News Release - Building on the Science Legacy of Covid-19 in Scotland

Experience of Scottish science base vital in responding to future emergencies

A new report highlights that Scotland’s science community came together as never before to help the country respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. There are opportunities for the Scottish Government to capitalise on this partnership approach, to strengthen Scotland’s response to future emergencies.

‘Building on the Science Legacy of Covid-19 in Scotland’, produced by the Scottish Science Advisory Council (SSAC), makes a number of recommendations to the Scottish Government to help strengthen how our collective science resources are co-ordinated to respond to future emergencies. They include ways to make the most of health data, laboratory facilities, and the use of digital innovation in clinical trials. The report also stresses the need to prepare for future pandemics, and the role of the Scottish Government’s network of science-related advisers in helping Ministers and officials access the scientific evidence they need to inform their response to any emergency.

SSAC Chair Professor Maggie Gill said:

“We should be proud of how our science community worked in partnership across the NHS, academia and the life sciences industry to make a real difference in tackling the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. There’s an opportunity now to learn from their experience of collaboration and working with government. This should place Sottish science in an even stronger position to help Scotland deal with future emergencies and the economic, environmental and health-related shocks that may accompany them.”

Welcoming the report, Minister for Higher Education, Further Education, Youth Employment and Training Jamie Hepburn said:

“The last two years have shown just how important science is to the work of the Scottish Government. The way our scientific community pulled together to help respond to the unprecedented challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic was remarkable. To ensure we learn all the necessary lessons, we must first identify the areas of science that worked well and so I welcome this report from the Scottish Science Advisory Council and have no doubt it will add value to the Scottish Government’s work in the future.”

The SSAC report ‘Building on the Science Legacy of Covid-19 in Scotland’ is available on the SSAC website here. The SSAC is Scotland’s highest level science advisory body, providing independent advice and recommendations on science strategy, policy and priorities to the Scottish Government.




Media enquiries: Joanne Ward -