December 2012

December 2012

11th December 2012: The Royal Society of Edinburgh Christmas Lecture 2012

Read the summary report of Katherine Grainger's Christmas Lecture - The Journey to Gold

Lochaber High School

Glasgow-born Katherine Grainger MBE first took up rowing during her student days at the University of Edinburgh. Since then, she has gone on to win 6 rowing World Championships, 3 silver Olympic medals and, most recently, a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games. These remarkable achievements make her an inspiration to all, and the RSE was delighted to have Katherine deliver the RSE Christmas Lecture 2012 where she spoke about the challenges she has faced along with the successes over the past 12 years.

The RSE Christmas Lecture is delivered twice each year - the daytime lecture is delivered to secondary school students, and is webcast by BBC Scotland to schools and to the wider public around the world. The evening lecture was delivered to a public audience in Lochaber.


7th December 2012: Conference: CTR Wilson, a Great Scottish Physicist: His Life, Work and Legacy

Read the summary report from the CTR Wilson conference

A meeting was held in December 2012 to honour C T R Wilson, the 1927 Nobel Physics Laureate, who invented the cloud chamber. This device, described by Rutherford as the most original and wonderful instrument in scientic history, was used in many discoveries that led to the development of particle physics. Wilson was also deeply interested in atmospheric electricity and his ideas about thunderstorms are at the heart of modern theories.

Speakers discussed his life and his contributions to physics, as well as current work on cosmic rays and climate, thunderstorms and the search for the origin of cosmic rays, on the existence of which Wilson speculated 10 years before their discovery in 1912.

3rd December 2012: RSE/BP Hutton Prize Lecture in Energy Innovation

Read summary report of Dr David Wright's lecture - MTEM - From PhD Research to Commercial Exploration Tool

In 2004 MTEM Ltd spun out from the University of Edinburgh to commercialise research in electromagnetics for oil and gas exploration.  As a co-founder, Dr David Wright played a key part in the early development of this technology and continues to do so. This lecture told the story of how the MTEM technology developed from field tests in the South of France to commercial operations in the North Sea and looks at what the future holds.  The technology was also put into context by discussing how it complements conventional tools used in exploration and other potential applications.

Dr David Wright is PGS Senior Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. He holds a BSc and PhD in Geophysics from the University of Edinburgh and an MSc in Geophysics from the University of Durham. He was a co-founder of MTEM Ltd which was formed to commercialise research on CSEM for hydrocarbon exploration.  He worked as senior geophysicist at MTEM from 2004-2007 and held the same position at PGS from 2007-2010. He was awarded the inaugural RSE/BP Hutton Prize for Energy Innovation in 2011. Read transcript of the Hutton Prize Lecture.


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