April 2011

April 2011

Family Workshop, 16 April 2011. Selkies, Kelpies and Watery Tales. The Scottish Storytelling Centre, Gatehouse of Fleet

Anne Errington

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The magic of storytelling brought the landscape to life, with tales of fairy folk and mythological creatures, along with exploration of one of south west Scotland’s wildest places – Cairnsmore of Fleet. For ‘children’ of all ages! A collaborative event with Scottish Natural Heritage


Lecture, 12 April 2011. The European Nitrogen Cycle in a Global Context

Professor David Fowler CBE FRS FRSE, Senior Scientist at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology,Edinburgh

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Nitrogen is a key nutrient for ecosystem function and global food security. In fact approximately half of the global population are fed by the additional yield fertilizers provide.Human activity also injects nitrogen into the environment through combustion processes and together with the agricultural nitrogen these activities provide two thirds of the nitrogen cycling through the atmosphere and back to the Earth's surface. The fixed nitrogen injected into the atmosphere is responsible for tropospheric ozone and particulate matter, eutrophication and acidification of ecosystems. These emissions also contribute to global warming through nitrous oxide and ozone. There is therefore a balance to be struck between the benefits and costs of human use of nitrogen and there is a question of whether Europe is using a fair share of this vital resource.


Lecture, 11 April 2011. Early Watchers of the Skies – Makdougall Brisbane and Other Great Scottish Astronomers

Professor John Brown FRSE, Regius Professor of Astronomy, University of Glasgow, 10th Astronomer Royal for Scotland

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This talk celebrates the science of eminent Scottish astronomers born of the Enlightenment and laying foundations for Scottish astronomy today. In particular, 2010 marks the 250th anniversary of the 1st Scottish Chair of Astronomy (Glasgow) – Alexander Wilson, polymath and RSE founder member – and the 150th anniversary of the death of Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane FRS soldier, colonial Governor, astronomer, and RSE President (1832–1860); others include James Gregory, the Earls of Buchan and Crawford and Thomas Henderson, Scotland’s first
Astronomer Royal.



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