June 2015

June 2015

22 June 2015: Lecture - Burns: 'A Fiddler and a Poet'

Speaker: Professor Fred Freeman, Professor of Scottish Music at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  Professor Freeman is producer/musical director of the only 'Complete Songs Of Robert Burns' ever recorded.

Read summary report of Professor Freeman's lecture on Burns: 'A Fiddler and a Poet'.

Music used in this talk:
TR3 Blythe, blythe and merry was she: Robert Burns Scottish Airs RRCD 1322  Arr James Griffett;
TR5 Pachelbel Canon in D major: CUV 5 61145 2/PM516 Vivaldi London Chamber Orchestra - Christopher Warren-Green;
TR6 Pachelbel Kanon: BCC 1002 A Baroque Collection, Jose Serebrier, The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra;
TR7 Preludes und Fugues No 14: The Glen Gould Edition SM2K 52603;
TR15 Wee Willie Gray: Borders Pipes LTCD 4002 Arr Fred Freeman;
TR17 Jacky Latin: Borders Pipes (as directly obove);
All other tracks: The Complete Songs of Robert Burns CKD 289 Arr Fred Freeman.

This illustrated talk was designed to introduce a little known Robert Burns. For over 200 years, he has been misrepresented as Scotland’s national ‘poet’, yet he was, preeminently, a song-writer. The lecture considered Burns’s background as a fiddler and folk artist; his innovative use of traditional dance/instrumental forms (strathspeys, reels, jigs, slip jigs, hornpipes); his curious method of composition – most often, from the tune to the words; his seminal theory of ‘ballad simplicity’ which relates to musical form, language, rhythm; most significantly, his reinvention of himself and of a new Scottish national tradition.

17 June 2015: Conference - Social science in Scotland over the next decade

Read summary report from the RSE/Academy of Social Sciences joint conference on Social Science in Scotland over the next decade.

Joint one-day conference with the Academy of Social Sciences with distinguished line-up of experts in the field, discussing the significance of social science in Scotland over the next decade.

13 June 2015: RSE@ScottishBorders public lecture - Women and the Stars - UNESCO International Year of Light 2015

Read the summary report of the talks by the four speakers on Women and the Stars

Speakers: Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell PRSE, President, Royal Society of Edinburgh; Dr Claire Brock, Lecturer, University of Leicester; Dr Mhairi Stewart, Public Engagement Officer, University of St Andrews; and Professor Monica Grady, Open University.

Great Discoveries Quietly Made; Scottish Women in Science
Dr Mhairi Stewart, University of St Andrews
Mhairi told the stories of some of the renowned Scottish female scientists, the discoveries they made and the difficulties they faced. Their stories showed how they changed the world and how the world has changed for women in science.

Mary Somerville’s Celestial Mechanics
Dr Claire Brock, University of Leicester
Mary Somerville (1780-1872) is a complex figure in the history of science. This talk assessed how she attained the position she did, through an exploration of her ambitious childhood programme of study, and how reaching for the stars brought Mary Somerville a unique position in British society.

Current Women in Space Science
Professor Monica Grady, The Open University
Professor Grady discussed some of the current discoveries and work being undertaken in space science, including the 2014 Rosetta comet landing.

Key Note Talk: We are Made of Star Stuff
Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, President of the RSE
In this talk we considered the atoms in our bodies and ask where they have come from. What was the earth made from? What have stars and the Big Bang got to do with our bodies?

2 June 2015: TalkScience@Irvine Bay 2014/15 - Large Hadron Collider - what it might tell us about the Universe

Speaker: Professor Peter Clarke FRSE, Professor of Physics, University of Edinburgh

Read the summary report of Professor Clarke's talk on The Large Hadron Collider - what it might tell us about the Universe

There are many things we do not know about the Universe:

  • the nature of dark matter,
  • why it seems to be accelerating apart
  • and until recently, the origin of mass

The last question was answered in 2013 when the Large Hadron Collider discoverd the Higgs Boson. Since then, the LHC has undergone a major upgrade and is due to start its a new running period. The talk explained the importance of the Higgs boson discovery and look at what the LHC might find in the future. Professor Clarke also covered some wider unsolved questions around dark energy, and looked at some of the ways we might try to understand these phenomena.

1 June 2015: Lecture/Ordinary Meeting - Making a difference: how to reduce cancer occurrence and recurrence

Speaker: Professor Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Webb Endowed Chair, School of Health Professions, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Read the summary report of Professor Demark-Wahnefried's lecture on Making a difference: how to reduce cancer occurence and recurrence

Click here to view Professor Demark-Wahnefried slides (PDF)

Leading cancer researcher, Professor Demark-Wahnefried, discussed the fascinating work being done on how lifestyle modification can reduce the risk of developing the disease and prevent recurrence in treated patients. This annual lecture is given in association with the Scottish Cancer Foundation and the Cruden Foundation and formed part of an RSE Ordinary Meeting and so was preceded by Society business.


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