New Department for Science needs to drive breakthroughs in scientific research abroad too

In his opinion piece for Comment Central, George Richards, Director, Community Jameel, emphasises the necessity for global scientific collaboration to address major issues like climate change and infectious diseases. He advocates for supporting international scientists with resources, training, and equipment. Partnerships, like those between Community Jameel and UK institutions, such the Jameel Institute at Imperial College London and the Jameel Observatory for Food Security Early Action at the University of Edinburgh, demonstrate the advancements possible through such collaboration. He urges the UK's new Secretary of State, Michelle Donelan, to prioritise funding for these international partnerships, highlighting their benefits for British science and the urgent need to address global threats.


The great human and planetary issues of our time - from climate change to outbreaks of infectious disease - require collective human responses, with science at the core.

British science is world-leading in many fields, but in tackling these global challenges we need to work with researchers on the frontline if humanity is to succeed. This means opening pathways for international scientific collaboration, but it also means funding and supporting able scientists overseas with new equipment, training and financial resources for research.

For example, we need to support epidemiologists conducting surveillance work in communities with high risks of spillover of zoonotic viruses, like avian flu. We must empower scientists working in fragile coastal and dryland environments like Bangladesh and Kenya to monitor the early signs of impending crises caused by climate change. We have to share artificial intelligence tools with clinicians in rural, low-resource settings to detect cancer early, and to develop and refine those tools on the basis of their findings.

Comment Central