Scotland “yes” vote could harm scientific research in UK say AcademicsCurrent affairsNewsPolitics & Social issues
The presidents of the Royal Society, the British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences have claimed that Scotland’s independence would harm scientific research in the UK.
The Scottish government reassured Britain that plans for common research would still continue, but what worries is the cost of the bureaucracy that would have to be put in place if Scotland leaves the UK.
In an open letter to the Times, scientists have warned Scotland of the repercussions of their choice on academic quality.
The Academics said: “Research in Scotland would be more vulnerable and there could be significant reductions in range, capacity and critical mass and keeping standards up would imply a significant tax increase.”
Nobel-prize winning scientist Sir Paul Nurse has expressed his concern for the biomedical teams that are working in cooperation with the UK. Paul said: “Thanks to funds that might not be confirmed in case of a yes vote.”
Their views have been contested by 60 academics that support the vote and campaign for independence.
Professor Bryan MacGregor from the University of Aberdeen has argued that secession from the UK would allow “research priorities” to be determined autonomously.
MacGregor also expressed the desire to break free from the UK immigration law which is deterring international students. He believes independence would solve this problem, encouraging greater collaboration within the EU and beyond.
His opinion has been reiterated by the first chief scientific advisor to the European Commission Professor Anne Glover, who in an interview for Holyrood magazine said: “Independence will not affect scientific research. On the contrary, a newly independent Scotland would be in a strong position to win European funding.”