ISSN 1741-3842.
  30. ^ "How does EU membership influence UK science? Lords Committee hears from referendum science campaign groups". www.parliament.uk. 26 February 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  31. ^ Rincon, Paul (20 April 2016). "Concern over Brexit's impact on science". BBC News. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  32. ^ Woolcock, Nicola (15 October 2016). "Brain drain has begun . . . and it's costing millions, academics warn". The Times. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  33. ^ a b c Johnston, Ian (12 July 2016). "Racist, xenophobic and anti-intellectual: Academics threaten to leave Brexit Britain". The Independent. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  34. ^ a b Hutton, Will (16 July 2016). "Why Brexit may be a deadly experiment for science". Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  35. ^ a b Cookson, Clive (9 August 2016). "Brexit Briefing: Scientists feel the effect". The Financial Times. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  36. ^ Gross, Michael (2016). "Angry voters may turn back the clocks". Current Biology. 26 (15): R689–R692. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2016.07.056. ISSN 0960-9822.
  37. ^ Kinstler, Linda (5 November 2016). "Brexit Is Jeopardizing Britain's Intellectual Legacy". The Atlantic. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  38. ^ Citations:
  39. ^ Burke, Maria (23 May 2017). "R&D election funding pledges put research at heart of UK economy". Chemistry World. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  40. ^ Shukman, David (25 August 2018). "No-deal Brexit 'worse than thought' for science". BBC. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  41. ^ Masood, Ehsan; Vesper, Inga; Van Noorden, Richard (2018). "Six months to Brexit: how scientists are preparing for the split". Nature. Springer Nature America, Inc. 561 (7724): 452–454. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-06781-8. ISSN 0028-0836.
  42. ^ O’Dowd, Adrian (2016). "UK exit from EU would be serious threat to science and healthcare, experts warn". BMJ: i1117. doi:10.1136/bmj.i1117. ISSN 1756-1833.
  43. ^ "About Us". Healthier IN the EU. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  44. ^ Fahy, Nick; Hervey, Tamara; Greer, Scott; Jarman, Holly; Stuckler, David; Galsworthy, Mike; McKee, Martin (2017). "How will Brexit affect health and health services in the UK? Evaluating three possible scenarios". The Lancet. 390 (10107): 2110–2118. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31926-8. ISSN 0140-6736.
  45. ^ Citations:
  46. ^ a b Wilkinson, David (Director) (6 July 2018). Postcards from the 48% (Documentary). London: Guerilla Docs / Postcard Films. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  47. ^ Postcards from the 48% (2018) on IMDb
  48. ^ a b Huang, Saffron (9 October 2016). "A Departure from Truth". Harvard Political Review. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  49. ^ Leftly, Mark (27 January 2017). "Not Everyone in the U.K. Is Overjoyed About May's Meeting with Trump". Time. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  50. ^ Buxton, Dominic (Director) (1 September 2017). 16: Listening to Unheard Voices (Documentary). UK: Buxton, Dominic. Retrieved 3 August 2018.

External links[edit]

  • Galsworthy, Michael. "Profile". The Conversation.