June 2011

June 2011

Lecture 27 June 2011. Mathematics in the Real World: From Brain Tumours to Saving Marriage

Professor Jim Murray, FRSE.  Universities of Washington, Princeton and Oxford

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Practical mathematical models are becoming an accepted part of most medical and scientific disciplines.

A few of the more unlikely applications are justifying intertribal warfare, the benefits of cannibalism, how the leopard gets its spots, estimating life expectancy and accurately predicting which couples will divorce.


Full Day Workshop 25 June 2011. Gardens in Art and Science

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A meeting will be convened by Professor David Ingram OBE VMH FRSE, Honorary Professor at Edinburgh and Lancaster Universities, Former Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and RHS Professor of Horticulture. Speakers included invited experts from the worlds of art history, botany and horticulture.

This one day workshop considered some ways in which gardens and plants contribute to science and art, and covered topics such as gardens of Dumfries and Galloway; botanic gardens and their collections; and gardens and plant forms and images in nineteenth century paintings and decorative arts.


Trident: The Debate. A Mock Trial. 23 June 2011

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What should the UK do with its Trident submarines? Is there still a role for the nuclear deterrent? Can we afford it? A distinguished panel of experts debated this issue at the RSE, with an impartial ‘judge’ overseeing proceedings.

The Rt Hon Lord Robertson of Port Ellen KT GCMG HonFRSE PC, Former Secretary General, NATO

Professor Michael Clarke, Director, The Royal United Services Institute

Lord Cullen of Whitekirk KT PC HonFREng FRSE

Conference 22 June 2011. Your Genes and Clinical Research - Being More than a Guinea Pig?

The science of genes is transforming the way we diagnose and treat disease. That transformation depends on clinical research with human subjects. But would you want to be a subject? What are the potential benefits – and what are the risks?How can we maximise the public benefit? Should commercial companies be involved alongside universities and the NHS?

A joint event with Gengage (The Scottish Healthcare Genetics Public Engagement Network) Read Gengage Conference Report


Lecture 16 June 2011. Seeing Scotland Afresh - How We Look to a Changing World - Michael Shea Memorial Lecture.

Sir John Elvidge, KCB, FRSE

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Reflection on the challenges and opportunities for Scotland in a changing world, both for how we see ourselves and how others see us.

Sir John Elvidge stepped down from the post of Permanent Secretary in the Scottish Government last year after a long and distinguished career in the civil service. In this lecture he will reflect on the challenges and opportunities for Scotland in a changing world, both for how we see ourselves and how others see us. In particular, with the shift of economic power to the East, is it time to shift our attention more towards our growing relationships in Asia rather than the traditional diaspora in North America? What is it that China finds so fascinating about Scotland, for example? And what are the implications for policy and for practice of taking this broader view?

A joint event with International Futures Forum

Workshop 15 June 2011. Understanding and influencing the Scottish Parliament

The election on 5 May hailed the start of a new parliamentary term in Scotland. The perfect opportunity for you to engage with Scotland’s MSPs on your burning issues! This one-day seminar aimed to unravel the mysteries surrounding the roles, powers and procedures of the Scottish Parliament and Government, and demonstrated how individuals can get involved to raise the profile of science.

Topics explored in the workshop included

How the Parliament works, Engaging your MSP, The role of the Chief Scientific Advisor, Campaigning through traditional and social media, Working with learned societies/professional bodies


Lecture 6 June 2011. Preventing Cancers of the Breast and Colon by How We Choose to Live Each Day

Professor Tim Byers, Professor of Epidemiology and Associate Dean at the Colorado School of Public Health in Denver, Colorado, USA

Read summary report of Professor Byer's lecture

In countries such as Scotland and the USA, many cancers are now caused by nutritional factors we can affect by our daily choices, including what we choose to eat, how much we choose to eat, and how much we choose to move about. Nearly half of all cancers of the breast and colon are caused by these choices. This presentation will summarise what we now know about the ways in which these nutritional factors increase cancer risk, and what can be done about it by choices we can make both personally and collectively.  This event was featured in Holyrood Magazine on 13 July.


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