British society has always prized the scientific mind, producing such luminaries as engineering whiz Isambard Kingdom Brunel, developmental biologist Anne McLaren and World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee. But in June 2016 the U.K.'s reputation as a future-looking nation suffered a devastating blow. Fifty-two percent of voters decided they wanted to leave the European Union, a club of nations that foster peace and economic growth. On March 29 the government officially started the exit, or “Brexit,” process: a tangle of 143 British and E.U. negotiators must make some 1,000 changes to existing laws and determine what to do with the three million Europeans living in the U.K.—and the 1.2 million Brits living in the E.U. David Davis, the Brexit minister, has called this endeavor “as complicated as the moon landings.”