Scottish Parliament Election 2016

The Scottish Parliament election on 5 May is a chance to build upon Scotland’s scientific pedigree and help to inspire future generations. Improving access to a physics education, increasing investment in physics-based research, encouraging innovation and public engagement with science and effective scientific advice will all make significant contributions to Scotland’s future success.

The Scottish Parliament

Physics plays an important role in strengthening Scotland’s economic prowess. Physics-based businesses in Scotland, from electricity generation to telecommunications and high-technology manufacturing to transport, contribute £8.5 bn to the national economy, and employ more than 100,000 people: 4% of the workforce driving 10% of the economy.

With this in mind, the Institute of Physics in Scotland is encouraging members to get in contact with their candidates to support physics in the new Parliament.

To help you, we have produced a briefing on our priority issues and recommendations for the new government.

Institute of Physics Briefing – Scottish Parliament Election 2016

We recommend that a future Scottish government should:

  • Provide additional funding incentives to train new specialist physics teachers in Scotland.
  • Commit to fund schemes to improve teachers’ subject knowledge.
  • Support the establishment of a new physics-based national research facility in Scotland.
  • Generate incentives to encourage businesses to increase their investment in private R&D to bring Scotland up the UK average.
  • Ensure that the chief scientific adviser (CSA), when appointed, is able to feed into policy discussions wherever possible, and that the Scottish Science Advisory Council is reconvened following the appointment of a new CSA.
  • Provide additional funding for Science Centres in Scotland to enable them to offer free public access.

We would be very interested to know what you hear back from candidates. If you receive any responses, or if you are interested in receiving a hard copy of the briefing, please email

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