About the Project
In 2012, The Royal Society of Edinburgh launched a high-quality programme of activities for young people and the public across the region of Lochaber. This programme of inspirational educational talks, discussion forums and workshops for school-aged children and the wider public commenced in September 2012 and ran until October 2013.
The RSE @ Lochaber initiative followed similar successful RSE projects in Arbroath and the Dumfries and Galloway region. As Scotland’s National Academy, it is the role of the Royal Society of Edinburgh to actively to promote the education of young people throughout Scotland, and it aims to stimulate and develop interest in science, society, culture and the arts across all age groups.
While the RSE @ programme is designed to appeal to all age groups, one key aim of this RSE @ Lochaber initiative was to enhance the understanding and appreciation which school children have of their local community by encouraging a sense of belonging to an area rich in cultural and human resources.
The programme of free public lectures, schools’ talks and workshops drew on the expertise of the RSE’s highly distinguished Fellows and other experts from a variety of disciplines.
The Programme Launch - 17 September 2012
The programme launched on Monday 17 September 2012 with a ‘Question Time’ style, free, public evening event, ‘Scottish History in Question’, featuring renowned historian, Professor Tom Devine FRSE, University of Edinburgh, at The Snowgoose Restaurant, Nevis Range, Fort William. This event was chaired by Charles Kennedy MP.
Professor Devine and Dr Nicola Stanley-Wall, Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology, University of Dundee were the 2012 winners of the RSE Beltane Prizes for Public Engagement. They were presented with their awards at this event. The RSE Prize for Public Engagement promotes excellence in the field of public engagement and encourages public discussion on significant matters relating to Scotland’s pioneering research and innovation. Dr Stanley-Wall also delivered the first RSE @ Lochaber school event, ‘Bacteria Live in Communities’, a practical, interactive workshop, to pupils at Lochaber High School on 17 September 2012.
Programme of Events
Other RSE @ Lochaber public lectures explored themes as diverse as local history, film locations, astronomy, and the Large Hadron Collider. This informative and thought-provoking public lecture programme ran to October 2013, covering topics related to the region, including, amongst others, engineering, literature, folklore, science and the arts.
During the school year 2012/2013, the RSE also delivered inspirational educational talks and workshops to primary and secondary schools across the region, exploring issues such as names and identity, meteorology, reminiscence, local history, and the local environment. In addition there were opportunities for local secondary schools to be involved in entrepreneurial activities.
The RSE @ Lochaber programme report can be read here.
The RSE @ Lochaber project was supported by The Dulverton Trust, The James Weir Foundation, Beltane Public Engagement Network, RSE Sillitto Fund, RSE Heggie Fund, RSE Fleck Fund, The Mackintosh Foundation, G M Morrison Charitable Trust, and Private Donations.
The RSE is seeking support from individuals, organisations and charitable foundations who feel the RSE @ Programme is worthwhile. To find out more on how you can offer support, contact the Business Development & Events Manager, Róisín Calvert-Elliott.