2014 is the year in which the Scottish voters will tell the Scottish and UK governments whether they favour independence or staying within the UK. Perhaps it is inevitable therefore that the latest exhibition which opened on Friday at the National Library of Scotland should reinforce the contribution which Scots have made through philosophy, medicine, economics, engineering, design and creativity to the modern world. Taking an amusing alphabetical theme, this exhibition canters through a selection of the areas where Scots have led the way. It is bang up to date as it includes the contribution of the 2013 Nobel Prize-winner Professor Peter Higgs (he is also recognised at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, as too is James Clerk Maxwell and Sir James Black – all of whom by coincidence have links with King’s College London).
The contribution of Scottish creativity and invention is phenomenal; however what of the future? If Scotland is going to be successful as it moves forward, it needs to maintain and enhance this position – it is a pity that there was not a postscript about the research and innovation currently taking place in art colleges and universities across the country.