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 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 the ‎RSE@Lochaber initiative was to enhance the understanding and appreciation that 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’, ‎and featured 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.‎

Presented with awards at this event were Professor Devine and Dr Nicola Stanley-Wall, Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology, ‎University of Dundee who were the 2012 winners of the RSE Beltane Prizes for Public ‎Engagement. 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. ‎

Visit the events page to read past reports from RSE@Lochaber events.

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 please contact us.


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