Coffee Meetings

Coffee Meetings

Programme of Discussions

Coffee is available in the Fellows' Room on Tuesday mornings at 10.30 am.

Once a month, between October and March, this will take the form of a discussion in the East Wellcome Room. These are informal and friendly occasions, open to Fellows and, if you are able to attend, you will be made most welcome. Below is the programme for the coming season:

2016-2017 Programme

4 October 2016
Religion and violence
The Right Reverend Richard Holloway FRSE

1 November 2016
Spacelab Revisited
Dr Helen Ross FRSE

6 December 2016
Policy making then and now
Sir Muir Russell KCB FRSE

Speakers and topics to be advised for:

10 January 2017

7 February 2017

7 March 2017


2015-2016 Programme

6 October 2015
Governance in Successful Organisations
Sir David Wallace VPRSE

3 November 2015 
Hinkley C and the new National Nuclear Archive at Wick 
Dr Janet Morgan (Lady Balfour) FRSE

1 December 2015 
Judicial vaticination: some thoughts about law in the 21st Century 
Sir David Edward FRSE

12 January 2016
Editing David Hume's autobiography: what? why? how?
Dr Iain Gordon Brown FRSE, RSE Curator, National Library of Scotland

2 February 2016
The RSE - is the future younger?
Professor Ineke De Moortel FRSE, University of St Andrews

1 March 2016
Supplying metals that don't cost the earth
Professor Peter Tasker FRSE, University of Edinburgh

2014-2015 Programme

7 October 2014
What will happen to the Antarctic Ice Sheet in a warmer world?
Professor David Sugden FRSE

4 November 2014
Trophy, Souvenir or Loot: reappraising military collecting.
Dr Stuart Allan and Dr Henrietta Lidchi.

2 December 2014
The President, Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE, FRS, PRSE will address the meeting.

13 January 2015
Scotland and the creative economy debate. 
Professor Philip Schlesinger FRSE

3 February 2015
The RSE yesterday, today and tomorrow  
Dr Charles D. Waterston FRSE

3 March 2015
Population: combating denial. 
Professor Aubrey Manning  OBE, FRSE

2013-2014 Programme

8 October 2013
Bioethics and the Islamic Debates
Professor Mona Siddiqui OBE, FRSE

5 November 2013
On the origin of speech 
Professor Eric Salzen, FRSE

3 December 2013
Neuroscience in society  
Professor Sergio Della Sala, FRSE

7 January 2014
Vikings in Iceland  
Dr Karen Milek, University of Aberdeen, CRF European Travel Fellow

4 February 2014
The past and future impacts of Icelandic ash in Scotland 
Dr John A Stevenson, University of Edinburgh, RSE Grant Holder

4 March 2014
Economic Crisis and the rise of the radical Left on Southern Europe  
Dr Myrto Tsakatika, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow, CRF European Travel Fellow

2012-2013 Programme

9 October 2012
Northern Ireland: from‘The Troubles’ to Peace and Reconciliation
Professor Robert J Cormack FRSE

6 November 2012

Simonides: Poetry and Photography
Professor Robert Crawford FRSE and Norman MacBeath

4 December 2012
Fire and Safety – When Will We Ever Learn?
Professor D D Drysdale FRSE

8 January 2013
Art and Science: Estranged Siblings
Professor J D Macmillan FRSE

5 February 2013
An Illustrated History of Some Early Digital Computers
Professor Roland N Ibbett FRSE

5 March 2013
The Minds of our Children
Professor Forrester Cockburn FRSE

2011-2012 Programme

11th October 2011  
Practical Skills and Model Engineering
Professor Malcolm B Wilkins FRSE

8th November 2011 
The Role of the Exhibition Centre in the promotion of learning and useful knowledge today.  
Professor Stuart K.Monro OBE, FRSE  

6th December  2011 
Reflections on the development of Scotland’s public services
The President, Sir John Arbuthnott MRIA

10th January 2012  
Why Roman Law? 
Professor Olivia Robinson FRSE.

7th February 2012  
Materials Science for Enhanced Energy Storage and Conversion
Dr. Job Thijssen

6th March 2012  
Science, Wisdom and Faith
Professor David A. S. Fergusson FRSE

2010 - 2011 Programme

12 October 2010
Innovative computer-based personal support for older people with dementia and their carers
Dr Norman Alm

2 November 2010
The earliest farmers in Britain
Roger James Mercer

7 December 2010
Aspects of Medical Education, a personal view
Professor J F Lamb

11 January 2011
The purpose of Heraldry in the 21st Century
Elizabeth A Roads

1 February 2011
Building the Bell Rock Lighthouse
Professor Roland A Paxton

1 March 2011
Law and Ethics
Dr Murdo Macdonald


2009-2010 Programme

13 October 2009
Recognising a Masterpiece.
Michael Clarke

3 November 2009
Synchotrons and Free Electron Lasers, what Earthly use are they?
Professor Robert Donovan

8 December 2009
The President, Lord Wilson of Tillyorn

12 January 2010
Runs on homozygosity, population history and disease.
Dr James Wilson

2 February 2010
Events, adaptability and survival, the case of the European Union.
Sir David Edward

9 March 2010
Are we destroying Edinburgh?
Professor Charles McKean


2008-2009 Programme

14 October 2008
Telford at the Frontiers of Technology
Professor Roland Paxton

4 November 2008
The Role of the Banker in Society Today
Ewan Brown

2 December 2008
Democracy Ancient and Modern
Professor John Richardson

6 January 2009
Forgotten pioneers, the case of Robert Chambers
Professor Bruce Proudfoot

3 February 2009
Tackling Scotland's Health Inequalities - a major challenge for the next decade
Professor John Coggins

3 March 2009
Reconstructing Historical Sites; Fact or Fiction?
Dr Barbara E Crawford


2007-2008 Programme

9 October 2007

Illness and Disease: The Butterflies of History.

Professor David E M Taylor

6 November 2007

Entanglement in Copenhagen – The trouble with Quantum Mechanics and the Flight from Reality

Dr Malcolm Fluendy

4 December 2007

A Business Unworthy of a Woman? The female performer as celebrity and political agitator on the nineteenth-century British stage

Professor Janet B I McDonald.

8 January 2008

Are you being served? The Civil Service in a changing world.

Sir Russell Hillhouse.

5 February 2008

The place of the victim and the victim’s family in criminal proceedings.

The Rt. Hon. Lord Cameron of Lochbroom.

4th March 2008

Science and conservation: their influence on livestock farming in Scotland.

Dr James Irvine


2006-2007 Programme

10 October 2006

The Interface between science and art

Professor Roy H Burdon.

7 November 2006

The Crusades from the Muslim side

Professor Carole Hillenbrand

5 December 2006

Nuclear Waste – Personal Experience

Professor John R Greening

9 January 2007

The Economics of Climate Change

Sir Alan Peacock

6 February 2007

The Unicorn – a curious evolution

Professor John E Dale

6 March 2007

Prematurity and Postmaturity in Scientific Research

Professor Alastair C Wardlaw


The 2005-2006 Programme was as follows

11 October 2005

A Mathematician Looks at Music

Professor John M Howie.

1 November 2005

The Delicate Interface between Scientists and Politicians

Dr Tam Dalyell

6 December 2005

Visual Art Provision Scotland; How Best can we Provide the Visual Arts in Scotland?

Sir Timothy Clifford

10 January 2006

Reflections on Royal Society of Edinburgh Fellowship 1783-2003

Dr Charles D Waterston

7 February 2006

Parasitic Wasps: Does Taxonomy Matter and Where Should it be Done?

Dr Mark Shaw

7 March 2006

The Royal Society of Edinburgh - Past and Present International Connections

Professor Rona MacKie


The 2004-2005 Programme was as follows

12 October 2004

Intelligence, Government and the Media

Janet Morgan, Lady Balfour of Burleigh

2 November 2004

Thwarting and Origin of Speech

Professor Eric A Salzen

7 December 2004

How we Think

Sir Michael Atiyah

11 January 2005

The Ups and Downs of Natural Populations

Professor Jonathan A Sherratt

1 February 2005

Why Educate?

Professor Sally A Brown

1 March 2005

Geological Hazards

Mr John H Hull


The 2003-2004 Programme was as follows :

7 October 2003

The Euro in a United Europe

Sir John Shaw, CBE

4 November 2003

Imperialism Ancient and Modern

Professor John S Richardson

2 December 2003

Human Organs for Sale

Lord Kilpatrick of Kincraig

13 January 2004

Fungi - What if they Went on Strike?

Professor Roy Watling

3 February 2004

Pilgrims, Nomads and Tourists : The Changing Landscape of Faith

Lord Sutherland of Houndwood, President

2 March 2004

Don't Count your Chickens...

Professor J S Beck

The 2002-2003 programme was as follows :

8 October 2002

The Transfusion of Skills

Jean Jones, Historian of Science

5 November 2002

What Use is an Ombudsman?

Sir William Reid

3 December 2002

Unesco and the UK

Dr John M Francis, Chairman, UK National Commission for UNESCO

14 January 2003

Freedom of Information - How Free?

Sir William Fraser

4 February 2003

Like a Bridge over Troubled Waters: Community Relations First and Foremost.

Professor Yasir Suleiman, Director of the Edinburgh Institute for the Advanced Study of Islam and the Middle East

4 March 2003

Benin and the Restoration of Cultural Property

Professor Frank Willett


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