Hearts and minds

Academics for Yes has been created to enlighten the independence debate by tapping into the expertise of professional scholars who believe that Scotland’s future is best placed in Scotland’s hands. Our position is set out in the four points of our Declaration of Independence.

We place ourselves at the service of the people of Scotland at this critical time to help them make an informed decision.

Our commitment is to be available as much as we can be, to comment on and contribute to the debate, in general discussion and in specific areas of expertise.

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Scotland’s universities need to be at the heart of the debate on independence, given the critical role they play in both defending and challenging the functioning of a vigorous democratic society, the proud intellectual legacy of their enlightenment heritage.

Scotland’s universities can only renew their commitment to, and understanding of, the “public” university, through being an independent nation that fully embraces the research, learning and knowledge mobilisation that flows from the 
cultural, social, scientific and philosophical disciplines.

A healthy society demands full and open engagement in the challenging and difficult conversations the referendum campaign will throw up. Academics for Yes will offer expertise and argument from a Yes perspective.

Our aim is to speak and argue confidently and clearly about why we should be hopeful, rather than fearful, about Scotland’s future. The words of Irish President Mary Robinson, back in the 1980s, are worth remembering in this context: “The arts are the genius of your country, and education is the key with which you unlock the door.”

Scotland as a society is rightly renowned for its creative, innovative and inventive capacities. Tertiary education plays a core role here, working to enhance peoples’ lives and understanding in so many different ways, both locally and internationally.

Independence thus offers the chance to reinvigorate and renew that ambition.

(Prof) Bryan D 

(Prof) Howard 

(Prof) John C 

(Prof) John Watson

University of Aberdeen

(Prof) Murray 

(Dr) Valentina Bold

(Dr) Stephen Watson

University of Glasgow

(Prof) Ailsa McKay

Caledonian University

(Prof) Donna Heddle

University of the 
Highlands and Islands

(Prof) Aline-Wendy Dunlop MBE

(Dr) Gazala Akram

(Prof) Laura 

University of Strathclyde

(Prof) Steve Murdoch

(Prof) Robert 

(Prof) Alex Woolf

University of St Andrews

(Prof) Stephen

(Prof) Philip Wadler

University of Edinburgh

(Prof) Mark Chaplain

University of Dundee

(Prof) Iain Black

Heriot Watt University

(Prof) David 

University of West of Scotland

(Prof) Jimmy Young

University of