Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain
the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in
Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles
I disagree with Joan Martínez Alier’s view that Catalonia’s research funding could increase if the region were to become independent of Spain (Nature 576, 384; 2019). For a start, Catalonia would lose out on future European research grants because it would cease to be a member of the European Union. And, contrary to Alier’s suggestion, discontinuing fiscal transfers to Spain would make little difference in its landscape of bulging public debt, departing businesses, and no access to European Central Bank financing.