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Lauren Brown: Employers should tap into a well of creative ideas from a diverse workforce

One of my genuine wishes for 2018 is that Scotland can ably demonstrate to the world what a wonderfully rich and diverse workforce we have. We will show how we can positively ­transcend individuals’ perceived barriers, break down prejudices and have a 100 per cent focus on equality in the workplace.

Opinion 4
S. Karly Kehoe, Member of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland

S. Karly Kehoe, Debora B. F. Kayembe and Shawki Al-Dubaee: Academic refugees have much to offer countries which give them a safe haven

Imagine what it would feel like if you had your career ripped out from under you. If you had your entire life’s work destroyed by people who feared your critical appraisal. How would you feel if, all of the sudden, you became a ­target for violence or retribution just because you worked at a university and were considered to have intellectual ­abilities?

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The hub programme is an innovative approach to develop and deliver best-value community facilities, like Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries, crowned Best Building in Scotland last year

David MacDonald: Well-designed buildings have the power to change lives

In November 2017, Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries, designed by Edinburgh-based Richard Murphy Architects and delivered through a unique joint venture partnership between the public and private sector called ‘hub’, was crowned Best Building in Scotland by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.

Diarmid Hearns is Head of Policy with The National Trust for Scotland, a Scottish Environment LINK member organisation.

Diarmid Hearns: Planning bill an opportunity to put right a system Scots see as flawed and failing

The places we live, work and play in are fundamental to our health and happiness – and it is the Scottish planning system that has the single biggest influence on how these places are developed. The National Trust for Scotland recently carried out research on how well the planning system is working for Scotland, and the results are concerning.

Richard Meade is Marie Curies Head of Policy and Public Affairs Scotland

Richard Meade: Who cares for the carers in their time of need?

For family and friends, caring for someone living with a terminal illness who is approaching the end of their life can be one of the most ­challenging and difficult times. Yet they often do not get the help they need.

Jeanette Forbes is the Chairperson of the JDRF Scottish Development Group

Jeanette Forbes: Healthy advances in battling diabetes

Managing Type 1 diabetes is a constant challenge for more than 30,000 adults and children living in ­Scotland. This daily challenge involves calculating carbohydrate content in food at every meal time and monitoring blood glucose ­levels throughout the day and night, as well as injecting insulin several times a day.

Susan Stewart is the Director of The Open University in Scotland.

Susan Stewart: Why don’t we support part-time students? Not everyone can give up a job to retrain

The independent review of student support in ­Scotland, commissioned by the Scottish Government last year and published at the end of November, notes that there are more than 230,000 students studying part-time across Scottish further and higher education. Unfortunately, with respect to part-time students, that is about as far as it goes.


Lesley McLeod: The talents of women are ignored when we need their skills

Peggy Seeger famously sang about the struggle to be taken seriously as a woman wishing to pursue a career in engineering. Her world was full of misplaced prejudice and the belief women were put on this earth just to be wives and mothers.

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Jamie Watt is Partner and IP&T specialist, Harper Macleod LLP,

Jamie Watt: More regulation means doing better risk evaluation and more due diligence

You’d need to have been asleep for the whole of 2017 to have missed the hope placed on Fintech’s shoulders as a key sector for Scotland. Enterprise agencies proclaim it is brimming with commercial opportunity – by combining over 86,000 people working in finance with over 100,000 in digital tech, it’s a catalyst for growth. However, with great opportunity comes great responsibility and this sector is certainly one attracting greater regulation.

Eilidh Adams, Associate, Gillespie Macandrew

Eilidh Adams: Making a will should be top of your resolutions list

January is often the time when we focus on getting our personal affairs ‘in order’, but ensuring you have an up to date Will is one matter which is often overlooked. A properly drafted Will serves many important purposes, one of which is to provide an opportunity to detail your wishes when it comes to funeral arrangements.

Initial allegations of sexual harassment came from the entertainment industry. Picture: AP

Amanda Jones: Employers must pay more than lip service to issue of harassment

Having exposed the level of harassment endured by women in all fields of work and life, the #MeToo campaign looks like the defining movement of 2017 and employers can’t ignore it.

Rona Macdonald is an Associate in Turcan Connells Land and Property Team.

Rona Macdonald: Voluntary registration of property a good option

Sweeping changes were made to land registration in Scotland in December 2014.

Kate Seymour, head of policy at Macmillan Cancer Support

Kate Seymour: Cutting cash for people with cancer is driving them into poverty, not work

In April last year, the UK ­Government voted to cut a vital benefit for people with cancer. This was despite massive opposition from Macmillan Cancer Support, backbench Tories and the Lords.

Clare Symonds is the Chair of Planning Democracy, John Muir Trust

Clare Symonds: Planning Bill as it stands will see local areas shaped by developers, not by their communities

Few people in Scotland will have been waiting with bated breath for last month’s publication of the Scottish Planning Bill. One exception was the Planning Democracy community network, an increasingly substantial group of around 500 people from all over Scotland who have been adversely affected by planning decisions, or feel that planning is prioritising big business over community needs. The network, along with other national environmental organisations, such as the John Muir Trust, Friends of the Earth Scotland and Scottish Environment Link, are calling for changes to the Bill.

Opinion 5
fuel collecting in Afghanistan

Tony Miller: Finding a solution to water shortages would help solve associated problems

The first time most of us encounter frankincense and myrrh is in the traditional telling of the Christmas story when the Three Wise Men present the baby Christ with gifts of “gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11). And, most of us probably think “gold, OK, but why frankincense and myrrh?” What did they represent? Do they have currency today?

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Dr Siobh�n Jordan, Director, Interface

Dr Siobhán Jordan: What a good idea – sharing knowledge can break down the challenges facing us all

“Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up” – so said the US writer Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Lord Mackay of Clashfern rose from humble beginnings to become Lord High Chancellor

David Robertson: Lord Mackay’s life is a shining beacon in an age of secular dogmatism

“There is no Scotsman, indeed no British person in public life whom I admire more” – thus begins Sinclair Ferguson’s foreword to J. Cameron Fraser’s new book, Learning from Lord Mackay, that serves as a good introduction to a much understated and underappreciated public servant.

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Pamela Kirkpatrick is a Senior Lecturer and researcher in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

Pamela Kirkpatrick: COPD sufferers need support to help them stay in work for longer

Long-Term Conditions (LTC) are persisting health conditions that can’t currently be cured but can be well controlled by medication and therapeutic interventions. Examples of LTC’s include diabetes, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The diagnosis of the breathing condition COPD includes conditions such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic asthmatic bronchitis and is expected to become the world’s third leading cause of death by 2030 after heart disease and stroke.

Edinburgh Leisure staff are on hand to help you stick to your New Years reolution to get off the couch and get fitter

Conor McLean: Make it your New Year’s resolution to take responsibility for your health

New Year is traditionally a time where we set ourselves goals for the coming year, with resolutions often taking the form of a promise to ourselves to improve an aspect of our life and changing an undesired behaviour for the better. Some of the most common resolutions include increasing physical activity levels or eating a healthier diet, often in a bid to shift those extra pounds put on over the festive period.

John Sturrock QC is senior mediator, Core Solutions

John Sturrock: Don’t let self-doubt hold you back

At the start of another year, it can be useful to conduct a bit of a personal stock-take. What holds us back from achieving all we could this year? How many of us suffer from silent self-doubt? How many of us would admit to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and uncertainty about what we do? Far more of us experience these things than would actually admit to it, I suspect.

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