The Royal Society of Edinburgh is keen to further extend its events and education programme beyond the Central Belt and as part of this initiative, a series of educational activities took place in Arbroath, throughout 2008. This pilot project laid the foundations for subequent projects in other areas including Dumfries and Galloway, and Lochaber.

The Arbroath project developed activities with and for young people, and the wider public, and included topics from the arts and humanities as well as science and technology based subjects.

Classes and workshops were arranged for both primary and secondary school students and included a series of school and public lectures.

The themes for the year included:

- Identity and the people of Arbroath (January to March 2008)
- Wealth creation in Arbroath (March to June 2008)
- The arts in Arbroath (June to August 2008)
- Places in Arbroath (August to December 2008)

Public Lectures

Wednesday 10 December 2008, 7pm. Arbroath High School.

RSE Christmas Public Lecture - Science and Arbroath in the 21st Century

Professor Anne Glover FRSE, Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland

This lecture touched on how science informs us of climate change, and how climate change will impact on communities such as Arbroath, what we can do about it and how scientists can make a difference. Professor Glover holds a Personal Chair of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Aberdeen where she has an active research group pursuing a variety of areas, from microbial diversity to the development and application of whole cell biosensors (biological sensors), for environmental monitoring and investigating how organisms respond to stress at a cellular level. She is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a member of the Natural Environment Research Council, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Click here to read lecture summary

10 November 2008. 7pm. Arbroath Academy

Seven Wonders of the Industrial World - The Bell Rock Lighthouse

Bob McIntosh BSc. CEng MICE, Northern Lighthouse Board

Why do lighthouses exist? What are they there for? What is involved in the maintenance and running of a lighthouse? Who is responsible for them?

Bob McIntosh supplied answers to these and many other questions surrounding lighthouses and the Northern Lighthouse Board. He also talked about the first lighthouse engineer, Thomas Scott, before looking at the construction of the Bell Rock lighthouse, the difficulties encountered during its construction and the engineering solutions used to overcome them, which resulted in the lighting of its light on the 1st February 1811.

Click here to read lecture summary

Wednesday 21 May 2008, 7pm. Arbroath High School.

Blurring the boundaries - from classical to contemporary music. What are the similarities and differences between contemporary and classical approaches to music creation? Professor John Wallace OBE FRSE explored this question and highlighted how the Performing Arts can think the unthinkable and speak the unspeakable. They are a powerful educational tool. They expand society's consciousness and raise a nation’s game. Wherever they flourish, modern economies flourish. So what is the value of both contemporary and classical music to Scotland, both at a local level, and beyond?

Principal John Wallace OBE FRSE, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama

Click here to read a summary of Professor Wallace's lecture

Tuesday 25 March 2008, 6pm. Angus College.

Red Lichties and their impact on the rest of the world – a study of historic scientific and technological discoveries.

Lord Fraser of Carmyllie QC

Chaired by Professor Jan McDonald.

Read report of Red Lichties lecture

26 February 2008, 6pm. Arbroath High School.

The Commandos from Arbroath – famous campaigns – past, current and future missions.

Click here to read a summary report of the lecture.

Chaired by Professor Sue Black.

Contact the Education Team


The Royal Society of Edinburgh wishes to acknowledge the support of:

Aberbrothock Charitable Trust

Colin Grant Charitable Trust

Amy Barnet Skea Charitable Trust

Miss E. B. Dundas Trust

William Coull Anderson Trust

Kerr's Miniature Railway

G & N Wishart

Gemmell Hammond Ltd

Commercial Inn

H20 Plumbing and Heating


Support in kind has also come from

Angus College

Angus Council

Arbroath Abbey

Community Groups

Hospitalfield Trust,

Montrose Basin Wildlife Centre

Primary Schools

Secondary Schools

Sensation Science Centre Dundee


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