In DepthSPAIN

Catalan scientists ponder fate after independence vote

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Science  06 Oct 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6359, pp. 23
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6359.23

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Summary

According to the Catalan government, 89% of voters favored independence in a referendum that was held on 1 October in defiance of Spain's government and constitutional court and marred by police clashes. What happens next is unclear, but scientists have a lot at stake. Research in Catalonia has prospered in recent years, and the region's capital, Barcelona, has emerged as a major science hub. Independentist scientists trust that Catalan research would do even better in a nimbler, separate state. But other researchers fear that a secession would isolate the region, cut access to essential funding streams and networks, and spark a brain drain.