The Conference was held in London with the intention to bring further academic evidence and analysis to bear on the current debates on Scotland’s relationship with the rest of the United Kingdom, and to inform and challenge the discussions both inside Scotland and in Westminster about the future of this relationship.
This London meeting examined the three options that may be offered in the proposed referendum (independence; “devolution-max”; the proposals in the current Scotland Bill) and the implications of each for the relationship between Scotland, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. Read Report ffrom Scotland in the UK
Speaker: Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE FRS FRSE, Visiting Professor of Astrophysics, University of Oxford
Professor Bell Burnell focused on the achievements and contributions to modern astronomy made by some unsung and under-sung female astronomers of the last 100 years. She also reflected on the position of women in astronomy today and how it might be made more equitable.
This lecture formed a part of the Edinburgh Lecture series of events.
Speaker: Professor Gérard Mourou, Institut de Lumière Extrême, ENSTA
The laser just turned fifty. Today, it can produce the highest peak power measured in Petawatts or 1000 times the world’s grid power. It delivers this gargantuan power in extremely short duration counted in femtosecond. This power can be focused over a small fraction of a hair size to produce the highest intensity, the highest pressure, the highest electric field, the highest acceleration, and the highest temperature. It can also produce high-energy particles and radiations. However in its first fifty year it was mainly limited to the study of the atomic structure. The extreme characteristics that are provided by today’s extreme light laser offer a new paradigm to Fundamental Physics for the investigation of the deeper strata of matter, as the nucleus, the nucleon and the vacuum.
This event formed part of the Franco-Scottish Science Seminar Series, jointly-funded by the RSE and the French Embassy, London.
Lasers have been responsible for a revolution in the science and technology that underpins many day-to-day aspects of our lives. This variety in type and capability has led to an impressive range of applications, from optical communications and the treatment of cancer, through cutting and welding to laboratory-scale studies of astrophysical phenomena. This Franco-Scottish workshop brought together some of the young rising stars whose research will highlight some of the unique properties of lasers, and the Evening Speaker is one of the pioneers in high power lasers, Professor Gérard Mourou, who proposed a new way of amplifying laser pulses to very high powers (chirped-pulse amplification). This workshop provided a fascinating insight into some of the latest advances in the application of lasers in material processing, gene and drug delivery using lasers, cancer treatment and high field investigations.
Speaker: Professor Iain J Gordon, Chief Executive,The James Hutton Institute.
Managing land’s resources sustainably is essential to ensure the continuing availability of Ecosystems Services. Climate change, market fluctuations and Common Agricultural Policy reforms influence land management decisions and thus shape how land is used.
Professor Gordon outlined how working in close partnership with the rural sector, scientists can help inform how land is used. Through effective engagement, the development of new innovations and collaborative learning, scientists and the rural sector can ensure the future environmental quality and economic prosperity of our land.
Listen to Professor Gordon's lecture.