SSAC paper - Science and Engineering in Scotland in the Independence Debate

10 October 2013

Professor Muffy Calder, Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland

“As Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland, I have welcomed the position of Scottish Government Ministers that a strong research base is at the heart of the ambition for an independent Scotland.  Scientific excellence is promoted by global collaborations and some of the best scientific research operates across academic boundaries. Since 2007, the Scottish Government has increased its funding for university Research and Knowledge Exchange activities by 38% from £263m in 2007 to £364m in 2012/13. It is part of my role to support this continued commitment and investment by government and to champion the science and engineering community in Scotland.

Earlier this year the Scottish Scientific Advisory Council collectively decided to engage with the wider science and engineering community of Scotland within the context of the current constitutional debate.

“A wide range of stakeholders were consulted for their views, including academic and research institutions, learned and professional societies, business organisations and companies with a science and engineering focus currently operating in Scotland. All were asked to consider what they believed were the pertinent questions and potential opportunities that could be considered in the course of the on-going debate.

“This report is intended to stimulate debate. It is a collation of the views received by the SSAC, intended to inform Ministers within the context of the current debate. It does not represent the collective view of the SSAC nor its members or co-Chairs, and it does not take a view on independence.  Raising the views of the science community about relevant subjects is an important aspect of the SSAC’s remit and it continues to view the current debate with interest, and looks forward to further discussion and debate.”

Dr Alasdair Allan MSP, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages:

“Scotland has a globally respected reputation for science, invention and innovation and a strong research base is at the heart of our ambitions for an independent Scotland. I am grateful to the SSAC for its work in this area, which shows clear engagement on a subject which is vitally important to our future. Ahead of the Scottish Government outlining how scientific research will work in an independent Scotland, the points raised give me confidence that we are in step with the needs of the research community, and I look forward to further discussions on this issue.”


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