The Royal Society and the 'brain drain': natural scientists meet social science.

Jane Gregory, Brian Balmer (Collaborator), Matthew Godwin (Collaborator)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Although concerns about the loss of British scientists to the USA and elsewhere grew slowly throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, the Royal Society's 1963 report on the emigration of scientists sparked a very public debate about the ‘brain drain’. This paper concentrates on the Society's key role in creating focus and impetus for the debate through the report and questionnaire survey that informed it. In this engagement with social science research, the tension between the Society's political neutrality, as a representative of science, and political intervention, as an advocate for science, manifested itself in the planning, execution and reporting of its study on scientific migration.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)339-353
    Number of pages14
    JournalRoyal Society of London. Notes and Records
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2009


    • Royal Society
    • brain drain
    • scientific migration


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