November 2012

November 2012

27th November 2012: Conference: Europe and the Arab World

Read summary report of Europe and the Arab World Conference, including talks by His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan Bin Talal HonFRSE and Professor Yasir Suleiman CBE FRSE.

The countries which now make up the European Union were in a state of instability and chaos in the aftermath of war only 60 years ago. Similar instability in government, civil society and economic development is now apparent in many parts of the Arab World, which stretches from the Arabian Gulf in the East to the Atlantic in the West. This conference examined ways in which Europe may be able to help to restore stability to the Arab World, and in so doing further the related objectives of democracy and prosperity.


26 November 2012: Lecture: MacCormick European Lecture

Read summary report of Allan Little's lecture - MacCormick European Lecture 2012

The MacCormick European Lecture is named after the late Profesor Sir Neil MacCormick in recognition of the contribution made by him to Scottish and European politics and the international work of the RSE.

For over two decades, Allan Little has been reporting the changing shape of our world. In this lecture he tried to make sense of the current crisis in Europe, especially the euro crisis, by putting it in the context of Europe's history.

Allan Little and Jane Beresford (BBC) were awarded the annual UACES Thomson Reuters Reporting Europe Prize at a ceremony in London on 24 May 2012.

Joint event with the European Movement in Scotland, supported by the European Parliament Office in Edinburgh.

22nd, 23rd November 2012: International Workshop: RSE/NSFC Seminar

The two seminar days were divided into morning and afternoon sessions. In each there were presentations by both academics and practitioners from Scotland and from China.
Day one of the seminar discussed energy policy and marine energy. Carbon capture, storage and renewable energy was the focus for day two.

This event was supported by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

13th November 2012: Lecture: Exploring the Diversity of Exoplanets

Speaker: Dr Suzanne Aigrain, Lecturer in Astrophysics, University of Oxford.

Less than twenty years ago, the Solar System was the only planetary system we knew about. Since then, astronomers have discovered many hundreds of exoplanets - planets which orbit other stars than the Sun. We now know that exoplanets are common, perhaps even outnumbering the stars in our Galaxy. Some of them are so utterly unlike any of the Solar System planets that they challenge both our imagination, and our theories of how planets form and evolve.

In this talk, Dr Aigrain described some of the highlights and challenges of exoplanet exoploration in the past decade, and outlined how we are working to detect and characterise an ever wider range of planets, including some which might harbour life.

Please view Dr Aigrain's presentation slides for further information.

13th November 2012: SUPA Cormack Astronomy Meeting

The Cormack Bequest meeting has been a long-standing annual RSE event for the Scottish Astronomy community to gather and share, via talks and posters, some of the very wide range of astronomy research being conducted in Scotland. Each year, there is an invited talk on a hot astronomy topic, and this year Professor Don Kurtz, University of Central Lancashire, spoke on Asteroseismology results from the Kepler Mission.

2012 sees the first full SUPA Cormack Astronomy Meeting jointly funded and organised by SUPA (Scottish Universities Physics Alliance).

2nd November 2012: RSE@Lochaber: Exploring the Dark Side of the Universe

West Highland College, Kilchoan.

We live in an extraordinary cosmos. Less than 100 years after Edwin Hubble discovered that our Universe is expanding, observations of distant supernovae and the afterglow of the Big Bang itself have revealed that the cosmic expansion is speeding up - driven by a mysterious "dark energy" the precise nature of which is one of the biggest puzzles in science.  In this lecture University of Glasgow astronomer Martin Hendry delivered a whistle-stop tour through thirteen billion years of cosmic history: exploding stars, colliding black holes, dark matter, dark energy and the very latest theories for the origin and fate of the Universe.

This lecture was followed by stargazing (weather permitting) under some of the darkest skies in the UK. Read report on Exploring the Dark Side of the Universe


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