Making some noise in Scotland

Posted on November 10, 2010 by

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I’m up in Scotland for the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Science and the Parliament event today. And with spending decisions imminent and the Scottish elections coming up in May, AMRC is joining forces with charities and networks supporting world-class medical research in Scotland to make some noise about medical research. Together we’re launching five policy challenges for MSPs to work with us for science in Scotland.

Background

AMRC co-ordinate a group of public affairs and policy leads including lots of our members, learned societies, networks and universities who fund and conduct medical research in Scotland. We get together every few months to discuss burning medical research issues, share information and just keep in contact with other people focused on medical research nearby.

What’s happening

With the Scottish elections approaching in May 2011, members of the group have got together to make sure medical research is on MSPs agenda. We have identified five policy challenges for MSPs, outlining what they need to do to grow Scotland’s thriving science research base for the future.

  • Give science the priority it deserves
  • Support universities to carry out world-class research
  • Ensure the discoveries we fund reach the people who need them
  • Train, develop and support world-class medical researchers
  • Promote the benefits and importance of medical research

And we’ve produced five background briefings packed full of the facts and figures supporting our calls, suggesting how government can work with us to tackle them.

You can check out the press release here or download the (very pretty!) policy card and briefings here

Why now?

Launching these today is particularly timely as the Scottish government is due to announce its spending plans. Scotland is brilliant at medical research and these calls and briefings make a strong case for the value of investing in the Scottish research base.

Check out the briefings for some brill facts and figures about medical research in Scotland

  • 12.5% of UK life scientists work in Scotland.
  • Scottish research is ranked fourth in the world for impact in clinical medicine and first for stem cell research.
  • in 2008-09, AMRC member medical research charities funded 86 post-doctoral fellows, 192 PhD studentships and 272 projects in Scotland
  • The life sciences industry contributed more than £3.1 billion to the Scottish economy in 2009.
  • With just 0.1 % of the world’s population, Scotland produces ten times that (1%) of the world’s published research.


Posted in: Policy