The Edinburgh Lectures 2013

Presented by The City of Edinburgh Council in association with Creative Scotland Edinburgh Napier University Heriot-Watt University National Museums Scotland Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh The Open University in Scotland The Royal Society of Edinburgh The University of Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Lectures 2013

27 Feb 13 6 Mar 13 18 Mar 13 20 Mar 13 18 Apr 13 22 Apr 13 16 May 13 27 May 13 6 June 13

Contents Welcome Aubrey Manning Professor Iain Stewart Lady Claire Macdonald Nigel Pope Professor J Murray Roberts Ken McGoogan Dr Walter M. Stephen Dalziel + Scullion David Hetherington How to book Further information Sponsors Partnership group Rt Hon Donald Wilson, Lord Provost of Edinburgh Scotland’s place in Earth’s history Scotland rocks The natural wonders of Scotland’s culinary landscape The making of the BBC series – Hebrides, Islands on the Edge Changing oceans John Rae – Forgotten hero of Arctic exploration Patrick Geddes – Greening the urban environment Ecology of place Scotland’s forgotten cats – a tale of two kitties 5 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 25 26 27

Welcome from the Rt Hon Donald Wilson
Lord Provost of Edinburgh
Welcome to the 21st series of the Edinburgh Lectures. The theme for this year’s series is ‘Scotland, Naturally!’ and aims to celebrate the rich natural heritage we have at our finger tips. Nature and the Green agenda are subjects very close to my heart so I am particularly delighted with the list of speakers who have agreed to take part this year. This year’s series has been devised to reflect the Scottish Government’s Year of Natural Scotland, providing the opportunity to celebrate Scotland’s reputation as a land of outstanding natural beauty. I am extremely proud that the Edinburgh Lectures continue to prove so popular and I know that the speakers included in this year’s line up will ensure their continued success.



Aubrey Manning
Professor Manning began his scientific education with a degree in Zoology at University College London and has a doctorate in animal behaviour from Oxford University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, holds a number of honorary degrees, a Zoological Society of London Silver Medal and was awarded an OBE in 1998. In 1956, following two years in National Service, he became an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh and – having fallen in love with the place – has been here ever since. He was appointed Professor of Natural History in 1971, a position he retained until retirement in 1997 and in which he has inspired many undergraduates with his enthusiasm and passion for his subject. In his retirement, Professor Manning presented BBC2’s Earth Story and Talking Landscapes and became more involved with earth scientists.

Scotland’s place in Earth’s history
6pm Wednesday 27 February 2013 Playfair Library Hall Old College The University of Edinburgh EH8 9YL
The story of life in Scotland – including our own story – is inextricably linked to the history of Earth itself. It’s reasonable to begin when the plate tectonics of our dynamic planet began to assemble a bit of the crust we can label ‘Europe’ – about 500 million years ago. Throughout I want to emphasise the links between evolving life and the evolving planet, each affecting the other in dramatic ways. Life has faced several major crises, not all fully explained yet, but so far has emerged ever more diverse. That seems set to change. We can trace the origins of Scotland’s present natural history to the last retreat of the ice and the human settlement which followed. For the first time humans began to modify the land and its inhabitants and the changes which began then in the Bronze Age still mark our country today.


Professor Iain Stewart
Iain Stewart, Professor of Geoscience Communication at Plymouth University, is an earth scientist and broadcaster. After completing a degree in geography and geology at Strathclyde University, and a PhD in earthquake geology at Bristol University, he lectured at Brunel University, before leaving in 2002 to develop television projects on geoscience. He has presented major television series for the BBC, most notably Earth: The Power of the Planet; Earth: The Climate Wars; How Earth Made Us, How To Grow A Planet; and Volcano Live. Some of his most recent programmes have explored his old ‘backyard’ with Making Scotland’s Landscape and a celebration of the Scottish pioneers of geology, Men of Rock. He is currently President of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, an Honorary President of the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers and a Patron of the Scottish Geodiversity Forum.

Scotland rocks
6pm Wednesday 6 March 2013 Hawthornden Lecture Theatre National Galleries of Scotland Weston Link The Mound EH2 2EL
(Princes St Gardens entrance)

How do we convey our amazing geodiversity and geoheritage to the Scottish public? Earth scientist and broadcaster Professor Iain Stewart will address this topic. He has presented many prominent BBC television series and is the President of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.


Lady Claire Macdonald
Like the greatest cooks, Claire is self-taught. Claire combines a tireless advocacy of local produce with a food literacy extended by enthusiastic research through travel and experience. Mother of four, Claire is married to Lord Macdonald, Godfrey Macdonald of Macdonald, High Chief of Clan Donald. For four decades, the Macdonalds have run their Isle of Skye home, Kinloch Lodge. The hotel is recognised internationally and holds Skye’s only Michelin Star. Claire is the energetic Patron of Scottish Food Fortnight and The Association of Scottish Farmers’ Markets. In recognition of her contribution to Scottish food Claire was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland. In 2008 Claire was honoured with an honourary doctorate from Abertay University and in 2011, Claire was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from Scottish Farmers Union.

The natural wonders of Scotland’s culinary landscape
6pm Monday 18 March 2013 Scottish Storytelling Centre 43-45 High Street Edinburgh EH1 1SR
Claire Macdonald is Scotland’s foremost ambassador for the revitalised traditions of highland hospitality. In this lecture, Claire will pay tribute to the Scots and discuss their global reputation for hospitality. She will also touch on some of the exciting regional foods that exist in Scotland’s larder and discuss how certain dishes alter depending on what area they are produced. Celebrating modern Scotland, the lecture will highlight the dynamism of Scotland’s entrepreneurial food producers – referring to herb growers and fish producers that are revolutionising modern Scottish cooking by creating exquisite produce, experimenting with preparation methods to appeal to international markets, and pushing the boundaries of service delivery – all of which are positively influencing Scotland’s growing reputation for culinary excellence.


Nigel Pope
Nigel has worked in the education and broadcasting industries for over 20 years. As one of the UK’s leading Natural History Producers Nigel has created a wide range of popular and successful brands ranging from Springwatch to Big Cat Diary for BBC. Nigel develops and creates a range of programming that is internationally renowned for emotionally driven storytelling, visual spectacle and a distinctive creative style that unites non-fiction, drama and entertainment. These series include the seminal CBBC gameshow Raven, Big Cat Week, Britain Goes Wild (the original format for Springwatch) Secret Life of Elephants and Mountain Gorilla. Nigel has spent the last three years producing a new natural history series for BBC Scotland called the Hebrides which is being launched this year. The Hebrides series unites unforgettable landscapes, ravishing imagery and powerful storytelling.

The making of the BBC series – Hebrides, Islands on the Edge
6.30-7.30pm Wednesday 20 March 2013 Edinburgh Napier University Lindsay Stewart Lecture Theatre Craiglockhart Campus 219 Colinton Road Edinburgh EH14 1DJ
Leading Natural History producer Nigel Pope has been working on a landmark wildlife series about the Hebrides for more than three years. In this lecture, he’ll explain what goes into making a series like this. From the challenges of filming natural phenomena like the Corryvreckan whirlpool to the strategy for filming white-tailed eagles hunting geese on Islay. Nigel will also explain some of the background to state of the art techniques including remote cameras, underwater filming and aerial shooting with helicopters. He’ll also revisit some of the influential series he created and produced earlier in his career including Big Cat Week, Springwatch and the Secret Life of Elephants.


Professor J Murray Roberts
Murray Roberts is Professor of Marine Biology and Director of the Centre for Biodiversity & Biotechnology at Heriot-Watt University. He studied Biology at the University of York before completing a PhD at the University of Glasgow examining nitrogen cycling in the Anemonia viridis symbiosis. Since 1997 his work on cold-water corals has taken him to sites off the UK, Norway, Ireland and the SE United States. He is senior author of the Cold-water Corals, the first book covering the biology and geology of these important deep-sea habitats, a contributing author to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th Assessment Report and Member, a member of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Expert Group on ocean acidification. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Scottish Association for Marine Science and Adjunct Faculty at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Changing oceans
7pm Thursday 18 April 2013 Lecture Theatre Two Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh EH14 4AS
We live on a blue planet with the oceans covering over 70% of Earth’s surface. We rely on the oceans not only for food and recreation but also for the oxygen in every fourth breath we take. The oceans were the cradle for life on Earth and today support an incredible array of habitats from shallow tropical coral reefs to the vast expanses of the deep sea. However, we have entered a period of unprecedented global change. Human activities are not only warming the planet but causing the chemistry of the seas to change more rapidly than at any point in the past. Our oceans have absorbed approximately a third of carbon dioxide released since the industrial revolution. This is shifting the chemistry of seawater towards acidification, a shift that could stress marine life with limestone shells or skeletons. This lecture will examine the potential implications for life in these changing oceans taking examples from the incredible diversity of marine ecosystems in Scotland’s seas.



Ken McGoogan
The award-winning author of ten books, Ken McGoogan is best known for Fatal Passage: The Untold Story of John Rae, the Arctic explorer who discovered the fate of Franklin. That work won literary awards in Canada and the United States, and became the basis of an acclaimed docudrama called Passage (BBC Scotland). Ken recently published How the Scots Invented Canada, a Canadian bestseller. He writes a column for Canada’s History magazine and teaches an online writing course through the University of Toronto. Last August, he revisited the location in the High Arctic where, in 1999, he erected a plaque to mark the spot where Scottish explorer John Rae discovered the final link in the Northwest Passage.
Photo: Sheena Fraser McGoogan

John Rae – Forgotten hero of Arctic exploration
6pm Monday 22 April 2013 The Royal Society of Edinburgh 22-26 George Street Edinburgh EH2 2PQ
Born in Orkney in 1813, John Rae grew up hunting and fishing. He trained in Edinburgh as a doctor, sailed with the Hudson’s Bay Company, and became an outstanding Arctic traveller. In 1854, Rae was mapping the Arctic coastline, slogging overland through snow and ice, when he discovered a strait that proved to be the final link in the Northwest Passage. Returning to camp, he encountered Inuit hunters who informed him that the long-lost, two-ship expedition of Sir John Franklin had ended in disaster and cannibalism. Rae acquired relics. He brought the tragic news to London, where his report scandalized Victorian England and prompted Charles Dickens to join Lady Franklin in a ferocious campaign to discredit him. Rae fought back, but historians and map-makers ignored his achievements, and he remained the only major explorer never to receive a knighthood.



Dr Walter M. Stephen
Walter Stephen M.A.(Hons), M.Ed., PhD., is a former Chairman of the Sir Patrick Geddes Memorial Trust. Born in Thurso, Caithness he was educated in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Arthur Geddes, Patrick Geddes’s younger son, supervised his Geography dissertation. From Principal Teacher of Geography in distinguished schools in Fife and Edinburgh he became Adviser in Social Studies (Edinburgh), then Senior Adviser (Lothian). Influenced by Patrick Geddes, he set up and ran for 20 years Castlehill Urban Studies Centre, the first successful Urban Studies Centre in Britain, and the History of Education Centre. As an independent scholar he has been responsible for books on Patrick Geddes, Willie Park Junior, Frank Fraser Darling and Darwin. Walter’s Wiggles: The Random Thoughts of a Random Fellow and The Gypsy Empresses: A Study in Escapism are recent travel books.

Patrick Geddes – Greening the urban environment
6pm Thursday 16 May 2013 Hawthornden Lecture Theatre National Galleries of Scotland Weston Link The Mound EH2 2EL
(Princes St Gardens entrance)

Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) was categorised as ‘Biologist, Town Planner, Re-educator, Peace-warrior’ and ‘A Most Unsettling Person’. He ‘grew up in a garden’, was sponsored by TH Huxley and went on to hold Chairs at University College, Dundee and Bombay. His last major enterprise was the establishment of his own Collège des Ecossais in Montpellier. Unlike most polymaths he was a man of action as well as a theorist and polemicist and engaged in a great array of projects associated with the environmental and social ills of his time. For Geddes a garden was not just a pleasant retreat and an alternative source of food but a non-confrontational agency for community involvement and change. In Edinburgh he regenerated dozens of properties and odd ‘scraps’ of ground, in a complicated relationship with such voluntary groups as the Edinburgh Social Union.



Dalziel + Scullion
Dalziel + Scullion have been selected for numerous national and international exhibitions including the British Art Show 3 and the Venice Biennale 1995, they have had solo shows at venues such as the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, The Arnolfini, Bristol, The Ikon Gallery Birmingham, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford. They have received various awards and nominations including the Creative Scotland Award in 2005 and were short-listed for the international Artes Mundi Prize 2008. They are frequently invited to be keynote speakers at leading conferences and symposiums on the subject of art and ecology. Recently they have sought out making works in and for unusual contexts, such as hunting estates, industrial waste sites, bedraggled tourist towns, banking headquarters and criminal secure units.

Ecology of place
7pm Monday 27 May 2013 Our Dynamic Earth Biosphere Green Holyrood Road Edinburgh EH8 8AS
The Dundee based art studio, Dalziel + Scullion, are keenly interested in the role that creativity can play in challenging, reflecting and shaping our shifting futures. Their studio places great importance on interpreting the various contexts they are invited to work within, looking for ways in which human activity can not only tune into, but also prize the plethora of benefits we gain from natures complexities. In this illustrated talk Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion will discuss some of their past and current projects: “We see our studio as being at the foothills of a long journey – what influence we have as artists, is perhaps to encourage a more meaningful kinship with our environment. At a time when long held economic models are being challenged, and post peak oil generations imagine a different future; the capacity for art and culture to effect change couldn’t be more critical.”



Dr David Hetherington
As a 6-year-old sitting in the back of the family car, David Hetherington alarmed his parents by yelling out that he’d just seen a ‘lynx’, although secretly he knew he’d really seen a Highland tree trunk that looked a bit like a lynx. Many years later, he wondered why contentious discussions about reintroductions were always dominated by wolves and so returned to academia to complete a PhD on the feasibility of reintroducing to Scotland the neglected and forgotten lynx. This allowed him to travel across Europe visiting lynx-inhabited landscapes and speaking with the few people who knew this secretive species well. Later, as Ecology Advisor for the Cairngorms National Park Authority, he realised that the Scottish wildcat was about to go the same way as its bigger cousin, and consequently set up the Cairngorms Wildcat Project and managed it until 2012.

Scotland’s forgotten cats – a tale of two kitties
6.30pm Thursday 6 June 2013 National Museum of Scotland access via Lothian Street Edinburgh EH1 1JF
Scotland was once home to two very secretive and solitary wild felid species – the Scottish wildcat and the Eurasian lynx. These days the lynx is long gone, while the wildcat is still with us, but only just. The lynx fell victim to centuries of habitat loss and persecution by humans, leaving only faint traces of its existence here. The wildcat, forced to retreat to the Highlands, was faced with a variety of threats, including inter-breeding with domestic cats. The recently-concluded Cairngorms Wildcat Project was an innovative approach which worked with those who manage the countryside, such as farmers and gamekeepers, to tackle the threats the species faces and by doing so, learn more about our elusive Highland Tiger. Might some of the lessons learned through wildcat conservation allow the return one day of our long-lost lynx?



How to book

Everyone is welcome to our lectures but please note that you must prebook a ticket through Usher Hall Box Office. Price £5 – refundable up to three days prior to lecture (personal callers only). There is a £1 nonrefundable transaction fee for telephone and online bookings. Online: In person: Telephone: Usher Hall Box Office, Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH1 2EA Monday-Friday 10am-5.30pm 0131 228 1155 Monday-Friday 10am-5.30pm Visit our blog for all the information you’ll need about The Edinburgh Lectures including speakers’ biographical details and information about the venues – why not join in on Facebook and Twitter. Mailing list Why not join our mailing list? This is an easy and useful way to be updated about The Edinburgh Lectures. We can send you information by post, email or both. Just complete our online form or contact us with your details and tell us how you wish to be notified. Email: Telephone: 0131 529 4387 @edin_lectures




Interested in sponsoring The Edinburgh Lectures? Please contact Susan Lanham The City of Edinburgh Council 0131 529 3180

Partnership group

Chair, Susan Lanham, The City of Edinburgh Council Bernard Regan, Creative Scotland Maria Pouraskari, Edinburgh Napier University Claire Maclachlan, Heriot-Watt University Claire Allan, National Museums Scotland Sarah Whigham, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh Úna Bartley, The Open University in Scotland Róisín Calvert-Elliott, The Royal Society of Edinburgh Deepthi de Silva-Williams, The University of Edinburgh

Accommodation kindly sponsored by



Designed by the City of Edinburgh Council Corporate Governance 12.474/CG/IF/February 2013

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