June 2012

June 2012

28th June 2012: BBC Reith Lecture: The Rule of Law and its Enemies

Read the summary report on Professor Ferguson's lecture Civil and Uncivil Societies

Niall Ferguson’s Reith Lecture 2012 series, entitled The Rule of Law and its Enemies, demonstrated that historical change in the modern period – from economic growth to democratization – has been driven mainly by institutions: those complex, man-made organisations that lie somewhere between great men and impersonal historical forces. Ferguson’s lectures aimed to push beyond naïve ideas about the success of capitalism and democracy over the past two centuries, and especially in the years since the Cold War. He delivered the lectures in London, Edinburgh and New York, with audience contributions from the Middle East.

Professor Ferguson's fourth and final lecture, took place at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, entitled Civil and Uncivil Societies, and focused on institutions outside the political, economic and legal realms, whose primary purpose is to preserve and transmit particular knowledge and values. Is the modern state quietly killing civil society in the Western world? And what can non-Western societies do to build a vibrant civil society?

The Reith Lectures 2012 will be recorded in June and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service from June-July.

25th June 2012: Women in STEM dissemination event - Dundee

This event took place at the University of Dundee on Monday, 25th June 2012.

20th June 2012: Women in STEM dissemination event - Aberdeen

The majority of women with qualifications in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects do not work in STEM areas.  This is in contrast to men.  The consequence is a serious loss to the economy.  Scotland must address this issue.

On 4 April the Royal Society of Edinburgh launched a Report on: ‘Tapping all our talents. Women in STEM:  a Strategy for Scotland’.  This recommends creating a strategy to increase the proportion of women in the workplace qualified in STEM subjects, and increase the number who rise to senior positions in universities, research institutes, government, business and industry.

This Report was produced by an expert Working Group, chaired by the distinguished astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE FRS FRSE, with Professor Alice Brown CBE FRSE as Vice-Chair.

This event took place at Robert Gordon University on Wednesday 20 June 2012.

11th June 2012: Lecture: Is doing cancer research good for the NHS?

Speaker: Professor David Cameron FRSE, Clinical Director, Edinburgh Cancer Research UK Centre; Professor of Oncology, University of Edinburgh

Read the summary report on Professor Cameron's lecture Is doing cancer research good for the NHS?

Doing clinical research has been one of the founding principles of the NHS. In the past 60 years NHS structures and different models for supporting research have come and gone. In the current financial climate there have been voices challenging this aspect of the service: but Professor Cameron presented data that supports the hypothesis that patients have better care and survival if treated in research-active institutions. Arguably therefore we should support more, not less, research in financially-challenged times: and how far could this principle be extended to other public services?

This lecture was in association with the Scottish Cancer Foundation, supported by the Cruden Foundation.


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