May 2013

May 2013

29th May 2013: Enlightening the Constitutional Debate: Defence and International Relations

Read the summary report on Defence and International Relations

In May 2013 the RSE  hosted a public discussion seminar, in Edinburgh, on how Scotland and the UK’s defence and international relations might be affected in the event of constitutional change.

The seminar examined questions around how the UK’s role within NATO and on the UN Security Council might be affected by constitutional change, and whether Scotland could expect to retain a role within these organisations in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote in the forthcoming referendum, and what its defence options might be. The seminar  also examined how the UK’s position on the international stage might be affected by constitutional change, and what the implications of attempting to separate the Scottish military from the UK military might be. Questions about the future of the UK’s nuclear deterrence, given the SNP’s anti-nuclear policies, were also addressed.

23rd and 24th May 2013: RSE@Lochaber Lecture: English and Scots: Using the Past to Explain the Present

Read summary report of Professor Smith's talk on English and Scots: Using the Past to Explain the Present.

Speaker: Professor Jeremy Smith FRSE, Professor of English Philology, University of Glasgow was the speaker at the Ben Nevis Hotel, North Road, Fort William (23 May) and Kilchoan Learning Centre, West Highland College (24 May).

The character and distribution of the languages of present-day Britain derive from their complex histories.  This talk explored how present-day speech and writing can be used to find out how people spoke in the past, and an attempt was made, using evidence such as place-names, to link language development to geography as well as history. The focus was on English and Scots, but it was hoped that the discussion was relevant for other languages as well.

This event formed a part of the RSE@Lochaber programme.

21st May 2013: RSE@Lochaber Lecture: Lochaber: The Last Bandit Country or Jacobite Heartland? 

Speaker: Professor Allan I. MacInnes FRSE, Professor of Early Modern History, University of Strathclyde

Read summary report of Professor MacInnes' lecture on Lochaber: The Last Bandit Country or Jacobite Heartland?

In the eyes of central government, Scottish and British, the Lochaber district was regarded as the epicentre of Highland disorder and disloyalty from the 15th to the 18th centuries. How justified was this reputation? Mitigating factors such as the mountainous environment, overlapping jurisdictions and religious denominationalism have to be brought into the equation. But we can reverse the question. Was central government the real problem, through its incapacity to cope with clanship, with its levying of unsustainable taxes, and with its deliberate confusion of banditry with Jacobitism.

This event formed a part of the RSE@Lochaber programme.

20 May 2013: New Fellows' Induction

A New Fellows' Induction Day is held annually, shortly after the election and New Fellows are encouraged to attend this to be formally admitted to the Society and sign the roll.

New Fellows not able to attend then, and existing Fellows, may make arrangements to be formally admitted at Ordinary Meetings of the Society. In certain circumstances, special arrangements may be made for Honorary and Corresponding Fellows who cannot attend an Ordinary Meeting.

The 2013 Induction Day was held on 20 May 2013. View images from the event.

15th May 2013: RSE@Lochaber Lecture: Women in Science

Speaker: Alison McLure, National Officer (Scotland), Institute of Physics

Read summary report of Alison McLure's lecture on Women in Science: Antarctic Experience

This talk focused on Alison's work in Antarctica. The Antarctic is a remarkable continent - remote, hostile and uninhabited. Yet it is of key importance to our understanding of how the world works. For the early explorers, Antarctica was the ultimate survival contest. For scientists, it remains a place of intellectual challenge. Audience members found out what kind of science is carried out in the Antarctic, and how a physics degree took Alison to Antarctica and what life was like there.

This event formed a part of the RSE@Lochaber programme.

14th May 2013: Discussion Forum: Illuminating Biology and Robotics through Contemporary Classical Music: Launching Lab Notes

Read the summary report on the discussion on Illuminating Biology and Robotics through Contemporary Classical Music

Speakers: Dr Christine Knight, Senior Policy Research Fellow, ESRC Genomics Policy & Research Forum, College of Humanities and Social Science, University of Edinburgh; Dr Lorraine Kerr, SynthSys Project Manager for Experiments, University of Edinburgh; Mr Martin Clark, Independent film maker and Dr Jane Stanley, Lecturer, University of Glasgow & RSE Young Academy of Scotland member.

When we think of robots we tend to think of humanoid stereotypes from blockbuster films. The reality of robots in the twenty-first century scientific laboratory is very different. Lab Notes is an innovative project that brought a classical music composer and a film-maker into a modern systems biology lab. This public event launched the resulting piece of music (Streamlines) by composer Dr Jane Stanley, Lecturer, University of Glasgow & RSE Young Academy of Scotland Member and accompanying film by freelance film-maker Martin Clark. The project team described the creative process of bridging the arts and the sciences. Audience members had the chance to discuss the music and film in a Q&A session, and over drinks, when further music by Dr Stanley was played. Chaired by Professor Alan Miller, FRSE, Deputy Principal (Research and Knowledge Transfer), Heriot-Watt University.

7th May 2013: RSE@Lochaber Lecture: Gaelic Culture of Lochaber

Read summary report of the lecture by Professors Cheape and Meek on the Gaelic Culture of Lochaber

Professor Hugh Cheape, Programme Leader, University of the Highlands and Islands and Professor Donald Meek FRSE, Professor Emeritus of Scottish and Gaelic Studies, University of Edinburgh discussed the Gaelic culture of the Lochaber region, focussing on the poets and storytellers of the area. This event comprised a bi-lingual approach. 

This event formed a part of the RSE@Lochaber programme.


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