SCOTLAND’s science base has much to celebrate as the country continues to punch above its weight in the quality and quantity of its research, according to a major new report.

It compared how the Scottish science and research sector performed over the past decade against similar-sized countries, finding that our research is high quality and in terms of citations per researcher Scotland is number one compared to the UK nations and the other ten countries surveyed.

The report – published by the Scottish Science Advisory Council (SSCA) – found Scottish researchers are “very productive” – around 10% of the UK’s researchers are based in Scotland, producing 12% of the UK’s studies.

Scotland also publishes more papers per researcher than the other UK nations and all the other countries in the report.

Science Minister Richard Lochhead said it confirmed Scotland’s place as a “global leader in science and innovation”.

He said: “The strengths of our nation’s science and innovation and a reputation built up over generations are a credit to our people and institutions.

“Our researchers are at the heart of global networks working on some of the most urgent issues of our time, shaping the future and underpinning our economy.

“We can’t rest on our laurels or ignore the challenges we face but it is truly astonishing that a country the size of Scotland continues to lead the world in many areas of science and innovation.”

He said the report highlighting Scotland’s remarkable achievements comes as Brexit was posing unprecedented risks to our research base.

“We know that Scotland’s research has been strengthened by EU citizens working in Scotland and our membership of the European Union.

“The Scottish Government will do all it can to protect research collaboration across Europe and will continue to be firm in the fact that Scotland’s research institutions will remain open and welcoming after Brexit.”