November 2013

November 2013

26th November 2013: Lost at Sea? The Atlantic Salmon's Ocean Odyssey

Read the summary report of the discussion forum on Lost at Sea? The Atlantic Salmon's Ocean Odyssey

Golden eagle, red deer, red squirrel, otter, harbour seal and Atlantic salmon are iconic images of Scotland's wildlife.  The salmon's life cycle and migrations have fascinated mankind for generations, but now something has gone wrong.  Salmon are dying at sea; reasons are unclear but rivers all around the North Atlantic have been affected. Recent research has provided fascinating new insights into why salmon are being lost.

The speakers and the discussion that followed focused on the challenges, new and old, faced by salmon during their ocean odyssey.

21st November 2013: Our Hidden Geology and Geomorphology: Sea Bed Mapping in the 21st Century

Read the summary report of the full day conference on Our Hidden Geology and Geomorphology: Sea Bed Mapping in the 21st Century

In the last few years there has been a tremendous increase in the amount of high resolution surveying on the UKCS (United Kingdom continental shelf) which is underpinning the sustainable development of the UKCS. This conference highlighted the science and understanding which is revolutionising our understanding of the seabed and shallow geology. The conference and follow-up volume will provide a showcase for this research and bring together government, academia and the commercial sector to share techniques and understanding.

This was a joint event with MAREMAP partners: British Geological Survey, Scottish Association for Marine Science and the National Oceanography Centre.  It was supported by Gardline Geosurvey Ltd., Kongsberg Maritime Ltd.,Teledyne RESON and the Marine Studies Group of the Geological Society of London.

20th November 2013: Tsunami Hazard - Learning from Recent Events

Read the summary report of Professor Tappin's lecture on Tsunami Hazard - Learning from Recent Events

Speaker: Professor David Tappin, Tsunami Scientist, University College London and British Geological Survey (BGS)

During the past 10 -15 years there have been a number of disastrous tsunamis that have led to the deaths of over 250,000 people. 220,000 people perished in the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, and in 2011 almost 20,000 people died in Japan. In Europe, the hazard from tsunami is small, although there were significant events 8,200 years ago and in 1755. All these events have led us to better understand tsunami hazard and how we can mitigate against it, and this talk explained how these developments have come about.

20th November 2013: Enlightening the Constitutional Debate: Welfare and Public Services

Read the summary report from the Enlightening the Constitutional debate series on Welfare and Public Services

On 20 November 2013 the RSE held, in Glasgow, a public discussion seminar examining Welfare and Public Services

Most aspects of welfare policy and spending are currently  the responsibility of the United Kingdom parliament.  This discussion seminar was not designed to identify or advocate any policies relating to the welfare agenda.  It was intended to provide information and expert commentary about the welfare related issues which the people of Scotland may wish to consider when deciding on 18 September 2014 if Scotland should be an independent country.

Social security spending is set to continue rising as a proportion of all public spending, with pensioners being protected in relative terms and the pressures being most keenly felt by those in the working age groups and those with children. Attitudes to welfare reform in Scotland and the rest of the UK will be explored, including whether there are options for further devolution of welfare powers if Scotland remains a part of the United Kingdom, and the significant issues which would arise should Scotland become an independent country. The seminar also took account of some international comparators which may be relevant for Scotland.

The welfare system and public services are inextricably linked, and responsibility for many of Scotland's important public services are already devolved to the Scottish Parliament - such as education, the National Health Service, housing and policing.  The seminar did not cover these matters in any great depth, but inevitably touched upon them within a wider welfare context.

13th November 2013: An Evening with Dr Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and Former Archbishop of Canterbury.

This event provided an opportunity to meet with Dr Rowan Williams, the University of Edinburgh Gifford Lecturer for 2013–2014, and to discuss with him, in a relaxed manner, some of the themes of his Gifford Lecture Series which took place at the University of Edinburgh between 4 and 14 November 2013. The prestigious Gifford Lectures have been delivered annually since1888 by a succession of distinguished international scholars.

Read the summary report of An Evening with Dr Rowan Williams


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