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Interview with Professor Anne Glover

Watch the interview with Professor Anne Glover, the EU Chief Scientific Adviser.

Transcript of interview with Professor Anne Glover

Professor Anne Glover: It’s a really exciting day today partly because we bring together two fantastic institutes – one with a tremendous reputation in land use and the other one with a tremendous reputation in plants, crops and how we deal with big issues like food security in the future. By bringing them together it makes us absolutely globally competitive and I think that’s the real prize for The James Hutton Institute is to be able to have that outward face to the world and be truly globally competitive.

Interviewer: I was going to say because there was a lot of feeling about the august institutions that the various scientists belong to and it’s a big thing to merge in effect. What’s the upside to that? What’s the thinking behind it?

Professor Anne Glover: I think for most of us, if we look at how science is developing particularly in the 21st century, it’s no longer the time where you can work in your own specialist area on your own and have a big impact. What we need to do is look at multi-disciplinary or inter-disciplinary or cross-disciplinary, whichever way you look at it, to look at science where you speak to others who have common interest but don’t actually necessarily work in your specific area. What that allows us to do is to bring a great deal of imagination and innovation to some of the big challenges and if you think the big challenges are climate change, food security, water security. Those are things that globally we have to look at and by bringing together the expertise in what you rightly identify are two fantastic institutions; bringing them together really opens up lots of opportunities and I think that’s what we’ll see happening in the years to come.

Interviewer: In effect I suppose does it make it easier for them to as it were box above their weight in a sense? They’ve got global renown for what they do already but it’s a big competitive world in the science community out there isn’t it?

Professor Anne Glover: It’s a very competitive world and actually I would say they already box above their weight but in terms of what are we offering to the international community; it’s actually a front door to an awful lot of science and technology knowledge and applied knowledge and that’s what The James Hutton Institute offers now. It’s not that it didn’t offer that before it’s just that you had to knock at more than one door and in a very complicated life you have to make things easy for people and I think that internationally now, The James Hutton Institute will be that front door into, if you like, the excellent research that the individual institutes do as well as what they might do in an more easy collaborative environment in the future.

Interviewer: And finally, just give us a sense of the calibre of the kind of scientist that we are dealing with here that are coming together.

Professor Anne Glover: The people here are outstanding, if I just say Scotland in general, but that includes the researchers that we have in what was Macaulay Land Research Institute and the Scottish Crop Research Institute. In terms of our GDP Scotland’s impact on research is number one in the world so that’s way ahead of the rest of the UK, way ahead of the US, Japan, France, Germany, all the research intensive economies and that’s the calibre of the people that we are talking about at these research institutes. And they are not just doing ground breaking research, delivering the knowledge that will help form our opinions in the future but they are translating that research into real knowledge or evidence for policy making so that we can all benefit through imaginative and robust policies from the research that people at The James Hutton Institute are doing so that’s some achievement.


Printed from /about/interview-professor-anne-glover on 18/07/19 05:08:38 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.