Scottish independence a threat to scientific research

posted by Phill Allen

July, 07th, 2014

Company News Pharmaceutical Industry News

allpaq-blog-yes-voteA ‘yes’ vote for Scottish independence would harm medical and scientific research across the UK, according to the heads of three academic institutions.
The presidents of the Royal Society, the British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences warn that scientific collaboration would be damaged should Scotland break away.
In a joint letter to The Times newspaper, Sir Paul Nurse, Lord Stern and Sir John Tooke wrote: “Scotland has long done particularly well through its access to UK research funding.
“If it turns out that an independent Scotland has to form its own science and research budget, maintaining these levels of research spending would cost the Scottish taxpayer significantly more.”
The presidents added: “We believe that if separation were to occur, research not only in Scotland but also the rest of the UK would suffer.
“However, research in Scotland would be more vulnerable and there could be significant reductions in range, capacity and critical mass.”

Independence key to prioritising research

Academics for Yes, a pro-independence group which comprises 60 academics from Scottish universities, played down the concerns, insisting that a ‘yes’ vote would allow the country to prioritise important research.
Spokesman Professor Bryan MacGregor, from the University of Aberdeen, said: “On the one hand, we have the UK and England contexts of cuts in research and science funding, high student fees with unsustainable loan funding, an immigration policy that is preventing and deterring international student recruitment and the possibility of an exit from the EU and its research funding.
“And, on the other, we have a Scottish government committed to funding research, to free access to universities for residents and to attracting international students.
“People may be unaware of the existing scope of international collaboration in the funding of research, not least between the UK and Ireland which have a number of agreements through the research councils, as does the UK and several other countries. And other countries do likewise.
“The European Research Council allocates billions of Euros according to quality of the research, and there are international collaborations such as CERN. Scottish independence would not make any difference to such activities.”
The Scottish government says research links with the UK would continue in the event of independence.

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TAGS: R&D, scientific research, Scottish independence,


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Phill Allen

Managing Director

An in and outside the (bioprocess) box thinker, fluid management specialist Phill knows a thing or two about keeping pharma liquid logistics flowing.

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