ALASTAIR Darling asserts “Scotland has achieved world leading medical research because it is part of the UK”, this is “at risk by taking a leap into the unknown”.
Darling adds: “There are grave concerns that independence would jeopardise Scotland’s excellence”. Apparently we are still too wee and too poor, but now positively, we are too smart!
Life scientists deal with evidence, but there is none for this assertion of causality, or for the scaremongering.
A chairman of the Research Councils UK said there was “no question” Scotland could remain part of Research Councils UK, major charities have indicated a desire to retain UK-wide funding systems and EU funding would remain (but not if the rise of UKIP in England leads to an “OUT” vote in 2017, with Scotland voting “IN”).
The Scottish Government gives three guarantees regarding University research - “to ensure that existing levels of Government investment are at least maintained, to ensure that there is no adverse impact from Scotland’s transition to independence and to reintroduce the post study work visa for overseas students”.
In striking contrast, Westminster plans £25 billion more public spending cuts with £4 billion targeted for Scotland and its Universities.
The evidence is clear, maintaining Scotland’s world leading medical research is only guaranteed by independence.
• Professor Colin McCaig is Head of School of Medical Sciences at Aberdeen University