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The Royal Society of Edinburgh Review 2009

(Session 2007-2008)



The Royal Society of Edinburgh 22-26 George Street Edinburgh, EH2 2PQ

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ACTIVITIES SESSION 2007-2008 Proceedings of the Ordinary Meetings .............................. 3 Proceedings of the Statutory General Meeting ................. 5 Prize Lectures .................................................................. 45 Lectures ........................................................................... 91 Conferences, Workshops, Symposia, Seminars and Discussion Forums ......................................................... 207 Publications ................................................................... 289 Policy Advice .................................................................. 291 Scottish Bioinformatics Forum ....................................... 295 Events for Young People ............................................... 297 Research and Enterprise Awards ................................... 299 Medals, Prizes and Prize Lectureships ............................. 305 Grants Committee ........................................................ 307 International Programme .............................................. 309 Fellows Social Events .................................................... 317 Schedule of Investments ................................................ 319 Grants, Sponsorship and Donations .............................. 323 Changes in Fellowship during the Session ..................... 325 Staff .............................................................................. 327 OBITUARY NOTICES ............................................................ 329 TRUSTEES REPORT AND ACCOUNTS TO 31 MARCH 2008 .. 359 INDEX .................................................................................. 407


Monday 3rd December 2007 Chairman Sir Michael Atiyah OM FRS HonFREng HonFMedSci HonFRSE PRSE Ballot The President announced that the scrutineers for the forthcoming ballot for RSE Council vacancies would be Professor Mary Gibby and Professor Istvan Gyongy. Formal Admission to Fellowship Professor Ole Laerum CorrFRSE, President, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and Professor of Experimental Pathology and Oncology, The Gade Institute, University of Bergen signed the Roll and was formally admitted to the Fellowship. Following the signing of the Roll, the President presented Professor Laerum with a ceremonial Quaich to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Lecture Professor Ole Laerum, Cellular Clocks. (p130) Gyongy had acted as Scrutineers for the postal ballot for the election of President and for the election of new Fellows for 2008. They reported that 31% of the Fellowship returned papers for the ballot for the election of President. Lord Wilson of Tillyorn was elected by an overwhelming majority. 43% of the Fellowship returned papers for the election of new Fellows and the names on the list were elected by an overwhelming majority. Lecture Dr Andrew Mearns Spragg, CEO, Aquapharm Bio-Discovery Ltd, New Antibiotics: From the Sea Bed to the Hospital Bed. (Gannochy Trust Innovation Award Lecture) (p64). Monday 1 September 2008 Chairman Sir Michael Atiyah OM FRS HonFREng HonFMedSci HonFRSE PRSE. Formal Admission to Fellowship Professor Jose Torero Cullen Lecture Professor Miles Padgett FRSE, Professor of Physics, University of Glasgow, Does God Play Dice?.(p129)

Monday 3 March 2008 Chairman Sir Michael Atiyah OM FRS HonFREng HonFMedSci HonFRSE PRSE. Ballot Sir Michael announced that Professors Mary Gibby and Istvan


Minutes of the Statutory General Meeting held on 6 October 2008, ending the 225th Session
The Annual Statutory Meeting took place in the Societys Wolfson Theatre on Monday 6 October 2008 at 6 pm. Sir Michael Atiyah OM, President, took the Chair. Sir Michael reported that the meeting was being recorded and would be available to listen to on the Fellows only section of the Societys web site on the following day.

A. Briefing by Professor Gavin McCrone CB on the Future of Scotlands Hills and Islands Inquiry ........................................... 6 B. Formal Business 1. Minute of the ASM held on Monday 1 October 2007 ................ 6 2. Matters Arising ............................................................................ 6 3. Report on Activities for Session 2007/08 ..................................... 6 4. Office-Bearers Reports a. General Secretarys Report ....................................................... 7 b. Treasurers Report .................................................................. 10 c. Fellowship Secretarys Report ................................................ 12 d. Discussion of Office-Bearers Reports ................................... 16 5. Law changes .............................................................................. 17 6. Election of Council and other Office-Bearers for 226th Session 18 C. Handover of Presidency from Sir Michael Atiyah OM, FRS, HonFREng, HonFMedSci, HonFRSE to Lord Wilson of Tillyorn KT GCMG FRSE ................................................................. 19 Appendix I - Presentation by Professor Gavin McCrone on the Hills and Islands Inquiry ......................................................................... 20 Appendix II - Report on Activities for Session 2007-2008 .................. 30 Appendix III - Changes to Laws ........................................................... 44

Review of the Session 2007-2008

A. The Future of Scotlands Hill and Island Areas

The President invited Professor Gavin McCrone CB to brief the meeting on the Inquiry which he had chaired. Professor McCrone said that the Report had been well received and commented that a good report enhances the reputation of the Society. He thanked the Committee for their commitment and expertise, which had contributed much to the quality of this Inquiry. The presentation and the discussion that followed is available as Appendix I (p.20). The full report is available on the RSE website. Sir Michael thanked Professor McCrone for his presentation and for suggesting and taking on this important Inquiry. He agreed that it had been well received and hoped that it would influence opinion and government policy.

B. Formal Business
1. MINUTES The Minutes of the Annual Statutory Meeting held on Monday 1 October 2007 were taken as read, approved by those Fellows present and signed by the President as a correct record. 2. MATTERS ARISING There were no matters arising. 3. REPORT ON ACTIVITIES FOR SESSION 2007/08 The meeting noted the Report on Activities for Session 2007/8 prepared by the General Secretary, which had been distributed to Fellows in advance (Appendix II). The President suggested that any discussion of the report should take place after the Office Bearers Reports had been delivered.

Proceedings of the Annual Statutory Meeting

4. OFFICE BEARERS REPORTS a) General Secretarys Report Professor Geoffrey Boulton delivered the following report: During the past year, the Society has, once again, advanced learning and useful knowledge through a wide range of public benefit activities, which reached many people and places across Scotland and beyond. My report covers activities during the Societys annual Session, which began on 1 October 2007 and ends today with this, the Annual Statutory Meeting. The Society is required, by charity law, to report on its performance during the fiscal year from April to March - and that has been done through our Annual Trustees Report and Accounts for 2007/08 which has been approved by Council in its capacity as the Societys Trustees. This is available to any Fellow who would like a copy. As with previous years, along with papers for the evening, all Fellows should have received an illustrated Annual Review which covers the fiscal year, summarises the main activities described in the Trustees Report, and includes an approved summary of Accounts. Your papers for this evening also included a report of the full and varied programme of activities delivered during the Session by the Fellowship, supported by staff of the Society. I do not propose to talk about every one of the very many activities in the report, but would like to mention a few highlights. Thereafter, I would like to look ahead to how we propose to increase the benefit the Society can bring to wider society. Activity Highlights

Securing the funding through the Spending Review to enable us to implement the Enderby Review recommendations; Further expanding our international partnerships, which now include India, Pakistan and Malaysia; and supporting more international exchange visits than ever before; Renewing our contract with Scottish Enterprise, which has enabled us to launch Phase III of the highly successful Enterprise Fellowships scheme which contributes outstanding value to the Scottish economy;

Review of the Session 2007-2008

Continuing our relationship with the Gannochy Trust through its support of a renewed three-year scheme, enabling us to continue to award the Gannochy Trust Innovation Award of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, which recognises and rewards Scotlands top innovators; The RSE@Arbroath project. A new and successful initiative working closely with the local Arbroath community on a programme of events celebrating and exploring the cultural diversity of Arbroath; An extensive array of lectures and conferences on a wide range of scientific subjects; A mock civil liberties trial, which provided frank debate on the subject and facilitated audience participation, with those present acting as the jury; The continued publication of our highly regarded academic journals Proceedings A Mathematics and Earth and Environmental Science Transactions; The completion and report launch of our most recent Inquiry on the Future of Scotlands Hills & Islands, which Professor McCrone reported on earlier this evening. The Society is extremely grateful to Professor McCrone and his Inquiry Team for the considerable time and effort they put into the Inquiry and for producing an excellent Report, which, deservedly, has been the subject of much public attention and parliamentary discussion; Through Bristow Muldoon, our Parliamentary Liaison Officer, helping to create, for the first time, a Scottish Parliament CrossParty Group on Science & Technology; The award of RSE Bicentenary Medals to Professors Rona Mackie, Andrew Miller and Gavin McCrone in recognition of their contributions to the work of the Society; Finally, the award of Royal Medals by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, to Professors Roger Fletcher, and David Lane and the Rt Rev Richard Holloway, in recognition of their outstanding contributions in their respective fields.

Looking Ahead In May, the Council agreed in principle to the objectives of increasing the benefit the Society can bring to wider society by deploying the expertise and knowledge of its Fellowship in a way that is unique to a national academy, through its wide range of expertise and its reputa8

Proceedings of the Annual Statutory Meeting

tion for rigour and independence. The extent to which this is possible depends upon two things: the willingness of Fellows to give their time to such activities; and the available resources. The immediate focus for development will aim at three targets: Parliament, Government and the Public and Civic Society, as well as stimulating the greater public awareness of the Society, its activities and its potential. I will be working with William Duncan and his staff over the coming months to firstly put in place an administrative infrastructure within existing resources, which will begin to support this development and increased external engagement. Beyond that the aspiration is to secure more resources enabling further development in this area. Moving forward in this way will not be at the expense of the many outstanding activities the Society already delivers, as recorded in this years activities report. These will continue, with the same aspiration of securing more resources to enable them to flourish and further develop. Conclusion & Thanks Our activities would not have been achieved without the willing and voluntary contribution of Fellows, the support of the Societys hardworking staff, or the voluntary input of others. On behalf of the Society, I would like to thank all of them for their invaluable contributions. I would like to conclude my report by mentioning the Office-Bearers and Conveners who step down today, having successfully completed their tenure:

Vice-President - Professor Jan McDonald, who has been a champion for our arts & humanities sector and has been instrumental in the increase of activities in this area, notably the creation of an Arts & Humanities Research Fellowship scheme, now in its second phase, with funding secured for the next three years. Treasurer Edward Cunningham, who steps down after four years and leave us with the Societys finances in a healthy state. Fellowship Secretary Andy Walker, who skilfully oversaw and guided our Fellowship election processes, and who also steered a comprehensive review of that process. Councillor Shonaig MacPherson, whose legal expertise on matters being considered by Council was much valued.

Review of the Session 2007-2008

Curator Professor John Howie, who has steered a steady ship in relation to our library and archives, Research Awards Convener Peter Holmes, who has adeptly overseen the activities which consume by far the greatest amount of our annual expenditure. We are not, however, completely losing Peter as he will, as from the conclusion of this meeting, be replacing Andy Walker as Fellowship Secretary. Young Peoples Convener Miles Padget, whose great enthusiasm for public outreach has ensured that the Young Peoples Programme has continued to deliver, and indeed improve, the quality programme of events for which it is renowned.

On behalf of the Society I would like to thank all of them for their dedication to the Societys work, whilst at the same time fulfilling the many other demands on their time. b) Treasurers Report At the Annual Meeting last year, I explained that the results for the year ended March 2008 would be adversely affected by the delay in getting the SE Enterprise Fellowship Scheme in place. This is what happened, so that income was down by 9%. In the event, we still achieved an overall surplus of 174k, although this was lower than for previous years. I am going to divide up my report into two parts. In the first part, I will contrast the outcome from our operational activities for 2007/08 with what we are expecting to happen in the current year. In the second part, I will set out the results for the four years which cover the period I have been Treasurer. In comparing the outcome for 2007/08 with the budget for the current year, the total income in the latter will not only benefit from the reversal of the slippage I have just referred to but also from the decision by the Scottish Government to fund the full economic cost of research awards; something we have been arguing for. Indirect Costs. The income in the current year is budgeted to increase by just over 30%, while the net contribution will decline by nearly 9%. How come, you might ask? The answer lies in the fact that the full economic costs funding is an in and out job. If we exclude this component, the contribution for the public sector at 22% will be comparable with previous years. The


Proceedings of the Annual Statutory Meeting

low figure for the private sector, by the way, is a function of timing and cautious budgeting. Development Costs. These represent the implementation of the investment in staff and support requirements which we decided to make in 2007 to extend the capacity of our management. Last year I mentioned that we intended to create the position of Director of Business Development and I am really pleased that Gordon Adam has just joined us in this role. Finally, the bottom line shows a substantial increase in the deficit in 2008/09 over 2007/08. This level of deficit is manageable through the application of our own resources as demonstrated by the overall surplus we have achieved to date. However, the case for incurring it is predicated on the assumption that innovative ideas will be coming from the Fellowship which can be converted into fundable programmes. Id like to move now into the second part of my report. Revenue has stuck at around the 3m mark over the past four years. If you take into account inflation, we are not on a plateau but on a gentle downward slope. Why is this so? The short answer is that we are not generating new programmes. What is of concern is that we have been relying on the longevity of a small number of key programmes with no replacements in sight. As we have produced excellent results for our sponsors, it is reasonable to expect that some of these will continue but we cannot assume this will apply to all of them. Hitherto the origin of these programmes has, in the main, been reactive to the needs of sponsors who wish to outsource their initiatives. This is of course good. However, we have been less successful in initiating programmes derived from our own innovativeness. Contribution to Indirect Costs. This is a function of the margins we negotiate and the efficiency with which we implement programmes. The margin from our work for the public sector has improved from 20% to 24%, primarily through efficiency gains. There may be scope for yet further gains, but not hugely so. In contrast, the margin from private sector work has been much lower, primarily on account of the terms negotiated. We will seek to improve these in the future.

Review of the Session 2007-2008

The point I want to make is that the terms on which we secure future assignments must align with the entirely reasonable objective of covering our overhead costs. This must be a criterion for determining the selection of new programme proposals. In doing this, we will need to generate as many ideas as possible in the expectation that some will not pass this test. Moving now to our own resources, there has been a steady improvement over the past four years. Ill skip over the SORP adjustments as this is the accountants playground. I should point out, however, that the amount shown for the James Clerk Maxwell statue is the unexpended balance of the funds raised for this purpose. Our net asset position has improved in terms of our long term assets and quite markedly so in terms of our short terms assets or cash; the latter has more than doubled. This is good news. But, I must emphasise, though, that 4m is tied up in our buildings here and 4.6m is accounted by funds which we manage under various restrictions. So our free and available assets amount to 3m or so. This is adequate for our current level of activities but not comfortably so. In light of that, I am pleased to report that we have received a substantial legacy from Dr Tommy Thomas of up to 1.9m; we are still awaiting the final valuation. In addition, I can report that we are in negotiation to manage a substantial restricted fund, the details of which will become available later this year. To summarise, my purpose in looking back over the four years of my Treasurership is to highlight two challenges. The first is that we have to increase our income in order to sustain the financial stability of the Society and to support an extension of those activities towards which you give so much of your time. The second is for the Society to achieve breakeven on our operational activities sooner rather later. c) Fellowship Secretarys Report The following is a brief report on the most recent election cycle (2007/08) within which we elected new Ordinary, Corresponding and Honorary Fellows. Also presented is a summary of the main recommendations of the 2007 Review of the processes by which we elect Fellows and the status of their implementation.


Proceedings of the Annual Statutory Meeting

Report on the 2007/08 Election Cycle The deadline for nominations, as is now standard, was the end of May 2007. A list of all those nominated was circulated to Fellows of the Society a short time afterwards. This introduction of a new, much earlier, opportunity for Fellows to comment on the list once again provided valuable additional information that contributed usefully to the subsequent selection discussions. Following these deliberations within the Sectional Committees, Sector Groups and Fellowship Committee meetings, Council agreed a list of proposed new Fellows for election. Again, as is now well established, this final list went out for approval by the full Fellowship as a Postal Ballot (early December 2007). Almost half (43%) of the Fellowship used the opportunity to register their votes. The scrutineers delivered the results of the ballot to Council on 11 February 2008. At the subsequent Ordinary Meeting on 3rd March, the Society was able to announce the election of 55 Ordinary Fellows, 6 Corresponding Fellows and 4 Honorary Fellows Our new Ordinary Fellows are spread across the four discipline sectors as follows: - Life Sciences 33% - Physical Sciences & Engineering 29% - Arts and Humanities 25.5%, - Business and Industry 12.5%. This represents a further step towards re-balancing the Arts and Humanities subject areas within the Fellowship, where the Society is keen to increase its representation. However, this sector and the Business and Industry sector, still represent only 19% and 8% respectively of the Ordinary Fellowship. We would encourage Fellows to nominate more candidates from within these under-represented subject areas, in particular from the Creative and Performing Arts, and Business and Industry. This year five women were elected as Ordinary Fellows (9%); bringing the average percentage of women for the most recent six election cycles to 17%. This compares favourably with 15% of Professors/ HoDs in the Scottish Higher Education Institutes being women (2005/ 06 data) suggesting we are redressing the past imbalance, albeit rather slowly. The overall proportion of women in the Society now stands at 8.5%. Noting the prominent role that women play in


Review of the Session 2007-2008

academic, professional and business circles, Fellows may wish to bear these statistics in mind when considering future candidates for election. The average age of this latest cohort of Ordinary Fellows is 53, with the youngest being 38. Introduction of New Fellows On the 2nd May, all new Fellows were, as in recent years, invited to attend an induction event held in the Society Rooms. We were delighted by the excellent attendance, which included 53 of the new Ordinary Fellows, one Honorary Fellow and three new Corresponding Fellows. The day commenced with the Fellowship Secretary giving an overview of the Societys activities and a summary of the contributions that Fellows can make. A sociable lunch was then hosted by the President, after which the new Fellows were all given the opportunity to meet the Societys staff and to tour the Rooms. This was followed in the early evening by a ceremony at which they were formally admitted as Fellows, signed the Roll Book and received certificates, acknowledging their Fellowship of the RSE. On the day, a graduation-style board of portraits of all the new Fellows was on display and a booklet was provided, containing these photographs and short descriptions of each of their individual areas of expertise. Review of the Election Processes This year saw a review of the election processes. A Review Working Group, chaired by the Fellowship Secretary, was established by the Council and started its work on 12 March 2007. The Review had the following two major objectives: 1. To ensure (a) that the current nomination and selection processes represent a sufficiently robust, fair and transparent system to satisfy the needs and expectations of the Society in these respects and (b) that these processes are fully consistent with relevant legislation. 2. To maintain a nomination and selection process that creates and sustains a Fellowship (a) of the quality expected for a National Academy and (b) which represents fully the balance of activity within the major disciplinary sectors acknowledged as within the Societys domain and reflects the relevant age, sex, ethnicity, and geographical distributions.


Proceedings of the Annual Statutory Meeting

The Group submitted its final report to the Council for its meeting on 3rd December 2007 and the report was distributed to the Fellowship later that month. The report made several recommendations which were approved by Council: - Size of the Fellowship Taking on board the concern that there exists a significant reputational risk to the Society if its numbers continue to grow at the current rate, Council accepted that the number of places available for Ordinary Fellowship should revert to no more than 40 each year. It should be noted that this will correspond to some continuing growth but at a rate rather slower than that resulting from recent election numbers, which were aimed at some redressing of the discipline imbalances. This election quota and the distribution of places across the four Sectors are to be reviewed each year (as now) by Council, taking into account recommendations from the Fellowship Committees annual review of the Fellowship and new nominations. - Supporters Secondly, only three Fellows should support a nomination, and of these only one should be employed by the same Institution as the nominee. To provide additional, and more independent information on Candidates, a restructured nomination form is being used which includes new sections designed so as to identify separately the views of the two supporters with regard to the candidates achievements, etc. - Sectional & Group Structures Thirdly, a second Sectional Committee has been created within Sector Group D. This makes this Group more akin to the others, removing the anomaly of a Sector containing only one Sectional Committee. More importantly, it permits industry and business practitioners to be assessed somewhat differently from economists and social scientists. This change has also been accompanied by some restructuring of certain Sectional Committees within Sector Group C. - Process Finally, changes are being made to strengthen Standing Orders from Council so that they, rather than the Laws of the Society,

Review of the Session 2007-2008

dictate the majority of the processes involved in the Election of Fellows. Apart from the restriction to only three supporters when nominating a new Fellow (which requires a minor change in the Societys Laws), the above changes are being implemented in the course of the current election cycle. Acknowledgements The Society is extremely grateful to those Fellows who take the time to nominate candidates for Fellowship. We particularly thank the many Fellows who give of their time and expertise to serve on the Sectional Committees and Sector Groups, helping with the difficult task of assessing candidates for Fellowship. And thirdly, on a personal note, I express my considerable gratitude to Lesley Campbell and her very modest team in the RSE office for all the work they carry out in the course of each annual Fellowship election cycle and the support they provide me throughout the year. This is my final year as Fellowship Secretary a role that I have found very stimulating and which I hope I have played in an acceptable fashion. I have particularly enjoyed working with the staff of the Society and fellow members of Council. I am very happy to be passing on the baton to Professor Peter Holmes as my successor and I have every confidence that Fellowship matters will be in good hands. d) Discussion of Office-Bearers Reports Professor David Finney stated that in the fifty years since his appointment as a Fellow of the RSE, he had had a sense of decreasing opportunities for ordinary Fellows to participate in the decisionmaking process of electing others to the number. In addition he referred to the lists of those under consideration that were distributed to Fellows. Professor Finney found these valuable lists but was alarmed at the number of Fellows whose names were augmented by a tremendous selection of letters, many of which were unfamiliar. Such post-nominals were unhelpful and confusing. Professor Walker pointed out that there are 13 committees involved in the process, each consisting of 15 Fellows. While he acknowledged that this represents a modest fraction of the whole Fellowship, nevertheless, a lot of people are involved. He added that it was true that efforts are made to involve newly-elected Fellows at an early stage. He assured Professor Finney that the Sectional Committees recognised all of the letters after candidates names and could discern

Proceedings of the Annual Statutory Meeting

which ones were significant. He added that the listing of trivial memberships would rather tend to count against a nominee. Dr James Irvine said that he recommended that the Society should respond quickly, clearly and succinctly to crisis situations that arise, such as blue tongue and avian flu. He realised that these responses are being produced but he felt they were taking too long. Sir Michael replied that although it is important to respond quickly, it is equally imperative that responses are constructed with care: a balance must be struck. Reports must be produced with expediency but also with due regard to thoroughness and accuracy. Professor Boulton added that are some issues that arise that are matters of great immediacy. However, before proceeding with comment, the Society has to ascertain that it has something to say and that comment can be mustered on a reasonable time-scale. As the Society begins to give more weight to this area of activity, it will begin to develop positions on a greater diversity of issues and will therefore be able to draw down rapid and well-founded responses. An excellent example of this is the recent Energy Inquiry Report which has proved a platform from which the Society has been able to respond rapidly on issues in the energy domain. The Society also has to continue asking if conclusions reached, for instance on the Energy Report, are likely to date, and if so, if there is a need to revisit such issues. He also pointed out that it can be difficult to get a group of expert Fellows in a domain to agree what the response should be. The Society cannot be a mouthpiece of individual Fellows and it looks for consensus amongst those who are able to bring their expertise to bear. 5. LAW CHANGES Council had suggested various changes to Society Laws in relation to governance and fellowship election. A paper had been circulated prior to the meeting (Appendix III). All of the changes were accepted, apart from the amendment to Law 18, which suggested that the Fellowship Secretary would also be able to admit Fellows. Sir Michael proposed that this change be withdrawn and this was agreed. As there will now be four Vice-Presidents, as well the President, to admit New Fellows, it was not necessary to make this change which could potentially downgrade the occasion. The status quo would therefore remain. Since it had been agreed that a fourth Vice-President be appointed to deal with Sector D, Business and Public Services, a vacancy now existed on Council. The Laws provide that in these circumstances Council can invite


Review of the Session 2007-2008

a Fellow to fill the vacancy. Sir Tom McKillop was willing to fill this role for the coming Session and would be invited to do so. 6. ELECTION OF COUNCIL AND OTHER OFFICE-BEARERS FOR THE 226TH SESSION Sir Michael reported that all Fellows entitled to vote had been sent a ballot paper. The returned papers were examined by the scrutineers, Professors Peter France and Ronald Jack. There were 515 returned ballot forms. All of those proposed for election had been elected by an overwhelming majority. The President congratulated the newly-elected Council members and thanked all those who were standing down. Membership of Council and the Executive Board for the next Session would be: Council President Lord Wilson of Tillyorn KT Vice-Presidents Lord Patel of Dunkeld Professor Tariq Durrani OBE Sir Thomas McKillop Professor Hector MacQueen General Secretary Professor Geoffrey Boulton OBE Treasurer Professor Ewan Brown CBE Fellowship Secretary Professor Peter Holmes OBE Ordinary Members Professor Sir John Arbuthnott Professor Sue Black OBE Dr Ian Halliday Professor April McMahon Professor Christopher Whatley Executive Board General Secretary Professor Geoffrey Boulton OBE Treasurer Professor Ewan Brown CBE Curator Professor Duncan Macmillan International Convener Professor Sir David Edward KCMG, QC, PC Programme Convener Professor David Ingram OBE Research Awards Convener Professor Alan Miller Young Peoples Convener Professor Mary Bownes OBE


Proceedings of the Annual Statutory Meeting

C. Handover of Presidency
Sir Michael said that it had been a great privilege and pleasure to serve as President of the Society. When he moved north to retire he was more surprised than anyone to find himself approached and asked to fill this position. He thanked all of the Fellows, Council and staff for their support throughout the three years and was delighted to hand over to someone of such distinction and eminence as Lord Wilson, who brought a range of fresh talents to the post. Sir Michael pointed out that, as far as he was aware, the only previous president who had served as a diplomat was Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane who had been Governor General of New South Wales in the 19th century. Sir Michael then handed over the Insignia of Office to Lord Wilson. Lord Wilson thanked Sir Michael and spoke of the distinction of his predecessor who has such an outstanding international reputation. Lord Wilson referred to the expansion of the RSEs activities under the leadership of Sir Michael, for example: several new international agreements; increased funding from Scottish Government; and, the James Clerk Maxwell statue. Lord Wilson added that the only other person who had held the post of President of both the Edinburgh and London Royal Societies was Lord Kelvin, under whose portrait Lord Wilson had sat throughout his years at Peterhouse at Cambridge. Lord Wilson said that he was honoured to have been asked and elected as President of the RSE and would endeavour to maintain its very high standards. The President thanked all those who had attended the meeting and contributed to the reports and discussions, and declared the meeting closed.


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Annual Statutory Meeting 2008 - Appendix I Scotlands Hills and Islands Inquiry Presentation by Professor Gavin McCrone I will attempt to summarise the main points of the Inquiry in the 20 minutes allotted to me. But it is not possible to cover the content of the whole Report in that time. I would therefore encourage you to read the Main Report, because there is a lot of important detail in it, which we were not able to put in the Report Summary But first I would like to make a few general points about the RSE Inquiries, because this is the third in which I have been involved. I was Vice-Chairman of the Foot and Mouth Inquiry, Vice-Chairman of the Fishing Inquiry and now Chairman of this one. This, I assure you, will be my last commitment to an Inquiry for the Society! I have found them all very rewarding, but there are dangers. A good Report from an Inquiry that gets media coverage can enhance the reputation of the Society considerably and make it appear more relevant in the eyes of the public. But that depends on the quality of our Reports. Our reputation will only be as good as the latest Inquiry. Secondly, the money has to be raised for each of these Inquiries and that requires a big time commitment on the part of the

Chairman or other members of the Committee. I spent at least two months raising the funds for this Inquiry. You have to be persistent and ingenious in the way in which you do it. We were very fortunate: I got a willing response from those I approached so that we were able to raise 92,000 to cover our costs. But that is hard work and whoever takes it on has to be prepared for that. Thirdly, it is very important that committee members should be really committed to the work. I was very fortunate in having a committee with a lot of expertise and a great deal of commitment. In particular I would like to pay tribute to Jeff Maxwell, who was Vice-Chairman, and Roger Crofts, Secretary, for the immense amount of work they undertook. Marc Rands and William Hardie from the RSE staff gave us unstinting support in organising our work, arranging meetings and preparing papers. This support was essential to our work. Now to the Inquiry itself. I proposed the subject to the Council of the Society because of my concern at what was happening to livestock farming in the uplands the Highlands and

Proceedings of the Annual Statutory Meeting

Islands and the Southern Uplands in Scotland. Livestock numbers were declining rapidly, incomes were very low and there was evidence of land abandonment. It seemed that this had serious implications for the communities in these areas, if this process were to continue. But there were other aspects that made the Inquiry appropriate at this time. The Scottish Government has a target for a substantial increase in the amount of forestry in Scotland, so where does it go? There is also increasing concern over environmental issues, such as biodiversity; over plans for all sorts of renewable energy, many of which involve the hill and island areas; and of course there is the importance of maintaining the quality of the landscape for the tourist industry. Tourism is the most important industry measured by contribution to gross domestic product in these areas. Finally, there is the increasing concern about climate change, which has implications for the way in which the land is managed. This applies to land use generally, but in particular to how forestry is managed and the types of land on which forestry is planted. So for all these reasons it appeared to us that our Inquiry was particularly appropriate at this time. Before outlining our main findings, I need to start with some factual background. The hill and island economies are much more

diversified than they used to be. There are other activities service industries and some manufacturing and the tourist industry, all of which have grown greatly in importance but the contribution of the primary sector (agriculture, forestry and fishing) is still important. It contributes about 10% of GDP in these areas as a whole, which compares with the average for Scotland of 1.2%. So it is much more important in these areas than in the rest of Scotland. And that is not the whole story, because many service activities depend heavily upon agriculture. Without agriculture, markets, haulage contractors and veterinary surgeons would be out of business and the tourist industry, for which many people in agriculture or their families work part time, would be severely affected. As I have already mentioned, there has been a very sharp decline in livestock numbers. The sheep population has gone down by 25% in ten years and cattle by 10%. The biggest decline is in the Western Isles and the northwest Highlands, but there is a decline everywhere. Incomes are very low. The subsidy has been fairly steady, but it vastly exceeds the net income of farming. This is particularly the case in sheep farming, but it also applies to cattle and mixed cattle and sheep farming. It means that, if the subsidy were removed, this type of agriculture

Review of the Session 2007-2008

would be completely unprofitable; the present decline in livestock numbers would then become a torrent. This type of farming in Scotland is therefore heavily dependent on whatever support is given. And yet, despite all this, it is the hill and island areas that contribute the greatest part of livestock farming in Scotland 78% of the sheep farming by output and 58% of the cattle farming. It is therefore an important part of our food supply. So what did we find? We outlined three major areas that we thought were of importance in future policy. The first is that we need now, and we havent got it at the moment, a properly integrated policy for land use. Deciding on various land uses with the existing town and country planning system is not satisfactory. This is very clearly demonstrated by the applications for wind farms and other major developments in the countryside. And if forestry is to increase, as Ministers have agreed it should, there needs to be a strategy for where that increase can best take place, particularly the type of land and soil on which planting would be suitable. That is why we advocated an integrated land use policy, and I am pleased to be able to report that the Scottish Government have set up a committee to try to decide how they approach this problem.

Secondly, we felt that there is a very strong case for public financial support of land management. It is widely recognised that the management of land gives rise to what are called public goods, that is to say benefits that the public enjoy, but for which those who cultivate the land are not, or are not adequately, rewarded. This is what economists call externalities or market failure. The maintenance of biodiversity is one of these, the maintenance of the landscape for the tourist industry is another and measures to alleviate climate change are a third. Lord Stern, in his report on climate change, described climate change as the biggest incidence of market failure known so far. And finally there is the issue of food security. Opinions in the Committee differed on this. A paper produced by the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) about the time that we started the Inquiry denied that food security was an issue and argued that it could be left to market forces. I am not sure that people are quite so enthusiastic about market forces after whats been happening to the world economy in the last three or four weeks. As far as food supply is concerned, we take the view that market forces do not, indeed cannot, adequately evaluate future risk. And there is future risk. The worlds population is

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forecast to grow from six billion to nine billion by mid century. There is very rapid economic growth in the Asian countries and in Brazil. Climate change is adversely affecting agriculture in various parts of the world. In these circumstances to allow our agriculture to decline seems to us unwise. So far as agriculture in the hill and island areas is concerned, if it were allowed to go, it would be very difficult ever to get it back. Furthermore, were the landscape in the highlands to be denuded of animals, it would change quite rapidly with implications for biodiversity and for tourism. Without support, I have little doubt that agriculture in the hills and islands would decline sharply. Britain at present produces about 60 per cent of its food supply, compared with about 30 per cent before the Second World War, after a long period when it was given no or very little support. Although members of the Committee were not all agreed on this, my own view is that it is important to maintain hill and island agriculture against the possibility that there may be an increase in world demand for meat products in the future from developing countries with increasing income and population. We were certainly all agreed on the other reasons why we need to maintain livestock farming in the Hills and the Islands: the

maintenance of biodiversity, measures to alleviate climate change, maintenance of the landscape for tourism and as a resource for the very many people who enjoy the countryside for leisure pursuits such as walking and climbing. So what about the policies? Just before the Committee was convened, the Treasury and DEFRA, produced a joint paper, called A Vision for the Future of the Common Agricultural Policy, in which they argued that all direct support for British agriculture should be ended after 2013. The only support that should be given after that would be for public goods. But it was clear that they saw this as a way of reducing support generally and cutting the cost of the Common Agricultural Policy. We rejected that view. We thought that, if that happened, it would result in the collapse of agriculture, not just in the Highlands, Islands and Southern Uplands, but also in the north of England and in Wales and in various other places in Britain where livestock farming has similar problems. We considered this to be a major issue, because the British Government has submitted the Treasury/ DEFRA paper to the European Commission as settled British policy for the Common Agricultural Policy after 2013. I do not think

Review of the Session 2007-2008

direct support will end, because most other European countries will not agree to it The Danes may agree and the Dutch have produced a paper in which they say that they would like direct support for agriculture to be phased out after 2020, and in the meantime they want to spend a great deal of money trying to make their agriculture increasingly competitive. But they are likely to be a small minority amongst the 27 member states. The Netherlands and Denmark are quite different from the Highlands of Scotland. There are not a lot of mountains in either country. And the south of England is the same. So a policy which is framed to suit these areas, where direct support may be unnecessary, would be not at all satisfactory in other parts of the United Kingdom, where the continuation of farming depends upon it. There have however already been major changes in the Common Agricultural Policy. The mid-term review, which took place in the middle of the present decade, decoupled support from production. This means that direct support (the Single Farm Payment, which is known as Pillar 1 and is by far the largest element in farm support) is paid as a subsidy to farmers incomes without any requirement to produce output. Farmers are required to keep the land in whats called good

agricultural condition, known as cross-compliance, but this can be subject to a serious abuse. There are some farms that have got rid of their livestock altogether, yet still get the Single Farm Payment. They may cut the grass once a year and do various other things to meet the requirements of crosscompliance, but abandonment of farming is not what was intended. There are several reasons why direct support was decoupled. The first was that the EU had run into embarrassing surpluses of various products in the past. We all know about grain and butter mountains and wine lakes. Support tied to the production led to farmers producing the maximum amount of each product regardless of the underlying market circumstances. The other reason was that the EU is engaged in very difficult and complex negotiations in the World Trade Organisation, where the desire has been to reduce protection right across the world in all industries. Other countries will not reduce their protection on imports of European goods, such as whisky or on motor cars, unless the EU reduces its protection on goods that compete with their exports. Agriculture was targeted because the food exporting countries suffered when Europe exported surpluses of agricultural products at a loss, well below the cost of production, and thereby disrupted world markets. Need-


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less to say, this also imposed a heavy burden on the EU budget. These were the reasons why direct support the Single Farm Payment was decoupled. But in addition, support is also given, under what is called Pillar 2, for various types of public benefit. This includes rural development, agri-environment schemes and support to agriculture in the Less Favoured Areas. An important distinction between these two types of support is that the Single Farm Payment is paid for entirely by the EU, whereas the Pillar 2 schemes are paid partly by the EU and partly by the national government. We took the view that the direct support for farmers income under Pillar 1 the Single Farm Payment is not defensible in its present form over the long run. A justification is needed, if the taxpayer is to be satisfied, and the abuses need to be ended. Changes are therefore necessary. We think payment needs to be linked more clearly to environmental benefit than at present, with the requirement to maintain land in good agricultural and environmental condition. We also think that the payments need to be linked to the land and not to the past incomes of farmers. In the Dutch paper the point is made very forcefully that it is really absurd, in the Netherlands, for farmers to be receiving direct

support based on what their income happened to be between 2000 and 2002, without any regard to what the production is now, or what farmers are now doing with their farms. Payments that are historically based will become increasingly out of date. The EU Commission therefore wants to change to an area-based system for all countries, linking direct support to the land and not to the farmer. We agreed with that and we therefore thought that the Scottish system should change. The English already have an areabased Single Farm Payment system, but the Scottish, the Dutch, the Irish and various other countries still have an historicallybased system. Such a change could have a lot of implications for the hill and island areas, because if the support is linked to the land and paid per hectare, it could result in a flatter system of payment, with rather more support being given to the hill and island areas and less to the lowlands, where agriculture is more profitable. Such a system, however, would have to be designed with a great deal of care. Change of this kind will not happen until after 2013, when the CAP will have been subject to major review. In the meantime there are mechanisms for giving more help to livestock farming in the uplands, if the Government

Review of the Session 2007-2008

decides to use them. Article 69 of Regulation 1782 (2003) provides for top-slicing support in one sector to use it for a particular purpose in that sector, and this is at present used for the Scottish beef calf scheme. The officials of the European Commission suggested to us that this could be used to help sheep farming. They are proposing a major change to enable the top-slicing to take place not just from the particular sector that is to be assisted, but from the Single Farm Payment across agriculture as a whole. It would be a way of transferring support from the rest of agriculture to a sector where there is a particular need. We recommended that the Government should consider this as a means of assisting hard-pressed sheep farming in the hills and Islands. As far as the second type of assistance Pillar 2 is concerned, which is funded jointly by the EU and nation states, the main point, and I describe it as a scandal, is that the European contribution to support in Scotland is the lowest per hectare of any country in the EU. This means that less European money per hectare is available in Scotland for the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme, for agrienvironment schemes and for other support under Pillar 2 than in any other European country.

How did this happen? We were told that this was because the British Government was spending so little on similar schemes before the EU schemes started that the EU, in default of a better arrangement, simply based provision on what national governments had been spending before. Because the Austrians had been spending an enormous amount on such schemes, the Austrians got a large allocation. And because the British Government was spending very little, we got a small allocation. Theres no defence for such an arrangement. Support should be based on need not on past history. It would make a huge difference if that were so. We get 7.4 per hectare per year between now and 2013; the Austrians get 121.8. Even in Ireland, which has agricultural conditions not so dissimilar from ours, Pillar 2 support is far more generously funded. The Scottish Government has tried to make up for this. The system provides for the EU to finance 55% of Pillar 2 expenditure and the national government the rest. But at present the Scottish Government is financing 70%, in order to try to make up for the small contribution coming from Europe. We asked, when we were in Brussels, what could be done about this. They told us that they had been considering how it could be changed and had

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published a financial perspective for the years up to 2013, but the British Government, along with several other governments, opposed the level of expenditure. So the financial perspective was rejected and nothing happened. One illustration of this is that the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme in Scotland, which is important to farmers in the hill and island areas, costs 61 million a year, whilst in Ireland, with a smaller part of the country designated as less favoured, they spend 250m euros, or about 178 million. Any notion therefore, that Pillar 1 support (the Single Farm Payment) should be ended and support only given under Pillar 2 would be quite unsupportable unless this inequitable treatment was dealt with. Otherwise Scotland would be in a completely uncompetitive situation. I come now to forestry. The Government has proposed a target for forestry to increase it to 25% of Scotlands land area. Forestry covered, at the start of the 20th century, only 5% of the land area and it now covers 17%. To get to 25% is therefore a very big increase. Forestry in Britain has not been commercially competitive and has always had either tax relief or grants to make it viable at all. We think that there is now a much more compelling reason for forestry in Scotland than previous27

ly, and that is because of climate change. Trees are very effective at sequestering carbon and the more trees there are, the more carbon they will sequester. It is very important that this fits in with agriculture and with other land uses, so that is where the integrated land use policy comes in. Forestry investment would become much more profitable and need less support, if any, if there was a proper market for carbon. It has been said that carbon should be valued at something like 25 a tonne. If that were the case and forestry was paid for neutralising a substantial amount of carbon, it would transform the economics of forestry. I therefore think there is a strong case for more forestry investment, but it would have to be properly designed to fit in with agriculture as a land use. That would also mean not using peat land, where carbon would be released from disturbing peat and do more harm than good. It would require important decisions on which land was best suited to forestry. The Report covered a lot of other issues. As some of you will have seen from the newspapers, we said a fair bit about tourism, which unfortunately the newspapers mostly got wrong. We said quite a lot about the importance of local food and the problem of insufficient abattoirs. We saw

Review of the Session 2007-2008

sheep in Islay going to market in Carlisle and Anglesey. If they went to Wales, we were told they were sold as Welsh lamb, which we thought quite ridiculous. From an animal welfare point of view we regarded such long journeys to market as quite unacceptable but it also makes it impossible for local hotels in much of the Highlands and Islands to sell the local product. We also cover renewable energy, housing, transport and some of the services essential to small rural communities if local people are to start businesses. But I have overrun my 20 minutes, so I must leave you to read the Report, which I urge you to do, the full Report rather than the Summary, at your leisure. I think now I better answer some questions. Discussion Dr James Irvine, who is a livestock farmer in Perthshire currently dispersing his herd because it is now uneconomic to try to maintain it, said that he recognised the huge amount of work that had gone into the Report but found it profoundly depressing and disappointing. For a number of years it was recognised that there was going to be a crisis in the livestock industry in the hills and this is now happening at an alarming rate. The industry is

irreplaceable and it will not be possible to get the skilled workers back to the hills and farm uplands, once they have gone. There is already a striking absence of skilled workers and Dr Irvine expressed his disappointment that this key point was not made urgently at the beginning of the Inquiry and that it had taken 1 years to produce the report. In addition he was disappointed at the huge amount of bureaucracy still put upon hill farmers. Professor McCrone accepted that many people said the Report should have been done earlier but felt that its publication was in fact opportune and it had been well received in a lot of quarters. The Inquiry was set up because of the RSEs concern for this very real crisis in the hill, uplands and island areas. The problem is widespread and affects all these areas. Regarding bureaucracy, Professor McCrone agreed that the environment schemes are a mess; they are too complicated and do not have sufficient funding. The Report made clear recommendations that this issue should be addressed and resolved. Dr Jean Balfour, a landowner and land manager from north west Sutherland asked if Professor McCrone could explain what is meant by a land stewardship proofing test; how such would


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work and what benefits it could bring. Professor McCrone replied that the idea was to examine the various objectives that had been set out to be achieved in landscape management and ascertain that these were being satisfied by the steps and measures being taken. The Inquiry did not produce a policy for an integrated land use strategy but the government has recognised that there is a need for a coordinated approach. Dr John Francis questioned the emphasis placed on integrated land use management and pointed out that this had been awaited for a long time. He asked if the committee had come across

any examples which would give grounds for optimism that this could succeed. Professor McCrone said that the Committee had not examined the policies of other countries in any detail but had been well received in Ireland. The Irish had provided a lot of information and the Committee were impressed by the way that they were dealing with the issues, particularly in respect of the relationship between agricultural support and agricultural environment schemes. He felt that a lot could be learnt from that but acknowledged that agriculture was very important to the Irish economy and the Irish government thus gave it a far higher priority than did that of the UK.


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Annual Statutory Meeting 2008 - Appendix II Report on Activities for the Session 2007/08 A full and varied programme of activities was delivered by the Fellowship, supported by staff of the Society and others. The public benefit outcomes of the programme were:

Increasing the number of world class science and culture researchers working in Scotland The Society continued to administer various Research Fellowship schemes operated through expert Selection Committees and gave out 1.1M in grant over the session. These schemes help Scotland retain top quality researchers and attract others from elsewhere in the UK and overseas. At the annual Research Awards Ceremony to be held on 26 September 2008 at Edinburgh Castle, 48 researchers representing some of the most outstanding young scientists and innovators working in Scotland today will be recognised. Awards will range from summer vacation scholarships for undergraduates in Astronomy, to five-year postdoctoral research Fellowships. These awards would not be possible without the continuing financial support of organisations such as BP, Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, the Caledonian Research Foundation, the Scottish Government and other specificpurpose legacies bequeathed to the Society. During the Session the Society made a successful spending review bid to the Scottish Government to enable the

Increasing the number of world class science and culture researchers working in Scotland Increasing Scotlands research and development connections internationally Improving connections between business and academia Increasing the number of people in Scotland who adopt science as a career Enhancing the publics appreciation and understanding of science and culture issues Informing and influencing public policy decisions

The programme of activities also sought to continue to sustain and utilise our multi-disciplinary Fellowship and recognise outstanding achievement and excellence.

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implementation of the Enderby Review recommendations, which will enhance the research fellowships the Society can offer, and which will keep the schemes competitive with others. The new programme of research awards in Arts and Humanities, which enables academics to collaborate with Scottish cultural institutions, and which began in the 2006/07 Session, continued to develop, with the introduction of Research Networks designed to create and/or consolidate collaborative partnerships over a two-year period. Two Network awards were made in early 2008, along with separate awards to support three Research Workshops aimed at promoting collaborative research, which will in turn lead to consolidated partnerships. Increasing Scotlands research and development connections internationally The Society continued to increase and strengthen its international role and the contribution it makes to Scotlands standing and relationships with the wider world. New Agreements were signed with the Pakistan Academy of Sciences in November 2007, the Indian National Science Academy in December 2007 and the Academy of Sciences Malaysia in June 2008. Progress was also made in relation to Agreements

with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research Singapore (A*STAR) and the Turkish Academy of Sciences. A successful review of the RSEs Agreement with the National Science Council of Taiwan, which was signed in 2001, was also undertaken in July 2008. Exchange visits totalling 100.5 person-weeks took place through the Bilateral Programme, run with sister academies in India, Pakistan, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Taiwan. This was a significant increase from last year, when the RSE awarded exchanges on the Bilateral Programme totalling 65 person-weeks. The Open Programme also remained popular, with visits totalling 139 person-weeks taking place to and from Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Turkey and the Ukraine. Five projects were successful in obtaining funding through the RSEs Joint Project Scheme with the National Natural Science Foundation of China. The awards were made to research groups at the Macaulay Institute, the University of Edinburgh, HeriotWatt University and two groups at the University of Aberdeen. The

Review of the Session 2007-2008

projects commenced in Spring 2008 and will be completed in Spring 2010. The RSE hosted a reception in January 2008 to tie in with a conference organised by the University of St Andrews. The conference brought together leading figures from Pakistans top universities to finalise a new postgraduate PhD partnership. If successful, the University of St Andrews hopes the model will allow other Scottish universities to forge similar partnerships with HE institutions across Pakistan. Scotland and China may be thousands of miles apart, but the RSEs Joint Workshop with the National Natural Science Foundation of China in March 2008 showed how close we are, in terms of both science and business. The two-day workshop on management science, held at the RSE, brought together 22 speakers from both countries, discussing everything from wildlife, agriculture and technology to risk, innovation and trust. The Workshop was an opportunity to identify areas of mutual interest and partnership, with the expectation of progressing collaborative research. Fiona Hyslop, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning also took time to visit the workshop and speak with participants.

The Societys European Policy Forum arranged this years Annual European Lecture given by Sir John D K Grant KCMG, Former UK Permanent Representative (Ambassador) to the EU, at the Society in May 2008. Sir Johns talk entitled The European Union: Does it have a Future? focused on the idea that the EU was conceived in a different era, in which the key challenges of the 21st century - globalisation, climate change, terrorism and WMD, poverty in Africa - were far from the minds of its Founding Fathers. Improving connections between business and academia The Enterprise Fellowships schemes which the Society administers increase the commercialisation of academic research through knowledge transfer and lead to the creation of new companies. Over the Session, the Society gave out 225,000 in grants to support these schemes. Phases I and II of the Scottish Enterprise-funded scheme have supported 76 Enterprise Fellows and lead to over 50 new sustainable companies, with many high-value jobs being created. Phase II of the programme concluded during the Session and as a consequence no Fellows were in post during the period. The findings of the review of the Scottish Enterprise-funded


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scheme, undertaken by Ernst & Young were, however, published earlier this year. This clearly demonstrated the outstanding value of the scheme to the Scottish economy. With an investment of 4 million from public funds over ten years, the companies created have attracted over 70 million from other sources. In light of this very positive review, Scottish Enterprise renewed its contract with the RSE and will support the scheme to a total of 60 new Fellowships over the next five years. In March this year a Reception was held at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow to celebrate ten years of the programme and to launch Phase III. The new phase of the programme has got off to an excellent start and nine Fellows will take up their awards in October 2008. The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) -funded Enterprise Fellowships are designed to enable an individual to advance the commercialisation of existing research results or technological developments previously funded by BBSRC. Following a rigorous selection process, four BBSRC Enterprise Fellowships were awarded this year from an encouraging number of high-quality applicants. The Society also administers Enterprise Fellowships funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), formerly

PPARC, and one new award was made this year. Created in 2003 and supported by The Gannochy Trust, the leading Scottish charity, The Gannochy Trust Innovation Award of the Royal Society of Edinburgh aims to encourage and reward Scotlands innovators for work that benefits Scotlands wellbeing and to recognise outstanding individual achievement. The fifth Gannochy Award was presented to Dr Andrew Mearns Spragg at a ceremony held in the Royal Museum of Scotland in October 2007. Dr Mearns Spragg is CEO of AquaPharm Biodiscovery Ltd, a University of St Andrews spin-out company using IP developed during his PhD at Heriot-Watt University. The company is based in Oban and was developed as a result of a Scottish Enterprisefunded Fellowship held by Dr Mearns Spragg in 2000. Dr Mearns Spraggs innovation is a new technology developing antibiotics, from marine microorganisms, to target chronic multi-drug-resistant infections, including MRSA. Following a rigorous open competition, which attracted many high quality applicants, the 2008 winner has been chosen. This is the first award in a renewed three-year scheme and will be presented at the annual ceremony, being held at the RSE

Review of the Session 2007-2008

on 31 October. The continuing support of The Gannochy Trust for this highly prestigious and successful scheme is very much appreciated. Increasing the number of people in Scotland who adopt science as a career Inspiring young people, primarily in the field of science, but also other areas covered by the wider school curriculum, the Young Peoples programme continued to thrive, supported by Fellows and others. The Christmas Lecture, Wobbling on the Shoulders of Giants, was presented by Johnny Ball in December 2007. This was delivered to local school students at Edinburgh University in the afternoon, followed by an evening lecture for the general public and also the next day at Glasgow University. In total over 900 pupils with their teachers and 300 members of the general public attended. The Young Peoples Programme also ran 20 RSE@Schools talks at schools throughout Scotland and covered diverse topics, such as genetics and astronomy. Other activities included:

Andrews, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Heriot-Watt Universities.

The Autumn Road-show took place in Falkirk. This two-day event involved interactive maths and bridge-building workshops for primary school students from nine different schools and an evening lecture for secondary students and members of the general public. A Science, Engineering and Technology Summer School, and associated sessions, were provided during the summer break in partnership with Heriot-Watt University. These gave an introduction to university life for students from schools in the Borders and Lothians.

The RSE Autumn and Spring Startup Science Masterclasses for S1 and S2 students which were delivered on four consecutive Saturdays in Dundee, St

The RSE@Arbroath project was launched in February 2008. This is a new venture in which the Society is focusing on one geographical area, beyond the central belt. Working collaboratively with key organisations in and around Arbroath, the Society is delivering a wide-ranging series of talks, lectures and workshops for school-aged children and the general public, which celebrate and explore the cultural diversity of Arbroath. The programme of events encompasses the arts and humanities as well as science- and technology-based subjects, and is supported by in-house teaching resources produced by RSE staff.


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The programme will culminate in the RSE Christmas Lecture 2008, to be given by Professor Anne Glover, FRSE, the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Scottish Government, who also hails from Arbroath. The opportunity for the Society to join forces with the local Arbroath community in this way arose from the reception Professor Sue Black OBE, FRSE received as a visiting RSE speaker when delivering talks in Arbroath during 2004. The programme of activities which has resulted from this has been extremely well received by the local community and will provide a template for future simliar programmes. Enhancing the publics appreciation and understanding of science and culture issues Public events The Public Events Programme delivered 34 Lectures, Discussion Forums and Conferences which were attended by almost 4000 people. These events addressed many interesting and topical issues and featured some of the most erudite authorities in the country, including many Fellows of the Society. For the first time, the RSE participated in the Edinburgh Book Festival in August 2008, when acclaimed Sculptor, Alexander Stoddart, offered a fascinating discourse on the place of statues

in modern cities, drawing upon diverse cultural references from antiquity, through the Scottish Enlightenment to the present. Professor Stoddart described the challenges of creating the statue of Adam Smith, the Robert Louis Stevenson monument, and the statue of James Clerk Maxwell, commissioned by the RSE, to be unveiled in November 2008. Some of the many lectures held were:

October 2007 - IEEE/RSE/ Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award Reflections on the amazing and Ubiquitous Cellphone by Dr Irwin Jacobs, Chairman, Qualcomm. November 2007 The Science of Improvement: Why Scotland Needs its Public Intellectuals Professor C Duncan Rice FRSE, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Aberdeen. December 2007 Cellular Clocks by Professor Ole Laerum CorrFRSE, President, Norwegian Academy and Professor of Experimental Pathology and Oncology, The Gade Institute, University of Bergen. February 2008 - James Scott Prize Lecture - Security, Insecurity, Paranoia and Quantum Mechanics by Professor Stephen Barnett FRS FRSE, Professor of Quantum Optics, Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde.

Review of the Session 2007-2008

February 2008 - ECRR Peter Wilson Lecture Science, Innovation, Education: The Challenge to Society by Professor Geoffrey Boulton OBE FRS FRSE, Vice-Principal and Regius Professor of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Edinburgh. March 2008 - Gannochy Trust Innovation Award Prize Lecture New Antibiotics from the Sea Bed to the Hospital Bed by Dr Andrew Mearns Spragg, CEO, Aquapharm Bio-Discovery Ltd. March 2008 Optos: The Design Challenges and Business Tribulations by Mr Douglas Anderson, Executive Director, Optos plc. (RAE/RSE Joint Lecture) April 2008 Architectural Politics in Renaissance Venice by Professor Deborah Howard FRSE, University of Cambridge. April 2008 - Robert Cormack Bequest Lecture 100 Years of Radio Astronomy: Past, Present and Future by Professor Michael Garrett, General Director, ASTRON. May 2008 Exploring the Mysteries of the Universe with the Large Hadron Collider by Professor Fabiola Gianotti, Research Physicist, Deputy Spokesperson of the Atlas Experiment.

May 2008 - Caledonian Research Foundation Prize Lecture Fuelling the Fire: On How Obesity Fuels Disease by Professor Steven Shoelson, Joslin Diabetes Centre, Boston.

June 2008 Electropalatography in the Analysis of Tongue Dynamics During Normal and Disordered Speech by Professor William J Hardcastle FBA FRSE, Director, Speech Science Research Centre, Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh. June 2008 The Science, Economics, Politics and Ethics of Climate Change by Professor Sir Robert Watson, Chief Scientific Advisor, DEFRA. September 2008 Does God Play Dice? by Professor Miles Padgett FRSE, University of Glasgow. September 2008 Availability of Drugs for the Elderly. Speakers included Dr David Lawson, Hon Professor of Medicine & Therapeutics, University of Glasgow; Professor David Webb FRCP Edin FRSE, Chairman, The Scottish Medicines Consortium; Mr Tom Divers, Chief Executive, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde; Professor Alan Maynard, Department of Health Science, University of York; and Dr Kenneth Paterson FRCP Edin, The Scottish Medicines Consortium.


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The following Discussion Forums were held :

October 2007 A Discussion and Illustrated talk on the exhibition Plant Memory by Victoria Crowe RSA OBE, Artist, and Professor David Ingram OBE VMH FRSE, Former Regius Keeper, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh to coincide with the exhibition Plant Memory by Victoria Crowe at the Royal Scottish Academy. November 2007 Mock Trial Are our Civil Liberties being eroded? Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Lord Charles Falconer QC and Magnus Linklater FRSE, were joined by six leading witnesses in a frank debate about the perceived degradation of civil liberties within Scotland, the UK and Europe. Detention without charge, police spy drones, cctv, id cards and challenges to the independence of the judiciary are these symptoms of a Big Brother state or a necessary response to new threats? With Magnus Linklater as judge, Lord Falconer QC and Baroness Helena Kennedy QC called witnesses to examine this critical issue. Audience members formed the jury to decide whose argument they found more convincing. February 2008 Cultural Flagships Series Discussion

Forum (no. 1) Cultural Flagships: being a National Music and Opera. Speakers included Jonathan Mills, Festival Director and Chief Executive, Edinburgh International Festival and Roy McEwan, Managing Director, Scottish Chamber Orchestra. This was the first in a series of seminars exploring what it takes to be a National cultural flagship.

March 2008 Global Horizons for UK Universities. The Society regularly holds joint events with other organisations and this was the second time that the Society had the pleasure of providing a Scottish platform to launch and discuss the Council for Industry and Higher Educations latest report on how UK universities might best evolve their international strategies. June 2008 - Cultural Flagships Series Discussion Forum (no. 2) Cultural Flagships: being a National Film. Speakers included Ginnie Atkinson, Managing Director, Edinburgh International Film Festival and Leslie Hills, Producer, Skyline Productions.

The following conferences were held:

November 2007 Caledonian Research Foundation Biomedical Conference Inflammation and Inflammatory Disease speakers were Professor Marc


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Feldmann FRSE, Imperial College London; Professor Lars Klareskog, Karolinska Institute, Sweden; and Professor George Kollias, Biomedical Sciences Research Centre, Greece.

November 2007 Institute of Physics Conference Kelvin 2007. Speakers included Sir Michael Berry KB, FRS, HonFRSE, Professor Wilson Sibbett, CBE, FRSE, Ed Hinds and Denis Weaire. July 2008 Structures and Granular Solids: From Scientific Principles to Engineering Applications. This event brought together a significant group of eminent researchers from around the world for an important scientific meeting in the two related and interacting fields of structures and granular solids, with a unique theme of bridging the gap between the development of new scientific understanding and its application to solve practical engineering problems. September 2008 Computer Predictions for Nature and Society: Should they be Trusted? Speakers included Professor Neil Johnson, University of Miami and Professor Christl Donnelly, Imperial College London.

The Society also enhanced peoples appreciation and understanding through other modes of communication ;

Six issues of the Proceedings A journal and four issues of Transactions (two single issues and one double) were published during the Session by the RSE Scotland Foundation, on behalf of the Society. Copies of the journals were also sent to over 300 exchange partners world-wide. Both journals continue to be highly regarded by academics as publication vehicles, and both maintain a respectably high impact factor in comparison to similar journals in their fields. As from the 2007 volume (volume 98), the Transactions journal was re-named Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and the first issue, subtitled Holocene Environmental Change: Lessons from Small Oceanic Islands, was published in September 2007. Two of the Transactions issues published during the Session were also Special Issues: issue 97.4 (the last of the old-style Transactions: Earth Sciences), entitled Plutons and Batholiths and dedicated to the memory of the distinguished granite geologist Professor Wallace Pitcher, HonFRSE; and issue 98.3/4 of Earth and Environmental Science Transactions, entitled Brachiopod Research into the Third Millennium and published in honour of the eminent palaeontologist, the late Sir Alwyn Williams, FRS, FRSE, MRIA, Past President of the RSE.

Proceedings of the Annual Statutory Meeting

Four issues of ReSourcE, the Societys newsletter, were published and distributed to the Fellowship and around 2,000 other decision makers and interested members of the public. Fellows also received the monthly e-bulletin, which enables them to keep up to date with and, if appropriate, further disseminate information on the Society and its work. Public e-bulletins also became part of how the Society communicates activities externally. These go to general interest groups or specifically-targeted sectors depending on the issue being communicated. Issue Six of Science Scotland (on Imaging), was published. The seventh issue on computing is in production and will be published later this autumn. Science Scotland aims to promote the excellence of Scottish research, particularly to an overseas audience. The Societys website was updated regularly and provided information for Fellows and the public. There was appreciable media coverage of many of the Societys activities during the session, notably following the launch of the Report from the RSE Inquiry into Scotlands Hill and Island areas in September 2008. Audio-visual material from most RSE lectures also continued to be

available to hear and see on the web-site soon after each event. Informing and influencing public policy decisions The Public & Civic Society The Society is already involved in public outreach in many ways, including through its lecture and schools programmes and public debating seminars. It also does so through its major inquiries, which encourage deliberative dialogue that elicits values and discussion of the choices that an effective democratic society needs to address in forming acceptable policy. A major Inquiry into the Future of Scotlands Hill and Island Areas was completed during the Session and the Report was launched on 8 September 2008. Under the Chairmanship of Professor Gavin McCrone CB, FRSE, and recognising that changes to agricultural policy affecting the countryside will have a major impact on distinctive communities in Scotland, the Inquiry sought to find ways to help secure a prosperous and environmentallysustainable future for the rural areas, especially the more economically-fragile communities. The Report received wide media coverage and its recommendations have been communicated to senior politicians in Scotland, the UK and the EU.

Review of the Session 2007-2008

Parliament and Government The Societys interactions with Government and Parliament are not systematic, but issue-dependent. The main focus of the RSEs Government and Parliamentary engagement during the Session was on Scotland, but there was also contact with Westminster on specific issues where a contribution by the Society was thought to be of importance and influence. The Society produced 16 authoritative responses to a wide range of public consultations and Scottish Government reports or Bills. The responses included:

The Marine Historic Environment On Delivering More Effective Government: Proposed Government Institute/Commission Mergers Introduction of Banding to the Renewables Obligation (Scotland) Determining and Delivering Scotlands Energy Future Commission on Scottish Devolution

The Society also established a number of small ad-hoc working groups:

International Development Policy Higher Education Funding in Scotland Flooding and Flood Management Curriculum for Excellence draft experiences and outcomes for numeracy, mathematics and science Curriculum for Excellence draft experiences and outcomes for literacy and English, for expressive arts and for social studies Scottish Prisons Commission Proposals for a Scottish Climate Change Bill Creative Scotland Bill OSCR Meeting the Charity Test

the Climate Change Group, prepared an RSE response to the consultation on the Scottish Climate Change Bill; will respond to further opportunities to give advice during the progress of the bill; will help in the development of a major inquiry on climate change impacts, should the Council of the RSE decide to commit to this as its next Inquiry; and will consider the possibilities for a programme of public engagement on the issue of climate change. the Curriculum for Excellence Working Group, is responding to the documents and consultations on the new school curriculum for Scotland, Curriculum for Excellence and on the reforms to the school


Proceedings of the Annual Statutory Meeting

examination and qualification system. The Group met with Fiona Hyslop MSP, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, with the Scottish Governments Education Department, and Learning and Teaching Scotland in order to assist with the development of their proposals. The Working Group also intends to host a couple of seminars that discuss the issues and inform the development of proposals.

President Professor Jan McDonald, was invited to take part in the Festival of Politics at the Scottish Parliament at an event on Who Pays the Piper? - Funding Scottish Culture. The Society made representations to the UK Government about concerns over science budget allocations, following on from which the Scotland Office Minister David Cairns visited the Society to both discuss the issue, and also to learn more about its wide-range of activities. In developing its relationship with the Scottish Parliament, the Societys Parliamentary Liaison Officer held a successful Science & the Parliament meeting on energy; helped create a new Cross-Party Group on Science and Technology; and organised a policy briefing on Energy to the Scottish Parliament Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee. Professor Jan McDonald also provided oral evidence to the Committee examining the Creative Scotland Bill. The Cross-Party Group has held meetings on Carbon Capture and Storage and on the Contribution of the Physical Sciences to the Scottish Economy. It also briefed MSPs on the switch-on of the Large Hadron Collider. The Society also instigated a series of dinners held at the RSE with each of the Scottish Parliament Party groups.

the Bluetongue Disease Group is considering and will respond to the increasing threat of infection in Scotland from the Bluetongue virus, and the limitations for disease control imposed by EU regulations, by providing recommendations to the EU for derogations to the animal import rules imposed following the initiation of vaccination.

A contract with the Scottish Funding Council to provide the Council with expert opinion on strategic research opportunities was renewed and the Society provided the Funding Council with advice on the strategic importance to Scotland of rural policy research, and on Scotlands current position in research relevant to the creative industries. This latter report was also picked up by the Scottish Parliament and one of its editors, RSE Vice41

Review of the Session 2007-2008

The agenda of the UK Parliament was monitored and evidence provided on :

Draft Marine Bill The Economics of Renewable Energy

The Society also, through Professor Peter Bruce, FRS, FRSE, provided oral evidence to the House of Commons Innovation, Universities and Skills Committee into Renewable Energy-Generation Technologies. Sustaining and utilising our multi-disciplinary Fellowship and recognising outstanding achievement and excellence The Society continued to sustain and utilise its multi-disciplinary Fellowship and to recognise outstanding achievement and excellence. The now annual New Fellows Induction Day took place in May, when 49 of the 55 new Ordinary Fellows, three of the six new Corresponding Fellows and one of the four new Honorary Fellows were given an introduction to the Society by Fellowship Secretary Professor Andy Walker, were introduced to the staff and Council, and were formally admitted into the Fellowship by the President. The addition of these new Fellows brought the numbers in the Fellowship up to 1,500, comprising 69 Honorary Fellows, 47 Corresponding Fellows and 1,384 Ordinary Fellows.

Fellows were, in various capacities, pivotal to the Societys delivery of public benefit activities. The many committees which oversaw these activities comprised, although not exclusively, Fellows of the Society. These committees covered governance, operational and management matters. Amongst other activities, Fellows freely gave of their time and their expertise in the selection of Research and Enterprise Fellowship awardees, the awarding of International Exchange visits and various medals, grants and prizes, as well as participating in the planning and execution of the lectures, conferences and discussion forums, contributing to the Young Peoples programme, serving on Inquiry Committees, and providing evidence and advice to inform responses to policy and decision makers. RSE Bicentenary Medals are normally presented in the last year of each Presidency in recognition of distinguished service to the Society. This year they were presented at the Fellows Triennial Dinner by RSE President, Sir Michael Atiyah, to:

Professor Rona MacKie CBE FRSE, for her service to the RSEs International Programme from 2002 to 2006 and also her service on Council from 1994 to 1997 and 2004 to 2007;

Proceedings of the Annual Statutory Meeting

Professor Andrew Miller CBE FRSE, for his service as General Secretary for 2001 to 2005 and then again from March 2007 to October 2007, and his service on Council from 1997 to 2001, including as Convener of the International Committee; Professor Gavin McCrone CB FRSE, particularly in relation to several major RSE Inquiries, and service on Council from 1998 to 2007, including terms as VicePresident and General Secretary.

The Makdougall Brisbane Prize to Professor Andrew Baker The Gunning Victoria Jubilee Prize Lectureship to Professor James Hough FRS FRSE

Another major highlight was the presentation of the RSE Royal Medals, presented by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh at the Palace of Holyrood House in August 2008. Medals were awarded to:

The Triennial Dinner was held in June 2008 at the National Gallery for Scotland and was attended by Fellows and several distinguished guests, including: Professor Robbert Dijkgraaf, President of the Royal Netherlands Academy; Professor Nicholas Canny, President of the Royal Irish Academy; Professor Juri Engelbrecht, President of ALLEA (All European Academies); Sir John Enderby, CBE FRS, Former President of the Institute of Physics; and Sir David Read, FRS, Vice-President of the Royal Society. The following prizes were also awarded on the evening:

Professor Roger Fletcher FRS FRSE, for his outstanding contribution to mathematics and software development; Rt. Rev Richard Holloway FRSE, for his outstanding contribution to the cultural life of Scotland through his public debates on ethics and theology and by promoting, and direct involvement in, public policy issues.

Sir David Lane FRS FRSE, for his outstanding contribution to cancer research through his discovery of P53 tumour suppressor gene; Sir Tim Berners Lee received the IEEE/RSE/Wolfson, James Clerk Maxwell Award and accepted this at the IEEE Honors Ceremony in Quebec in September 2008.

The BP Prize Lectureship in the Humanities to Dr Deirdre Heddon and Dr G Paul Foster The Neill Medal to Mr Ron Forrester The Henry Dryerre Prize Lectureship to Professor Veronica van Heyningen FRS FRSE

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Annual Statutory Meeting 2008 - Appendix III Changes to Laws Governance changes 1. Increase the number of VicePresidents to four so that each of the four Sector Groups has a Vice-President. (Currently in the absence of a Vice-President for Sector D Business and Public Service the Treasurer has chaired Section D.) This extra VicePresident should not be at the expense of existing Council members hence the increase in total size of Council to 13. This requires changes to Law 3a. 2. Election of Council and OfficeBearers by postal ballot. (This has been the practice since 2004.) This requires changes to Laws 4 and 5. 3. Greater flexibility over how long members of the Executive Board can serve. Currently all the Conveners serve three years, which means achieving a smooth turnover is difficult. Allowing them up to four years does not mean all will serve a full four years; some will serve three years. This requires changes to Law 7. Fellowship election changes 1. Duties of the Fellowship Secretary. Currently only the President and Vice-Presidents can admit new Fellows. Allowing the Fellowship Secretary to admit Fellows would require a

change in Law 18. (Not approved) 2. Fellows supporting a nomination. The Report of the Review of the Fellowship election process recommended that only three Fellows in total can support a Certificate of Nomination. This requires a change to Law 29. The new Nomination Certificates ask all Fellows supporting to certify on the Certificate their knowledge of the candidate. This requires an amendment to Law 29. 3. Informing the candidate. Consent of the Candidate to nomination for Fellowship is currently not specified and would require an addition to Law 30. The Society now informs Candidates of payments to be made before he/she can be admitted as a Fellow. This practice requires an amendment to Law 31. 4. Selection of New Fellows. The method of selection is currently not referred to in the Laws. To do so requires changes to Law 34. The suggested amendment referencing Standing Orders for procedures is in keeping with Recommendation 26 of the Election Process Working Party Report.


Security, Insecurity, Paranoia and Quantum Mechanics .................................. 46 New Antibiotics from the Sea Bed to the Hospital Bed .................................. 64 100 Years of Radio Astronomy: Past, Present and Future ............................... 69 Fuelling the Fire: On How Obesity Fuels D isease .............................................................................................................. 74 Mind, Matter and Mathematics ..................................................................... 79


Review of the Session 2007-2008

James Scott Prize Lecture Security, Insecurity, Paranoia and Quantum Mechanics Stephen M. Barnett SUPA, Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde 4 February 2008 The James Scott Prize Lectureship was established in 1918 in memory of James Scott, a farmer at East Pittendreich, near Brechin, by the Trustees of his Bequest. This prize is awarded quadrennially for a lecture on the fundamental concepts of Natural Philosophy. This years award goes to Professor Stephen Barnett FRS FRSE, who is based in the Department of Physics at the University of Strathclyde. Professor Barnett is one of the worlds most eminent scientists in the field of Quantum Optics. A previous winner of the Institute of Physics Maxwell Medal, he is perhaps best known for his co-discovery of the Barnett-Pegg phase operator. This established the first formally correct approach for handling both angles and phase as descriptions within quantum systems. Still within quantum physics, Professor Barnett holds a number of patents relating to techniques for writing unbreakable codes. For a subject that is potentially beyond most peoples understanding, Professor Barnett is well known for presenting the counter-commonsense implications of quantum mechanics in an accessible and entertaining way, stripping the subject of its supporting mathematics and leaving only the essence of pure ideas.


Prize and Bequest Lectures


Preamble Nearly all of you will carry an ATM card and use it to access your money via

a bank autoteller machine. To get at your money you require the card and a secret PIN (personal identification number) which is usually four digits long. This PIN protects the machine, in that it establishes your identity. The machine, of course, only gives you money. It is sobering to realise that ATM fraud netts thieves in excess of 100 million each year in the UK alone. Some of you attending this lecture will have been victims of this. We are all familiar with the concept of computer hacking, whereby individuals use the internet to obtain unauthorised access to computers. It may be some comfort to discover that even the greatest are not immune. The following excerpts are from an article by Damian Whitforth in The Times, February 16th 2000:

President Clinton had an astonishing confession to make. Personally he said, I would like to see more porn on the internet. Mr Clinton had given his first live online interview to CNN, which was confident that it had the technology to stop interference with its website for the duration. Instead, pranksters had a field day, posting ribald remarks that were attributed to Mr Clinton and asking impertinent questions.


Secure communications At the heart of information security is the communications problem. If we can

live without communications then we can greatly increase security by physical isolation. On the other hand, if we can communicate securely then we can spend our (electronic) money and exchange information safely. The simplest and oldest method of secure communication is single key cryptography. The concept is to lock away our message in a strong box (too strong to break) and to send the box to our intended recipient. If they have a copy of the key used to lock the box then they can open it and retrieve the message. This is a good moment to introduce our cast of characters: the person transmitting a message is universally called Alice and her intended recipient is called Bob. The third character, whom well meet shortly, is Eve the eavesdropper. The secrecy of single

Review of the Session 2007-2008

key cryptography relies crucially on the secrecy of the key, the only copies of which must be held by Alice and Bob and, of course, these two keys need to be identical. In practice there is no box but rather the message is enciphered using a secret key in the form of a piece of information. In the digital world, all messages are just a string of zeros and ones ( 00010010100100010001011 ) and so can be thought of simply as a (large) number. The key will be another number and the cipher text is produced by a mathematical operation on these two numbers. The vital question, of course: is it secure?. Perfect security can be achieved using the Vernam cipher, or one-time pad. For this to work we require Alice and Bob to share a secret key in the form of a random number that is the same length (has the same number of binary digits or bits) as the message they wish to share. The cryptogram, or ciphertext, is generated by bitwise addition modulo 2, which we denote . This means that for each digit if the message and key bits are the same (both 0 or both 1) then the ciphertext is 0, but if they are different then it is 1. A simple example may clarify the point:

message key ciphertext

011010001 101001001 110011000

All that Bob needs to do is to repeat the operation with his copy of the key:

ciphertext key message

110011000 101001001 011010001

The method is completely secure if the key is truly secret and, crucially, is used only once. This secrecy is a consequence of the fact that the key is a random number and it necessarily follows, therefore, that the ciphertext is also a random number. There are two difficulties with the one-time pad: first we need to establish a secret key with our (distant) correspondent and second that we need to use large numbers of very long keys for even the most straightforward secure communications. Maybe there is a simpler way? Let us return to the locked-box concept and suppose

Prize and Bequest Lectures

that the box has not one lock but two, one of which fits a key held only by Alice and the other that fits a key held only by Bob. Alice can put the message in the box, secure her lock and send the box to Bob who secures his lock and returns the box (now double-locked). Alice can undo her lock and return the box to Bob who can unlock it and retrieve the message (M). The box makes three journeys and is always closed, so surely it is secure? Let us see what happens if Alice and Bob each used their own key ( K A and K B ) in an arrangement similar to the one-time pad.

Alice locks the case Bob locks the case Alice unlocks the case Bob unlocks the case

M K A = C1

C1 K B = M K A K B = C2

/ / C2 K A = M K A K B K A = C3
C3 K B = M

At first sight these seems to be secure, as Eve has access only to the three random ciphertexts C1 , C2 and C3 . The modulo 2 sum of these three ciphertexts, however, reveals the original message without difficulty:

C1 C2 C3 = M

and so Eve, who has access to the transmitted ciphertexts, can retrieve the message. The underlying problem with this scheme is the simplicity of the operation corresponding to modulo addition. A protocol, due to Diffie and Hellman, does indeed work with multiple exchanges in the way suggested but relies, for its security, on the subtleties of modulo arithmetic. We shall not discuss it here, but note that it is closely related to the RSA public key cryptosystem, which we shall discuss shortly. The second difficulty associated with the one-time pad was the large number of very long keys needed to achieve perfect security. What we need is a method for achieving practical security; something that is good enough. A published and

officially approved method is the data encryption standard or DES (or better, the advanced encryption standard AES). This combines our message and a very much shorter key, usually 56 or 128 bits, in a sequence of mathematical operations to produce a ciphertext. Bob can easily convert the ciphertext back into the original message by Bob, using his copy of the key. The DES scheme is not perfectly secure


Review of the Session 2007-2008

and can be broken by a determined Eve with access to lots of computer power. The question then is how long will this take?. We might try to break it using an exhaustive key search; try every possible key until we find a meaningful message. If we had a 40 bit key then the number of possible keys is 2 40 1012 . If we had a machine capable of a million decryption operations a second then this would take about 6 days. Better algorithms exist, however, and security agencies have admitted to being able to crack 40 bit DES in under one hour. If we increase the length of the key then we greatly increase the number of possible keys. If we use a 128 bit key then the number of possible keys jumps to 2128 = 10 38 . An exhaustive search on the machine described above would then take about 10 24 years. But better algorithms do exist so A radically different idea is public-key cryptography, in which no prearranged secret key is required. We can understand the principle by considering again the analogy of a locked box. In public key cryptography the box has only one lock but the keys required to lock and unlock it are different. Alice can distribute as many locking keys as she likes as long as she keeps safe the only unlocking key. The simplest and most important method for achieving this is the RSA scheme, named after Rivest Shamir and Adleman, who were the first to publish it1. The RSA scheme relies on the properties of large numbers and of prime numbers in particular. The required inputs are the message, which is the number x, and two very large prime numbers p and q. The first task is to calculate the product of the prime numbers:
N = pq .

This is an easy task for even a simple computer. Next we find two numbers e and d such that

ed = 1mod ( p 1)(q 1) ,
where mod means divide by ( p 1)(q 1) and keep the remainder. Finding e and d

is also easy, if we know p and q, in that an efficient computer algorithm exists for this
1 It later transpired that a researcher at GCHQ had got there first, but that this had been kept secret.


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task. Bobs public key, which is freely published, consists of the two numbers N and e. His private key is the number d. Alice can encipher her message to Bob using his public key to generate the ciphertext
C = x e mod N .

Bob can equally easily decode the message because he has the private key2:
C d mod N = (x e ) mod N = x.

The private key is mathematically related to the public key but no efficient method is known for finding it from N and e. The difficulty is thought to originate in the problem of factoring N into its component primes, p and q. Numbers up to about 10 90 can be factored in less than a day so much bigger numbers are needed. If you would like to win $30,000 then you might try the smallest current RSA challenge and factor into its two component primes the 176 (decimal) digit number

RSA-704 = 74037563479561712828046796097429573142593188889231 28908493623263897276503402826627689199641962511784399 58943305021275853701189680982867331732731089309005525 05116877063299072396380786710086096962537934650563796 359.

Public key cryptography is computationally intensive and rather slow, while secret key cryptography is very fast. For this reason public key cryptography is generally used for distributing secret keys and for financial transactions (digital signatures). The first of these ideas is simply to use RSA to distribute secret keys for use in DES, AES or a one-time pad. The security of the secret key then relies on the security of the public-key communication. Digital signatures are used as a way to prove to a correspondent that you are who you say you are so that your instructions can safely be acted upon. They are used, for example, for financial transactions. If Bob wishes to prove to Alice that he is indeed Bob, then he encrypts his instruction

We require N to be larger than x so that the decryption process gives a unique text.

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using his private key. Alice can confirm that this was indeed prepared by Bob, simply by deciphering it using his published public key. Naturally, any one else can also read the message, but the idea here is that no one else could have written it. At the heart of modern secure communications, information security and indeed our financial system lies secure communications based on public-key cryptography. This, in turn, relies simply on the difficulty of factoring a large number into its component primes. A realistic method for performing this difficult

mathematical task would present a real challenge to our banking system, even to the very existence of money!


Some quantum physics: polarised photons

For readers with a background in physics, it might be comforting to have the following aside. (Other readers may safely pass over it.)


In quantum theory observables are represented by Hermitian operators, which act on a Hilbert space of states. These operators have eigenvalues and eigenstates
related to the operator ( A) by the equation

A n = n n . Here the set of eigenvalues {n } represents the possible results of a measurement of our observable. If the system has been prepared in the eigenstate n then the result of the measurement will be n . It is also possible, however, to prepare superposition states of the system of the general form

= n an n .
For states of this form there is a fundamental uncertainty and we can only give a probability for the measurement result to be n :
P (n ) = an .


Prize and Bequest Lectures

It is this unpredictability that we rely on for security in quantum key distribution.

End of aside.

Light has a polarisation, corresponding to the direction, in the plane perpendicular to the direction of propagation, in which the electric field oscillates. We can associate two distinct states of the polarisation3 with the horizontal and vertical directions. All other possible polarisations can then be written as

superpositions of these (see Fig. 1).

States of photon polarisation

Horizontal Vertical Diagonal up Diagonal down
1 2


(0 (0 (0 (0


1 2

1) +i1

Left circular Right circular

1 2 1 2

i 1 )

Fig. 1: Six possible polarisation states for a single photon.

If we have only one photon (single quantum or particle of light) then we can perform only one measurement and this does not allow us to determine the polarisation. We can chose to measure horizontal polarisation (to discriminate

between the top two states in Fig. 1) or circular polarisation to distinguish between the bottom two, but we cannot do both. If we measure linear polarisation for a circularly polarised photon then we will get a probabilistic result as depicted in Fig. 2.

That is, eigenstates of linear polarisation.


Review of the Session 2007-2008

A single photon only gives one click

P = ||2

P = ||2

You can measure one component of polarisation but CANNOT determine an unknown state of polarisation

Fig. 2: Measuring the linear polarisation of a superposition state (such as circular polarisation) necessarily gives a probabilistic answer.

It is impossible to determine in which of the six polarisation states, depicted in Fig. 1, our photon has been prepared. This information is known only to the person who prepared the photon. The secrecy of quantum cryptography, or quantum key

distribution, is based on this fundamental physical principle.


Quantum key distribution

The challenge in quantum key distribution is for Alice and Bob to prepare a secret key for use in DES, AES or a one-time pad. They must do so by

communications that may have to take place in the presence of an eavesdropper. Quantum key distribution provides a method to determine whether or not Eve has been listening to the key exchange. If she hasnt then the key produced may safely be used and if she has then Alice and Bob know to discard the key and to try again. A quantum key is generated by means of an agreed sequence of operations to be performed by Alice and Bob. There are a number of such sequences or protocols that have been demonstrated, but there is time here only to discuss the earliest and perhaps simplest of these. This protocol was suggested by Bennett and Brassard in 1984 (and hence is universally known as BB84); it formed the basis for much of our

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theoretical and experimental work and, indeed, for that of the quantum information community. The first step in the BB84 protocol is for Alice to generate a random sequence of 0 and 1s. For each of these she randomly chooses to prepare a linearly polarised photon or a circularly polarised one (see Fig. 3) and sends this to Bob.

Quantum cryptography quantum key distribution

Alice is going to send a random bit stream to Bob

0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 . . . .

She takes a single photon and prepares it in one of the four polarisation states chosen at random

Fig. 3: Alice prepares a random sequence of bits and from these generates a random sequence of polarised photons.

The problem for Eve is that she cannot determine which of the four polarisations was prepared but rather can only measure either linear or circular polarisation. If she measures linear polarisation on a circularly polarised photon then she will get a random answer. If she then uses this information to prepare a corresponding linearly polarised photon to send on to Bob then his measurement will give a result that is not correlated with Alices. In other words an error will appear in the Bobs bit sequence. This idea is summarised in Fig. 4. The protocol has to be designed in such a way as to make the appearance of such errors inevitable if an eavesdropper has been monitoring the communication between Alice and Bob. It is easiest to follow, first, what happens when there is no eavesdropper activity. For this purpose, a short example of the protocol is given in


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Fig. 5. In each of the 14 time slots, Alice prepares a photon in one of four

polarisation states as described above and transmits this to Bob.

Eavesdropping (Intercept & resend)

Alice 1
50% probability


Bob 0
50% probability

Eve generates substantial bit-error rate ~ 25% and gets incomplete information

Fig. 4: If Eve measures the wrong type of polarisation then she can produce an error in Bobs measurement.

10 11 12 13 14

1 X

0 X

1 X

1 X

Alice transmits random sequence of bits using random coding scheme

0 1

Bob receives photon and makes random choice of measurement basis

Alice and Bob compare bases and discard events where no photon was received and different bases were used

Fig. 5: A sample sequence of events in the Bennett Brassard protocol.


Prize and Bequest Lectures

Bob does not know, of course, the polarisation of each photon and so can only measure either its linear or its circular polarisation. The measurement will give a result and he can then use the scheme in Fig. 3 to turn these results back into 0s and 1s. There then follows a public discussion (not secret) between Alice and Bob in which Bob tells Alice for each time slot whether he measured circular or linear polarisation but not, of course, his measurement result. Alice then tells Bob which measurements are good, in the sense of matching the type of polarisation that she prepared, and which are bad. For example, in time slot 1 Alice prepared a circularly polarised photon and Bob measured linear polarisation so this is a bad measurement, but in time slot 2 Alice prepared a linearly polarised photon and Bob measured linear polarisation so that is a good measurement. Alice and Bob discard the results of the bad measurements and any other time slots (such as 4 and 10) in which Bob failed to find a photon. The resulting shorter sequence of bits (at the bottom of the figure) is a shared random sequence and can form the basis for a secret key known only to Alice and to Bob. It remains to see what effect Eve has on the protocol. Like Bob, Eve can only make a choice of measuring one property of each photon, linear or circular polarisation. In doing her measurement, however, the photon is absorbed and she needs to prepare a replacement. The only information available for this preparation is her measurement result and this may be incorrect. A sample sequence of events is given in Fig. 6. In each time slot, Eve measures one of the polarisation properties of the photon and prepares a corresponding replacement for sending on to Bob. Alice and Bob, who are not aware of the presence of Eve, follow the protocol as outlined above and generate a shared bit string formed, in the example given in the figure, from time slots 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12 and 14. At this stage, Alice and Bob need to check to see if there has been any eavesdropper activity. They do this by selecting a subset of the agreed string and publicly comparing their bit values. Any errors detected are indicative of the presence of an eavesdropper and the communication is regarded as unsafe. In our example, errors occur in time slots 2, 8 and 14. The probability that an eavesdropper has been listening in and is not detected in this way is

(3 4 )

where k is

the number of bits tested. By making N large, we can make this probability as small as we like. Naturally, the bits used in the test are now publicly known and must be

Review of the Session 2007-2008

discarded. If no errors are detected, then the remaining (private) bits may be used by Alice and Bob as a secret key.

10 11 12 13 14


1 X 1

1 X

1 X

1 1


0 E D D

0 D E

Bit positions 1,3,4,9,10 and 13 are discarded Bit positions 1,3,4,9,10 and 13 are discarded Bit positions 2,8 and 14 lead to an error caused by Eve Bit positions 2,8 and 14 lead to an error caused by Eve Bit position 13 is an extra null event caused by Eve Bit position 13 is an extra null event caused by Eve

Fig. 6: The effects of intervention by Eve on quantum key distribution.

Real systems are a bit more complicated that suggested above, in that noise is always present and we have to be able to prepare a secret key even in the presence of some errors. This rather technical problem has been solved and practical schemes and devices do exist. The first quantum key distribution experiment was performed using free-space transmission over a distance of 30cm. Very quickly, however, optical fibre based systems were developed, with workers at BT being the early pioneers. These have reached a high degree of technical sophistication and one such system exists here in Scotland, in the Laboratory of my colleague Prof. Buller at Heriot-Watt University. Optical fibre is exceptionally transparent but, nevertheless, after several kilometres of propagation there will be little light left, especially when starting at single-photon light levels. For this reason fibre-based quantum key distribution is only realistic for local communications, such as between the financial institutions within the city of London. For longer-range communications satellite-based systems are under development. The idea here is that you exchange a key with a satellite while it is above you and the satellite can then exchange the same key with an

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intended recipient, somewhere else in the world, when the satellite is above them. The scheme will be secure as long as nobody can break into the satellite or monitor its internal workings.


Quantum computers

I trust that readers without a physics background will forgive a second unnecessary aside for the benefit of specialists.


A quantum computer works by first replacing each input bit by a two-state quantum system (or qubit) such as a polarised photon. For example the binary number 101101001 = 361 becomes
101101001 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1

The computational step is achieved by allowing this state to evolve within a quantum processor under the influence of a suitably tailored interaction. Finally, the output is obtained simply by measuring each system to determine whether it is in the state 0 or the state 1 . In general, our quantum processor will also require additional qubits in order to evaluate the most general of functions. The big advantage of a quantum processor derives directly from the superposition principle. This means that we do not have to give our single quantum processor one n-bit number to work on but rather we can give it a superposition of all possible numbers between 1 and 2 n at the same time by preparing our input in the state 2 n / 2 ( 0 + 1 )( 0 + 1 )( 0 + 1 )L .

It is this, plus judicious exploitation of quantum interference, that underlies the dramatically enhanced (potential) performance of quantum computers.
End of aside.


Review of the Session 2007-2008

The superposition principle, which allows us to make photons with polarisations other than horizontal and vertical, means that we can replace each bit from a classical computer (0 or 1) with a superposition of both values (0 and 1). A single processor with a string of n input bits can then work on all the numbers between 1 and 2 n at the same time. For n = 100, for example, our single processor is effectively calculating in excess of a million, million output numbers at the same time. There is the potential here for a dramatic even revolutionary enhancement in our computational abilities if we can build and run a quantum computer. The set is realistically solvable problems depicted in Fig. 7. The smallest grouping is the set of all possible problems that can be solved by a conventional computer. Surprisingly, adding a bit of randomness to the operation of the computer can make it more powerful and the set of problems that can be solved on such a machine includes the larger set. Bigger still is the set of problems that have been shown to be solvable on a quantum computer.

P - solvable problems (computing time is polynomial in input size i.e. number of bits)

Classical Deterministic Algorithm Factoring Discrete logarithm Quantum simulations ...

Classical Probabilistic Algorithm Quantum Computing

Fig. 7: The types of problems realistically solvable with classical and quantum computers. Note the alarming appearance of factoring.

Solvability can be given a precise meaning by considering the way in which the required resources, for example computing time and memory, scale with the size

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of the numbers being calculated. To this end let us suppose that our number of interest, N, can be written in binary as n digits ( N ~ 2 n ). An important example problem is finding the period of a function (how far we have to go before it repeats itself). Classically, this requires a time that is proportional to N, but a quantum algorthim requires only a time proportional to log 2 N = n 2 . To appreciate the

difference, we might note that for n = 100, the quantum value is 10,000 but the classical value is approximately 1,000,000,000,000. The most dramatic boost for quantum computer science came with the publication of Shors algorithm for the efficient factoring of the product of two large primes. This exploits the speed up in the period-finding problem, mentioned above, to dramatically reduce the time taken to find the two prime factors, p and q, of any selected product, N. The in-principle time required for factoring in this way is
T ~ N 1/ 2 = 2 n / 2 T~2

Nave classical trial: Best known classical: Shors algorithm:

n log 2 n

T ~ polynomial(log N) = polynomial(n)

The complicated form of the behaviour of the best known (published) algorithm is indicative of the amount of effort that has gone into studying this problem. The change to polynomial scaling amounts to making factoring a solvable problem on a quantum computer. But if factoring is a solvable problem on a quantum computer and if we rely on the difficulty of factoring for our information and financial security, then what happens to money when quantum computers come along?



It is natural to conclude this lecture by referring back to its title.


In the modern world, money is a number stored in a computer file and it is spent by electronic communications. The security of all of this relies, ultimately, on the difficulty of certain mathematical operations (notably factoring).

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The more we communicate, the more we are under threat. Identity theft, ATM and internet fraud are becoming part of modern life.


Even if we can plug the gaps in current systems, quantum computers (when they become available) will render all current secure protocols insecure. Money will be worthless!

Quantum mechanics:

Quantum key distribution offers a radically different approach in which security is assured by the laws of quantum physics. It is the only current candidate for security in a world with quantum computers. A prototype for quantum ATM transactions was announced by researchers at Bristol University late in 2007.


I am grateful to the many friends and colleagues with whom I have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, exploring the world of quantum communications and of quantum information. Among these, far too numerous to list here, I would especially like to mention my (former) students: Thomas Brougham, Tony Chefles, Sarah Croke, Kieran Hunter, Norbert Ltkenhaus and Lee Phillips. Also requiring special mention are the colleagues, then at BT laboratories, with whom I first started working on quantum cryptography nearly twenty years ago: Keith Blow, Simon Phoenix (who kindly provided me with material for this presentation) and Paul Townsend. Our work has been supported generously by a number of organisations: the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Royal Society, the Wolfson Foundation, the British Council, BT, NTT, Scottish Enterprise and, of course, the Royal Society of Edinburgh.


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Suggestions for further reading

Bouwmeester D, Ekert A and Zeilinger A eds., The physics of quantum information (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 2000). Buchmann J A, Introduction to cryptography (Springer, New York, 2001). Gisin N, Robordy G, Tittel W and Zbinden H, Quantum cryptography Reviews of Modern Physics 74, 145 (2002). Lo H-K, Popescu S and Spiller T eds., Introduction to quantum computation and information (World Scientific, Singapore, 1998). Loepp S and Wootters W K, Protecting information: from classical error correction to quantum cryptography (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, (2006). Macchiavello C, Palma G M and Zeilinger A eds., Quantum computation and quantum information theory (World Scientific, Singapore, (2000). Phoenix S J D and Townsend P D, Quantum cryptography: how to beat the code breakers using quantum mechanics Contemporary Physics 36, 165 (1995). Piper F and Murphy S, Cryptography: a very short introduction (Oxford University Press, Oxford, (2002). Singh S, The code book (Fourth Estate, London, 1999). Singh S, The science of secrecy (Fourth Estate, London, 2000). Van Assche G, Quantum cryptography and secret-key distillation (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2006).

In addition to these there is also my own book Introduction to quantum information, which should be published by Oxford University Press in 2009.


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Gannochy Trust Innovation Award Prize Lecture New Antibiotics from the Sea Bed to the Hospital Bed Dr Andrew Mearns Spragg CEO, Aquapharm Bio-Discovery Ltd 3 March 2008 The Gannochy Trust Innovation Award of the Royal Society of Edinburgh is Scotlands highest accolade for individual achievement in innovation. Carrying a prize of 50,000, it was first awarded in 2003. Established in partnership between The Gannochy Trust and The Royal Society of Edinburgh, the purpose of the award is to encourage younger people to pursue careers in fields of research which promote Scotlands inventiveness internationally, and to recognise outstanding individual achievement which contributes to the common good of Scotland. The prestigious award also seeks to promote Scotlands research and development capability in new technologies and areas of social importance. Dr Andrew Mearns Spragg, winner of the 2007 Gannochy Trust Innovation Award, set up Aquapharm Bio-Discovery, one of the UKs leading marine biotechnology companies. He describes how and why the worlds oceans are an exciting source of new drugs, including Obicin a promising new antibiotic from a marine microbe found on the companys Oban doorstep.

Man, according to Dr Andrew Mearns Spragg, isnt a very good chemist. Indeed, nature beats him hands down every time. So it is to nature that he and his colleagues are turning, to find new drugs and compounds with the potential to become world-beaters. Specifically, they are looking at the worlds oceans, to find ways of exploiting the vast, untapped natural resources of the underexplored marine environment. In the Gannochy Trust Innovation Award Lecture, winner Dr Mearns Spragg described setting up Aquapharm Bio-Diversity, ex64

plained why the oceans have such potential and spoke about the companys promising product pipe-line. Dr Mearns Spragg, (35), set up Aquapharm in 2001. From modest beginnings, it now employs 17 people in its headquarters at the European Centre for Marine Biology near Oban in Argyll. The companys main focus is on developing novel antiinfectives, including antibiotics, but is also looking at developing natural products for personal and consumer health care applications all based on marine life. It has a

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library of thousands of marine microbes, which it makes available to others, and has several extremely promising compounds of its own. Its lead compound, P216cm, a pseudopeptide, is in pre-clinical trials for use as an antibiotic and its first major licence deal was signed in December 2007 what Dr Mearns Spragg called a great Christmas present for the business. In addition, the company last summer (2007) raised six million euros in its second major funding round. The company started from a small base, against a background of the bubble, at a time when venture capitalists were shying away from investing. After a lot of eating baked beans and some hard-fought fundraising, however, Dr Mearns Spragg won start-up costs through SMART (a scheme run by the Scottish Government, intended to help small businesses to improve their competitiveness by developing new, highly innovative and commercially viable products or processes to the benefit of the national economy), the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), Scottish Enterprise and some private money. That 200,000 meant he was in business. A strong belief in the potential of marine biotechnology has underpinned the companys birth

and growth. But why should this be? The oceans are the cradle of life, said Dr Mearns Spragg, explaining that life began in the oceans around four billion years ago. About 3.5 billion years later, only a small proportion of the planets total biodiversity managed to evolve mechanisms to cope with living out of water, leaving a far greater proportion of life to evolve and diversify within the oceans. The life which remained in the ocean is of extraordinary diversity, capable of flourishing in incredibly varying environments, from life-containing enzymes which live in the high temperatures of volcanic vents to those which grow in the icy Arctic. These last, incidentally, are of interest to those who want to manufacture washing powders which work at very low temperatures. Modern exploration techniques, including deep sea submersibles, mean that ocean life, even at tremendous depth, is more accessible than ever before. And its well-worth exploring, said Dr Mearns Spragg, pointing out that the number of rare and new compounds from the oceans is growing exponentially, with more biodiversity even than the rain forests. Natural products, he said, tend to win out when looking for new drug leads, especially when compared to mans efforts. Nature is the best chemist, he

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admitted, adding that 40 per cent of the top-selling pharmaceuticals today are derived from natural products. Over the past 25 years, marine plants, invertebrates and micro-organisms have proved to be an excellent source of natural products, possibly because of the mechanisms they have developed to survive in hostile and competitive environments. More than 30,000 natural products have been reported from marine organisms in the last two decades and Aquapharm itself has identified (from its screening) alkaloids, peptides, macrolides and polyketides. Aquapharm is not alone. Other companies across the world have been and are developing products from marine life. One example is Salinosporamide, an anti-cancer agent currently in human trials, which was discovered in California by the US company Nereus Pharmaceuticals Inc. and another is the product Yondelis, a product derived from sea squirts for soft tissue sarcoma, which received authorisation for use by Pharmamar in November 2007 from the European Medicines Agency (EMEA). Where there is biological diversity there is also chemical diversity, says Dr Mearns Spragg, adding that less than one per cent of all marine micro-organisms have been cultured to date.

Aquapharms library of around 7,000 marine microbes is at the heart of the business, he says. As well as finding its own product leads, the company also makes its library and innovative screening methods (patent applied for) available to other organisations. Promising discoveries from Aquapharm so far include a compound with anti-ageing properties, which has attracted serious interest from the beauty industry, and a small molecule, isolated from a new deep sea organism, which acts against the cause of dandruff. There have also been promising leads in finding anti-inflammatory drugs, which could help in the treatment of diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. However, Aquapharms main focus is on antibiotics, partly because there is a worldwide need for effective new antibiotics as bacteria grow increasingly resistant to those which are already available. There is a massive opportunity here, says Dr Mearns Spragg, outlining the major challenges of healthcare associated infections, particularly Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), including those developing resistance to the current battery of drugs. There arent enough compounds to keep up with drug-resistance, he says. A huge number of current antibiotics will be less valuable

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than the plastic bottle they are kept in by 2010. He described the costs in human and commercial terms of MRSA and other drug-resistant bacteria, which are a growing problem in communities, as well as hospitals. Worldwide there are a number of new antibiotics both in development and in use, with billions of dollars in potential and actual sales. Aquapharm is well placed to tap into that market. In January 2008, its compound, P216cm, known as Obicin (after Oban), entered full pre-clinical trials. Research so far has shown it is active against a variety of MRSAs and Vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VREs) and has potent activity against drug-resistant bacteria. The compound has also shown antifungal activity. Another compound, which is showing real promise for Aquapharm, is P211E, which appears to act against gram negative bacteria and so is a potential treatment for bacteria including Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Its really very exciting and were ramping it up the priority list, he says. Dr Mearns Spragg summed up the company as one with a strong team in place, with lead compounds moving into development, out-licensing agreements on technology and products and a valuable microbial

library. On top of that, the funding is there to drive Aquapharm forward and more positive announcements are imminent. We have good investors, with deep pockets and long arms, he smiled. Look out for some interesting press releases coming out. Questions He was asked how samples from the deep ocean were cultured and if they didnt simply explode when brought to the surface. Dr Mearns Spragg responded that while some certainly did and these were too expensive to bother with there were new techniques to bring others up slowly and keep them viable. Asked about the biggest challenge in starting his business, he said it was getting angels or investors to take him seriously. Receiving an RSE Enterprise Fellowship was his first break, he said, because it gave him credibility. One member of the audience asked whether the oceans and marine life were environmentally protected. Dr Mearns Spragg said that some countries, including Fiji, were more protective than others and insisted on companies signing up to conventions to ensure that the impact on the marine environment was minimal. Asked if man could invent fast enough to cope with the rate of

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bacteria adapting to current drugs, he said it was an ongoing battle. Better husbandry in prescribing antibiotics, cleaner hospitals and multi-drug therapies would all help. Asked how he knew which microbes to look at, he said the targets were those which were high in DNA content because they had more chemistry, although other microbes also had potential.

The vote of thanks was given by Dr Russell Leather, the Chairman of the Gannochy Trust, who praised Dr Mearns Spraggs remarkable achievements and tenacity. On a more personal note, he described his own childhood delight at looking in rock pools and marvelling at the marine life, without realising what hidden treasure lay there. He also singled out the company name, Aquapharm, for praise. Its a gem clear, simple and wholly appropriate, he said.


Prize and Bequest Lectures

Robert Cormack Bequest Lecture 100 Years of Radio Astronomy: Past, Present and Future Professor Mike Garrett Director of ASTRON 28 April 2008 On 28 April a packed audience in the Royal Society of Edinburghs main lecture theatre was privileged to hear a fascinating talk on the history of Radio Astronomy. This years Robert Cormack Bequest lecture was given by Professor Mike Garrett, Director of ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, which collaborates extensively with observatories and universities in Britain. Professor Garretts lecture formed the finale of the annual Cormack Meeting, organised for and attended by astronomers from across Scotland. The meeting itself was crammed with high-quality talks, the majority given by students. The topics covered included observational and theoretical work on the Sun and the Solar System, the discovery of a planetary system similar to our own, the gas between the stars, the nearby Andromeda galaxy, gravitational lenses (light can be focused by gravitational fields), and surveys on how galaxies cluster together and what that implies for cosmology. Those present even heard about work on alternative descriptions and theories of gravity, which attempt

to solve some long-standing problems with Einsteins theory of General Relativity. Two prizes were awarded: Garry Angus of St Andrews University won the Postgraduate Prize for a talk entitled On the proof of dark matter, the law of gravity and the mass of neutrinos and the Undergraduate Prize was won by Laura Porter of Glasgow University, for her talk Cometary Impacts with the Sun. Professor Garretts Cormack Lecture was entitled One Hundred Years of Radio Astronomy: Past Present and Future. He began with the startling news that, although he was born in Scotland and is a graduate of Glasgow University, he had never given a talk in Scotland and indeed had never before delivered a public lecture. 0ne would never have guessed the latter, for his talk was fascinating, accessible and rich with history: he brought the past to life with whimsical details of the landmark events and dramatis personae, told of radio astronomys most exciting discoveries, and even touched on the possibility of detecting radio signals from other intelligent species.

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Professor Garrett introduced his topic by setting out the scale of the Universe, from the Solar System to the most distant things that can be observed. He pointed out that the travel time of light (of which radio radiation is a form) means that the further away we look, the more deeply we reach into the past. The relatively long wavelength of radio waves also means we are looking at very large structures (rather than at atoms or molecules), material at temperatures close to absolute zero, and objects that are radiating by exotic, high-energy mechanisms utterly unlike the thermal radiation coming from our own Sun. Radio astronomy has provided a unique and very different view of the Universe. He began with a look at the roots of radio astronomy, which was an outgrowth of the desire to understand and abolish various mysterious sorts of static that might interfere with the new technologies of radio and telecommunications. In 1932 Karl Jansky, working at the Bell Telephone Labs in New Jersey, discovered a signal that repeated once every 24 hours. He quickly realised it must originate beyond the Earth and probably from the centre of the Galaxy and reassured us that it was not likely to come from an intelligence trying to communicate!

When the electronics engineer and amateur radio enthusiast Grote Reber heard about Janskys discovery, he built the worlds first radio telescope, in 1937. He realised that to understand the mechanisms producing the signal detected by Jansky, one must look at different frequencies. He built a detector that could look at very low frequency (long wavelength), and to his shock he found that instead of getting ever weaker as the frequency dropped (as it would in a thermal object such as the Sun), the radio signal coming from the Galaxy got much stronger. This was the birth of a whole new area of astrophysics, which has led to dramatic discoveries about the Universe. Radio astronomy has been the topic of six Nobel Prizes. Professor Garrett mentioned some of Rebers other projects, which made him something of an eccentric in his day, but which we would now say were visionary. For example, he built one of the worlds first solar-heated houses, and also designed, built and drove an electric car known as Pixie. Shortly before World War II, the British astronomer Bernard Lovell began working on cosmic rays in the atmosphere. But having taken his detector to a hilltop one day, he was picked up by the Ministry of Defence and commandeered to develop radar for the detection of

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enemy aircraft. After the War he moved to Jodrell Bank, near Manchester, where he built a fixed radio telescope with which, in 1949, Robert Hanbury Brown obtained the first radio map of another galaxy the Andromeda spiral. Later, Lovell built the nowfamous steerable radio telescope at Jodrell Bank, still the thirdlargest steerable dish in the world. By the late 1950s, financial support for Jodrell Bank had sharply declined. But it was about to do its bit for the Cold War. A transfusion of new funds flooded in when the Soviet Sputnik satellite was launched in 1957, sparking fears in the West about possible missile attacks and galvanising Western governments into ensuring they could detect them, if launched. The telescope was rapidly adapted and was able to detect Sputniks booster rocket. Bernard Lovell went on to detect the Moon landings of two Soviet satellites. The telescope even intercepted the first-ever picture transmitted from the surface of the Moon while it was being transmitted from Luna 9. In those days of distrust and suspicion, Professor Garrett told us that Jodrell staff with Communist sympathies were carefully monitored by MI5. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, the telescope was again diverted from its astronomical observations to point eastwards.

In the event of an ICBM launch towards the UK, it could have provided a seven-minute warning, saving millions of lives. Radio astronomy was advancing at a meteoric pace, and observers were seeking ways of seeing finer detail in astronomical objects. How small a feature can be made out in an image is governed by the size of the telescope. But the Jodrell Bank dish was already as large and heavy as engineering could make it and the need to make a larger telescope stimulated British astronomer Martin Ryle by a brilliant piece of lateral thinking to invent the technique of aperture synthesis, for which he won a Nobel Prize. By placing two or more telescopes some distance apart, and then adding their received signals in a computer, a much larger telescope can be simulated, which can then measure the size and shape of very small structures. This was done at Jodrell Bank by driving a second, mobile telescope around the Cheshire countryside, and it was found that pub car parks proved as good a place as any to perform observations! Aperture synthesis is a form of interferometry, so named because of the way the signals are added together to create a picture. Interferometry led to the discovery of some tiny, very bright astronomical radio sources, but no-one knew what or how far away they were: were they truly small and

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nearby or enormous and very distant? By a remarkable coincidence, shortly afterwards, the passage of one of these sources behind the Moon allowed it to be identified as a faint blue star. When this star was observed with an optical telescope, one of the most exciting discoveries in the history of astronomy was made: that these star-like radio sources were immensely distant and extremely powerful objects of unknown kind. They were soon dubbed quasi-stellar objects, for they could not possibly be stars. It is now known that these quasars are powered by super-massive black holes. Another new class of astronomical object came to light in 1968, during observations to find out whether quasars twinkle like stars. Tony Hewish and research student Jocelyn Bell found an object that beamed radio waves in pulses, and wondered at first whether theyd detected a signal from an alien intelligence! These are the now-famous pulsars, the dead remnants of exploding stars, rotating like abandoned, gradually-slowing lighthouses as they cool and fade. Mike let us hear the recording of a very young pulsar, spinning so fast that when translated into audio form its signal sounds like a high-pitched squeal. One of the most exciting discoveries of radio astronomy is the realisation that a large fraction of

the energy observed in the Universe is released from strong gravitational fields rather than by nuclear fusion that lights the Sun and the stars. The central parts of active galaxies are often powered by gravity, not nuclear fusion. Professor Garrett closed by talking briefly about some of the exciting new radio telescopes now being designed or constructed: LOFAR (the LOw Frequency ARray), based in the Netherlands, and SKA (the Square Kilometre Array), to be built in Australia and South Africa. LOFAR is an interferometer, but it is one unlike any other. It is an array not of individual telescopes, but of simple antennae. Because an antenna is relatively cheap, a great many of them can be bought and distributed over a very large area, simulating a much bigger telescope, as before. Construction of the LOFAR array, with a diameter of 350 kilometres, is well under way; it will eventually have 25000 antennae. LOFAR is also set to expand across Europe, with stations in the UK, Germany, Sweden, France and Italy expected to be built in the next few years. SKA is still in the design phase. It will probably be a hybrid array of individual antennae and conventional radio telescopes, with a total area of one square kilometre 50 times larger than anything we have today. SKA is expected to be operating in about seven years time.

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Both of these new telescopes will be able to look at extremely fine details in radio sources, and are expected to reveal features never seen before. SKA will be able to detect the leakage radiation (from television and telecommunications) emitted by any Earth-like civilisations in the Suns vicinity. But more importantly, they will be able to see the dawn of the Universe, the time when hydrogen first started to condense into the structures from which galaxies were formed. They promise to reveal secrets about the form and evolution of the Universe, and to cast light on some of astronomys greatest puzzles. The next decade will be an exciting time for radio astronomers! Professor Garretts talk stimulated lots of questions. How do you synthesise a circular aperture when all you have is two telescopes? He explained that the imaginary line joining the telescopes sweeps out a circle on the sky as the Earth rotates. Are China and India doing radio astronomy? Professor Garrett replied that both countries are involved with SKA. China is building its own telescope, FAST, and is sending lots of high-quality research students to study in UK universities. Astronomy is excellent at attracting young people all over the world into science. He said he considered it very important not to close down the recently-upgraded Jodrell Bank telescope, which would

severely impact Britains participation in SKA and its reputation as a world leader in astronomical research. How common is life in the Universe? This simple but profound question launched Professor Garrett on a fascinating mini-talk. He pointed out that more than 10% of stars have planets, so in our Galaxy alone we can expect perhaps ten billion solar systems. Predicting how many have life (let alone intelligent life) is much more difficult, as first realised by the astronomer Frank Drake almost 50 years ago. It is perplexing that we havent detected signals from any intelligent species, who presumably are also trying to contact other civilisations. Professor Garrett said he thinks microbial life is probably common, but intelligent life rare. Alternatively it could be that civilisations are transient, or their technological phase short-lived. He talked about SETI, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, saying how important it is to ensure it continues to be funded. Are we sending signals? Professor Garrett replied that we are not, in general, although occasionally this is done as a public relations exercise to stimulate funding. However, other civilisations would be able to detect our leakage radiation from television signals and military radar operations.

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Caledonian Research Foundation Prize Lecture Fuelling the Fire: On How Obesity Fuels Disease Professor Steven Shoelson, MD, PhD Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, USA; Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School 26 May 2008 - The Royal Society of Edinburgh 28 May 2008 - The University of Dundee In 1990, as part of an agreement with the Caledonian Research Foundation, the Society created an annual Prize Lectureship in Biomedical Science. In 1994 it was agreed that the Prize Lectureship would alternate annually between Biomedical Sciences and Arts & Letters subjects. Prize Lecturers are expected to be of the highest international repute and this years recipient is certainly no exception to that rule. Steve Shoelson, MD, PhD, received his PhD in chemistry and MD degrees from the University of Chicago. After training in internal medicine at the Brigham and Womens Hospital, he joined the faculty at the Joslin Diabetes Center in 1988. He currently heads the Section of Cellular and Molecular Physiology and is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has received numerous awards and honours, including a Burroughs-Wellcome Fund Scholar Award in Experimental Therapeutics, the Excellence in Diabetes Research Award of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Boehringer Mannheim Corporation, and a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Shoelson holds the Helen and Morton Adler Chair at the Joslin Diabetes Center. The Western World is facing an obesity epidemic and a dramatic increase in rates of serious illness, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But why should weight gain be so unhealthy? Professor Shoelson looked at what is happening in our bodies at a molecular level as we pile on the pounds and suggested that inflammation and our own immune systems could be contributing to the growing burden of ill health. In a fascinating lecture, he also suggested a remarkably simple possible solution. Over the last two decades, obesity rates have rocketed. In the USA in 1985, only a small number of States had obesity levels of 1014 per cent. By 2005, all States had surpassed that figure, with the majority showing rates of between 15 and 29 per cent. Shockingly, in three States more than 30 per cent of adults were obese. Hardly surprisingly, the States with the lowest rates of

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obesity also had the highest life expectancy. Obesity is associated with a number of serious illnesses, including hypertension, dyslipidemia (high cholesterol), coronary heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes (T2D) as well as some cancers and other conditions including osteoarthritis. Many of these illnesses are characterised as being part of metabolic syndrome. As obesity rates have soared, so have numbers of individuals with diabetes, which is, in itself, a risk factor for atherosclerosis (where plaque builds up on the inside of the arteries), or cardiovascular events such as stroke or heart attacks. A combination of the Western diet, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle has consequences, leading to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. But what is it which causes insulin resistance in people who fall victim to obesity? We know that individuals can take action so that their bodies are sensitive, rather than resistant, to insulin. Weight loss, exercise and a healthy diet are known to improve health outcomes, but that doesnt mean people find it easy to do. So Professor Shoelson and colleagues have been exploring the molecular mechanisms which lead to insulin resistance with varying success. They consid75

ered the insulin signalling pathways, but found little joy. There are lots of pathways, said Professor Shoelson, showing a bewildering array on slide, But they dont give us the answers. They considered genetics fortuitously several genes have been discovered which are apparently implicated in T2D. But again, there was nothing to explain fully the recent upward swing in cases of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. We knew that it couldnt be just genetics we have the same genes as our parents and grandparents, he said. the rise [in cases] has been too rapid. He also considered lipid (fat) deposits in the liver and muscle, which causes insulin resistance. Again, however, it doesnt explain todays disease patterns. In wondering what else could be involved, thoughts turned to inflammation. There were a number of clues that this was involved. Epidemiologically, there were several markers in patients resistant to insulin which are commonly seen in inflammatory diseases. These include elevated white blood cell counts and CRP (C-reactive protein). Cell biology provided clues too. Proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-alpha could create insulin resistance. Interestingly and this, said Professor Shoelson, was where the real breakthrough came in,

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there was also a history of old clinical literature which suggested that salicylates anti-inflammatory drugs of the same type as aspirin had an effect on patients with diabetes. Professor Shoelson pointed to a paper from late 19th Century Berlin which showed how high doses of salicylate were effective in reducing the blood sugar levels of a man with the lighter type (what would now be called Type 2) of diabetes. The man had not responded to the standard treatments of the time, which would have been a potatoes and milk diet. The doctor had reasoned that salicylic acid, which was similar to carbolic acid, might be used to treat diabetes. The initial treatment of 10g per day was cut by half when side-effects, including tinnitus, were intolerable. After 12 days the patient was discharged. That was in June 1876. Fast forward several decades to November 1957 and the BMJ published a paper based on research in Glasgow. It showed that aspirin reduced blood sugar levels in patients with Diabetes mellitus, but that levels rose again once the patients stopped taking the aspirin. The doctors had been inspired to do the research after a patient with diabetes, who was taking salicylate treatment for rheumatism, was found to have

no sugar in his urine, despite taking nothing but aspirin. Salicylic acid, originally derived from willow bark, had been suggested for centuries to be useful in treating pain and fever. By the beginning of the 20th century, the pharmaceutical company Bayer was marketing a form of salicylate, acetylsalicylic acid, which it called aspirin. By 1910, it was the most used drug in the world. Later in the 20th century it became popular as an anti-clotting agent and is used widely to prevent heart attacks and stroke. But at the start of the 21st Century, Professor Shoelson and colleagues began looking seriously at the effect of salicylate treatment on inflammation. Their research has been both lab-based, in animal models, and on humans in clinical trials. One thing that has been discovered was that dietinduced obesity promotes inflammation in fat. Why should this be? The team discovered that a pathway important to the immune system, NF-kappaB, was activated by obesity. This caused inflammation in fat and liver cells and led to insulin resistance. At a molecular level, the researchers found that while fatty tissue contains cells which are activated during the immune process (macrophages), the cells which generally regulate


Prize and Bequest Lectures

the immune response (Tregs) decrease where there is obesity. So there is a combination of obesity activating the immune response or inflammation, while the cells that would normally keep the immune system under control are diminished. The idea that insulin resistance can be caused by inflammation opens up the real possibility that anti-inflammatory agents might make good drugs for prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome. Back to salicylates. If they do lower blood glucose, does this provide clues to a better understanding of the molecular process which leads to insulin resistance, T2D and cardiovascular disease? Does it provide leads for new drug targets and, importantly, new drugs for T2D and CVD? Professor Shoelson described how mice on a Western diet would develop different aspects of metabolic syndrome, including atherosclerosis. This, however, was reversed by salicylate. There was, however, a problem with testing the theory in humans. High-dose aspirin has distressing and potentially fatal side-effects, including severe gastrointestinal upsets and bleeding the latter could make a deadly combination with aspirins clot-reducing activity. Another salicylate compound, called salsalate (disalcid), does away with many of these sideeffects, however, making it much

safer. Small trials on patients have shown some signs of success and the results are due to be published soon. Professor Shoelson said, however, that much larger studies were needed. The problem is that phase II and phase III trials are expensive and pharmaceutical companies arent interested in funding trials on generic drugs which are dirt cheap. So I approached the federal government. His application for funding was eventually successful and larger scale trials have started. The first stage looks promising and suggests that the treatment is safe (although it did carry a risk of low blood sugar, which, as Professor Shoelson said, is remarkable in a diabetes trial). The second stage, due to start in September 2008, will involve 280 patients with diabetes, at 20 sites in the US, who will be randomly assigned to receive salsalate or a placebo for six months. A separate study is being initiated this month to determine the effects of salsalate on coronary heart disease. 900 patients with metabolic syndrome and documented heart disease, at several centres, will be randomly assigned to receive salsalate, placebo or lifestyle modification for 30 months. They are being closely monitored with many tests, including CT scans, to show whether they have atherosclerosis.

Review of the Session 2007-2008

Professor Shoelson is optimistic. He has concluded that salicylate treatment inhibits obesity-induced inflammation and the activation of the immune response via NFkappaB. We are hopeful that Salicylates represent a potential new method for treating patients with diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, he said. And they may decrease risk of other disease associated with obesity-induced inflammation, including CVD and possibly certain cancers. Questions At the Edinburgh event, Professor Shoelson was asked several questions. These included whether salicylate treatment could be used for other inflammatory disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis. He said the problem was that rheumatologists followed the pack instructions and dosed at a maximum of 3g, which was ineffective. His personal feeling was that they would have more success if they dosed to the point that the patient developed side-

effects. If youre dosing in the range where there are no sideeffects then there wont be efficacy either, he said. 3g, no, 4g pretty good! He was asked about the culpability of the fast food industry on obesity. Its pretty easy to point fingers. The food industry is one culprit, but were culprits too. Society has to change. He was also asked about the importance of marketing such a simple and cheap solution salicylate when it wouldnt make pharmaceutical companies any money. Professor Shoelson said that was a major challenge, but that getting physicians involved in trials was a good start. The vote of thanks was delivered by Professor Jonathan Seckl, who particularly praised Professor Shoelsons focus on translational medicine of taking the discoveries from bench to bedside and back again. His lecture was a tour de force, full of novel thinking, said Professor Seckl.


Prize and Bequest Lectures

Presidential Address Mind, Matter and Mathematics Sir Michael Atiyah OM 2 October 2008 A Presidential address should be one of general interest to a wide audience, and in the spirit of the Scottish Enlightenment which gave birth to the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The topic of my lecture today has always been central to philosophy, but my contribution is to include mathematics in the title. There are good reasons for this, both historical and philosophical. As a philosopher I am an amateur and there are many in this room who will be much more expert on the subject than me, but I am a mathematician and here I speak from a life-time of experience. In early centuries many philosophers were interested in mathematics. Notable among them were Plato, Descartes, Leibniz, Kant and Bertrand Russell. In fact, until quite recent times, natural philosophy, as contrasted with moral philosophy, was often synonymous with applied mathematics. When I was a student in Cambridge almost fifty years ago our examination papers came in two sets: one labelled Pure Mathematics and the other labelled Natural Philosophy. So I am treading very familiar territory, where the basic questions are: 1. What is physical reality? 2. Is knowledge innate or derived from experience? 3. What is mathematics? 4. What is the relation between mathematics and physics? 5. Where does the human mind fit in to all this? Of course, as with all deep philosophical questions, there are no permanent and final answers. But we learn by asking questions. We can also review our understanding in the light of progress in natural science (physics, mathematics, evolution, psychology, neurophysiology ). I will address these questions in turn. What is physical reality? The human understanding of the physical world proceeds through various stages. First there is human perception, where we receive stimuli from the senses providing mental pictures and then our brain interprets these as objects with mutual interactions.


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This is a much more complex operation than it seems, as modern science has shown. Vision is the sense which has been most thoroughly explored and we now realise that, literally, there is much more to seeing than meets the eye. The raw data has to be given structure and meaning. The brain has to guess what lies behind appearances and then it has to test and modify its conclusions, as with optical illusions. All this leads to what we may call subjective reality: the world as it seems to us, based on our past experience. But science tells us that things are not what they seem. Extending our sensory input by artificial means, using instruments such as microscopes, reveals a very different world. A solid stone is seen to have an intricate composite structure. Beyond that, modern scientific theories tell us of molecular and atomic structure. The solid stone consists mainly of empty space and the fluctuating waves of quantum mechanics. So which is the real stone? We conclude that there are various levels of reality a) the human perception of reality b) the scientific description of reality (of increasing complexity as we scale down in size) c) the mathematical form of reality, when everything is described in terms of equations (as in quantum mechanics)

Finally there is the ultimate question. What is reality with human observation removed? For those of a religious disposition there is no problem, as exemplified in the well-known limerick by Monsignor Ronald Knox. There once was a man who said God Must think it exceedingly odd If he finds that this tree Continues to be When theres no-one around in the Quad Sir, your astonishment is odd I am always around in the Quad And that is why this tree Continues to be Observed by yours faithfully, God There is also an exchange purported to have taken place between Napoleon and Laplace, propos of La Mecanique Celeste. Napoleon observed that the book contained no reference to God. Laplace replied I had no need of this hypothesis. When Lagrange heard this story his response was but what a beautiful hypothesis, it explains so much! The irony is that the more knowledge we acquire, the further down we dig into the scientific foundations, the more the ultimate mystery deepens.

Prize and Bequest Lectures

Is knowledge innate or derived from experience? This was the question examined at length by philosophers such as David Hume and Immanuel Kant. Hume came down firmly on the side of experience. In his view we learn everything through our senses and our interaction with the external world. Kant was more subtle and tried to have it both ways. Eventually he concluded that some knowledge is innate, though most is acquired through experience. The nature of space, as formalised in Euclidean geometry, was a favourite battle ground. To Kant our understanding of space was innate, while Hume claimed it was learnt by experience. As mathematics and physics progressed, particularly with the discovery of non-Euclidean geometry and later with Einsteins theory of General Relativity, many scientists assert that Kant has been proved wrong. In my view this is too shallow an understanding of the issues. It also shows that we need to think more carefully about innate knowledge and where it comes from. In Kants day few would dispute openly that man was created by God and innate knowledge was part of Gods gift. Nowadays, in the light of Darwinian evolution, we see man as having evolved in the tree of life by a long process of natural

selection. Innate knowledge, from this biological perspective, has been learnt from experience, not of the individual, but of the human species. In a sense therefore, there is little fundamental difference between the two sides of the philosophical debate. For an evolutionary biologist there is no contradiction between innate knowledge ignoring nonEuclidean geometry and Einstein. In their struggle for survival our ancestors never encountered black holes. Flat space, as embodied in Euclidean geometry, was all that was needed to escape the clutches of lions and tigers. Perhaps I can add a personal anecdote on Kant and his theories of space. When I was a student in Cambridge, our mathematical society invited a distinguished professor of philosophy, C D Broad, to give us an evening lecture. He chose to talk on a problem which had much exercised Kant, the difference between right-handed gloves and lefthanded gloves. After the lecture, over dinner, I diffidently suggested to Broad that, since Kants time, we mathematicians had a much better understanding of handedness, or chirality as scientists call it. We could even envisage a universe in which a left-handed glove could wander around to distant regions and return to fit your right-hand. Broad would have no truck with

Review of the Session 2007-2008

this nonsense, who was I a mere student to question the great Immanuel Kant? Suitably chastised I retreated from the battle, but now fifty years later, I still think I was right and philosophy has to respond to advances in our scientific understanding. It is a pity that the term Natural Philosophy has fallen into disuse. What is mathematics? Mathematics and philosophy have been closely intertwined from the very beginning, their common ground being logic and reason. Natural philosophy, or science as we now call it, arrived from the marriage between the two disciplines. The most fundamental question that faces the mathematical philosopher is: What is mathematics? In its most concrete form it can be formulated as: Are theorems discovered or invented? According to Plato, mathematics lives in an ideal world, in which dimensionless points, perfect straight lines and circles exist and obey Euclids laws. What we draw on paper and see in the world around us are approximate imitations of these ideal objects. For a Platonist, mathematics has an existence independent of the real world, its truths or theorems are already in existence just waiting for us mathematicians to

stumble on them. This is the world in which theorems are discovered. All practising mathematicians believe in this platonic view to some degree. As we work to find the truth we sometimes feel as though a door has opened and we see displayed before us what was previously hidden. The beautiful scene was waiting for us to discover. As an example, consider the celebrated theorem of Pythagoras relating the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle: c2 = a2+b2. As a pragmatic fact this was known to the Babylonians who had long tables of such Pythagorean numbers starting with 3, 4, 5 and 5, 12, 13. These were no doubt found experimentally a vision into the ideal world of the Platonists although the notion of proof did not emerge till much later with the Greeks. It is hard to dispute that this theorem was a discovery. There are eminent mathematicians such as Alain Connes and Roger Penrose who are fervid Platonists, for whom the ideal world of mathematics has an enduring existence, independent of humanity. Mathematics, according to them, existed before human beings appeared on the scene and will continue to exist after humanity is extinct. For them mathematics has some of the


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attributes of God: existence outside time. But an example of a mathematical idea which, to my mind, represents an invention is -1, the square root of minus one. Since the square of any number (positive or negative) is always positive, there is no number whose square is -1. However, over the centuries, mathematicians found themselves using the fictional number -1 with great success, so much so that they eventually admitted such imaginary numbers into their world. A good claim can be made that this was the most inventive step taken in the history of mankind. It opened entirely new doors in mathematics and in the 20th Century it was found to be essential in the formulation of quantum mechanics. Familiarity breeds contempt and todays students take -1 in their stride, but the great Gauss said that the true metaphysics of -1 is not easy. There are other famous quotations by mathematicians. Kronecker believed that God created the integers, all else is made by man and most mathematicians put forward the integers and their properties as prime examples of the ideal world. But, in a jeu desprit [1], I speculated on what would have happened if evolution

had led to higher intelligence emerging not in human beings but in vast jelly-fish that filled oceans. For such beings, which did not meet individual objects, the integers would have no relevance. But real numbers describing things like water pressure, velocity, temperature, would be vital. So one could imagine their mathematics being sophisticated in fluid mechanics but ignorant of number theory. In fact evolution (or God) created man and so the integers. The distinction made by Kronecker evaporates. Being myself a mathematician I cannot shirk this question of invention versus discovery; what is my view? To be succinct I will simplify and answer by making two statements. (1) Mathematics lives in the collective mind of mankind. (2) Many theorems exist but we select those we like. It is hard to dispute (1). It is an empirical statement. A librarian might say that mathematics is contained in all books and articles, but if all libraries suffered the fate of the famous one at Alexandria, mathematical knowledge would survive in the collective human mind. When humanity becomes extinct there is no one left to ask the question, so a strict follower of Wittgenstein


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would say the question becomes meaningless. In respect of (2), my view of theorems is that all correct mathematical statements pre-exist our observation of them. In Newtons famous phrase they are like pebbles on the beach and we just pick up one or two because they appeal to us. In other words the raw material is there to be discovered, but we exercise our free will in making a choice this is where invention enters. Of course this vastly oversimplifies. Invention often entails a major reorganisation; we dont just select pebbles but we put them together to build castles. In principle all such possible castles also exist in advance and we choose which one to build. The beach analogy breaks down at this point, and we have to continue the argument at a more abstract level. What is the relation of mathematics to physics? There is the famous statement of Galileo The book of nature is written in the language of mathematics and it is certainly true that, since his time, mathematics has increasingly become the only way to understand physics. I shall return to this story later. But the relation between mathematics and physics is rather complicated. I can try to

summarise it by the following diagram:

The top row encapsulates the use of mathematics to record and organise observations of the natural world, for example, the process by which Kepler took astronomical observations of the planets and deduced the planetary orbits and the laws. The next stage is internal to the world of mathematics and where sophisticated mathematical ideas transform our initial data, for instance Newtons calculus and his laws of motion explained and extended Keplers observational laws. The new mathematical understanding is then turned into physical theory, as with the inverse-square law of gravitation. This is represented in the diagram by the bottom horizontal arrow. Finally the physical theory is applied back to the real world, as with the discovery of Neptune. But the relation between mathematics and physics cannot ignore the role of biology and in particular of evolution. Mathematics takes place in the human mind and one can argue that both the

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content and the format have been conditioned by the nature of the human brain. Even logic, based on the principle of implication (A implies B), is derived from the causality that we observe in the natural world (A causes B). When our ancestors saw a tiger lurking in the bushes they knew that its next step would be to pounce on them a fact learnt the hard way! The origin and development of mathematics by mankind has, to a considerable extent, been driven by evolution. In a sense mathematics has been the secret weapon of mankind in its struggle for survival. There is little doubt that, so far, it has been a tremendous success, though we now have to worry that its consequences do not get out of hand and, through one catastrophe or another, lead to our extinction. The human dimension The biological comments I have just made lead on to a closer examination of science and mathematics as human activities. Not only in the evolutionary struggle for survival but also in the higher realms of intellectual endeavour, it is the human mind that is in charge. It is we who decide what to study, how to organise knowledge and how to erect the great architectural structure that we know as science.

So, what is our driving force? What are the principles that guide us? Where do we get our masterplan? Utility and immediate practical need are only modest incentives, they deal with the short term. They are like the choice of stone that the builder employs. For the grand architectural scheme, the vision in the mind of Michelangelo, we have to seek elsewhere. Throughout history the aim of science has been for man to understand nature, to acquire the deepest possible insight into its workings and structure. The key here lies in the word understand. What is understanding? It is certainly much more than a mechanical accumulation of facts. Poincar put this well when he said that science is no more a collection of facts than a house is a collection of bricks. But whatever understanding is, it is a human attribute. We are not electronic computers that organize and handle vast quantities of data at breathtaking speed. Perhaps a computer may be said to understand a problem but it is very different from human understanding. Science as we know it is definitely a human enterprise, based on our kind of understanding. It is a cultural activity like art and it is driven by the human search for simplicity and beauty. When we


Review of the Session 2007-2008

find a simple explanation for a complex phenomenon, such as the rainbow, we claim to have understood it. A simple proof of Pythagorass theorem enables us to understand all the Babylonian triangles. The inverse square law explains the elliptical planetary orbits. If simplicity and beauty are the hallmark of understanding, how does the mind actually achieve its objectives in the field of mathematics? On the one hand there is the formal apparatus of logic, proof and computation, the standard tools of the working mathematician. These are like the pencil, paper and laptop of the writer, but what is going on behind the scenes in the mind of the writer or of the mathematician? Frequently, when asked to describe a piece of mathematics to a lay audience, we avoid technicalities and resort to analogies, as in the use of architecture to indicate structure. We tend to do this apologetically as a poor imitation of the real thing. In fact I believe that analogy is one of the most powerful tools to help achieve understanding. Mathematicians have for instance adopted waves as the term to describe oscillatory behaviour of everything, not just water in the sea. Electro-magnetic waves, quantum wave-functions, seismic waves are familiar examples and sports commentators

even talk about the waves of cheers in a football crowd. Perhaps the most fundamental and widely-used analogy relates to vision, the most complex process taking place in the brain. When a student, confronted by a difficult problem, finally exclaims I see, vision is being used as a synonym for understanding. To a great extent mental pictures are the key to understanding. This applies very closely to patterns, where a basic unit or cell, gets repeated many times. Such patterns may actually describe visual phenomena, but they can also be abstract patterns, where the cell is a sound, a phrase or just an idea. The use of analogies, pictures or patterns is fundamental to how we think, both in mathematics and in life. Mathematicians, at all levels, think in these ways and not in the formal language of logic and proof. This is important in teaching: we have to help students to use their imagination not just their computer. Modern physics All the questions I have been discussing relating to mathematics, physics and philosophy have become even more relevant in the 20th and now the 21st Century. Problems which were considered archaic dead-ends, about which nothing new could be said have, on the contrary, been brought

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back to life and are now more relevant than ever. The deeper we dig the more pertinent we find the classical questions, which is why I have chosen my topic today. I want to review very rapidly the main developments in physics over the past century or so and see where this is leading us. As will become clearer, the role of mathematics has become more and more central to the whole story and this has profound philosophical implications. For simplicity I list below the main developments in physics, along with the names of the most prominent physicists associated with them. The list is in chronological order, and ends with the uncertain present and future. Newton Maxwell Heisenberg Dirac Witten ? Gravity Electro-magnetism Quantum mechanics Quantum field theory String theory ?

mechanism was found unacceptable by the followers of Descartes. Maxwells introduction of fields of force in empty space appeared equally revolutionary. Einsteins General Relativity presented great conceptual difficulties, resting as it did on the earlier Special Relativity which had combined space and time. Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Field Theory entered a totally new and bizarre world which Lewis Carroll would have loved to exploit. The most recent era in which string theory attempts to combine Quantum Mechanics with Gravitation moves into totally new territory where space-time has 10 or 11 dimensions (not just the customary four) and strings (one dimensional objects) rather than point-particles are the starting point. The second historical observation is that, at each step, the theory becomes mathematically more sophisticated. In fact the histories of mathematics and physics, over this whole period, are closely intertwined, even though there have been periods when they seemed to drift about. The present era, that of strings or their successors, involves mathematics of incredible sophistication, much of it beyond our present understanding. In fact Edward Witten said that string theory was a 21st Century idea that was accidentally discovered in the 20th Century. In other words,

As we move down the list, following the historical order, we should note two persistent trends. In the first place every step involved a new paradigm, a new concept or point of view, which encountered much initial opposition. Newtons action at a distance without any direct

Review of the Session 2007-2008

we may need to wait a long while before the full mathematical implications of string theory are properly understood. Throughout the development of physics which I have been reviewing, there has been a conflict between the philosophy, the physics and the mathematics. Each new theory presented fundamental philosophical problems which were appreciated by their proponents and pounced on by the opposition. The answer of the physicists was always pragmatic: it works. The new theories were fully vindicated by experiments. They were also mathematical triumphs; the equations took charge and in a sense ejected the philosophers. Not everyone was happy with this outcome. Einstein remained a radical on quantum mechanics, refusing to accept it as an ultimate theory. He had implicit support from Richard Feynman who confessed that no one really understands quantum mechanics, though Feynman was himself one of the leaders of the quantum revolution. It is also interesting to recall that Clerk Maxwell first discovered his famous equations from a mechanistic model, an explanation which he subsequently discarded. I once sat next to the famous Austrian logician and friend of Einstein, Kurt Gdel, who said to me that the trouble with modern

physicists is that they no longer aim to explain, they just describe. That in a nutshell is the lost battle of the philosophers. Moreover, mathematicians appear as the villains in the play. They have taken the place of the philosophers and equations become the ultimate reality. The conclusion seems to be that the physical models of the universe, with their history of experimental success, have become totally mathematical. You might think that, as a mathematician, I would welcome this ultimate triumph of my subject, but perversely I am unhappy with the situation and I share Einsteins misgivings. It is undoubtedly true that the physical models we now have provide incredibly accurate descriptions of most physical phenomena, though the ultimate unification being sought by string theory remains elusive. It is just possible that a new and more refined physical model will be produced which will explain all physical phenomenon and be more Einsteinian in spirit. We should remember that the ultimate goal of science is to understand nature, and while mathematics might be the preferred tool we should also aim at more acceptable philosophical foundations. At various stages in my lecture I have alluded to God, but these remarks have been made in a

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slightly humorous way and I did not stress their theological content. But let me now extract from them some tentative remarks of a more serious nature concerning faith. Many physicists like Laplace and Einstein put their faith in mathematics as providing the ultimate explanatory basis for the workings of the universe. Mathematicians like Connes and Penrose, with their Platonic view of mathematics as existing outside space and time, seem to share this faith. On the other hand Lagrange, perhaps tongue in cheek, pointed to God as a beautiful hypothesis explaining every-

thing, and Ronald Knox encapsulated it all in a Limerick. Mathematical physicists believe that there are indeed simple and beautiful mathematical equations that govern the universe, and that the task of the scientist is to search for them. This is an article of faith. An alternative faith is to believe in a God who created the universe and kindly provided us with laws or equations that we would be able to understand. There is no conflict between these two faiths, both have their mysteries.

References [1] Atiyah, M.F. Book Review of Conversations on Mind, Matter and Mathematics by Jean-Pierre Changeux and Alain Connes, Times Higher Educational Supplement, 29 September 1995 In Oxford a quad is the quadrangular courtyard of a College


A Discussion and Illustrated Lecture on the exhibition Plant Memory ............ 92 The Science of Improvement: Why Scotland Needs its Public Intellectuals ... 105 Classical Music and the Subject of Modernity. ............................................. 109 Does God Play Dice? ............................................................................. 129\187 Cellular Clocks .............................................................................................. 130 Wobbling on the Shoulders of Giants ........................................................ 134 Science, Innovation, Education: The Challenge to Society ............................ 137 The Commandos from Arbroath Famous Campaigns ............................... 142 Optos: The Design Challenges and Business Tribulations ............................ 146 The Red Lichties and their Impact on the Rest of the World ......................... 149 Architectural Politics in Renaissance Venice .................................................. 153 The EU: Does it Have a Future? Dont Blame the Fault Lines ......................... 159 Exploring the Mysteries of the Universe with the large Hadron Collider ...... 162 Blurring the Boundaries from Classical to Contemporary Music .................. 166 Electropalatography in the Analysis of Tongue Dynamics during Normal and Disordered Speech .................................................. 170 The Black Hole War: The War That Made the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics ......................................................................... 174 Maps, Mapping and Map History ................................................................ 176 Structures and Granular Solids ..................................................................... 180 Statues in Modern Cities .............................................................................. 184 A Code in the Nose ...................................................................................... 190 The Challenges of Road Pricing ................................................................... 191 Availability of Drugs for the Elderly .............................................................. 194


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Victoria Crowe OBE, RSA, Painter Professor David Ingram OBE, VMH, FRSE, Botanist 8 October 2007 A Discussion and Illustrated Lecture on the exhibition Plant Memory What follows is a commentary prepared by Professor Ingram and Ms Crowe. Professor Ingram opens: It began with a portrait Artists and scientists rarely have the opportunity to sit down together for long periods of time to talk about their methods and the philosophies that underlie their work. The painting of a portrait offers such an opportunity, and so it was that Victoria Crowe, artist, and I, sitter/botanist, came together in Cambridge for about a week during the early summer of 2003 following a commission from St Catharines College, Cambridge, to paint my official portrait as Master. This was not the first time we had talked, however, for before the formal sittings, Victoria and I had met in Edinburgh and Cambridge, where we had talked endlessly as she worked to understand the mind and the scientific work of her sitter. I had sent her transparencies and photographs relating to my studies as a plant pathologist, botanist and horticulturist. And she had spent long hours in my study, reading my books and writings. During the sittings for the portrait we talked frequently about our work. First, we established that as artist and scientist we shared a common goal: to interpret and, ultimately, to try to understand, the world about us better. This process is analysed most elegantly and perceptively from the standpoint of the scientist by the botanist and philosopher Agnes Arber in The Mind and the Eye (Cambridge University Press, 1954). Moreover, in the beginnings of our journeys of discovery we followed common patterns: the close and careful observation and recording of the natural world in all its manifestations. Thereafter, our paths diverged. As a scientist I used my observations, together with previous scientific knowledge and experience, and some insight, as a basis for asking questions and formulating hypotheses which were then tested by experiment. Depending on the results, further hypotheses would be formulated and tested, and so on. Progress would be slow, generally forward, but in a



crabwise manner, since the unexpected, and therefore more interesting, experimental results would often change the direction of movement to one side or another, or even backwards. This process is, however, both satisfying and indeed beautiful in its own way. It is telling, for example, that scientists use the word elegant to describe the very best of their experimental designs. For Victoria, the artist, the observations would be internalised and then combined with countless other visual, sensory and emotional experiences to reemerge, having undergone a sea change, as paint or printers ink on canvas or paper. I am reminded of Ariels song in The Tempest: Full fathom five thy Father lies, Of his bones are corrall made, Those are pearles that were his eies, Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a Sea change Into something rich and strange. So it is with Victorias paintings, in which her observations are transformed into pictures of infinite complexity and richness. This process might be contrasted with the work of a botanical illustrator, who observes and records plants accurately, as a scientific record. The images may be drawn or painted to create pictures of great sensitivity and

beauty, yet they must always be an accurate record of the specimens, the very antithesis of the transformation that occurs in the artists mind. When complete, the portrait was a masterpiece of acute observation and understanding of me as a person and a scientist, interpreted in paint; not simply a portrait, but an image of the sitter transformed into a painting of great beauty and sensitivity, its structure profound and the use of colour subtle yet immensely rich. But something more than a sharing of ideas and a fine portrait emerged from the sittings; we also initiated a new train of thought that would find its expression in this exhibition, in which, to my eye, the theme of transformation is developed at every level. To understand how this occurred it is necessary to go back to images from my work as a plant scientist which Victoria studied during her preparation for painting the portrait. Many were incorporated, in a transformed state, into the background to the figure, adding a further layer of complexity and meaning. These included: the delicate internal membranes of a chloroplast, one of the microscopic disc-like structures in which plants capture the energy of sunlight; surrealistic impressions of the microscopic pathogens of plants and the


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symptoms of the diseases they cause, the basis of much of my teaching and research in Cambridge; a divided leaf of the ancient Chinese tree Ginkgo biloba, the maidenhair tree, that grows against the wall of my former laboratory; an experiment to extract DNA from plant cells that was part of a project I initiated called Science and Plants for Schools that continues to excite many young people about plants and their importance; the impressionistic shadows of the branches of one of the two great blue Atlas cedars (Cedrus atlantica Glauca) that dominate the garden of the Masters Lodge at St Catharines College, Cambridge; and a beautiful mauve pasque flower (Pulsatilla) which I had planted in the Lodge garden in 2000 when I first became Master, because it was especially associated with John Ray, once an undergraduate at St Catharines and author of the floras of Cambridgeshire (1660) and England (1670), the first largely vernacular, rather than Latin, floras to be written. A flora is a sophisticated scientific and diagnostic catalogue of all the plants growing in a region, as compared with a herbal, an early type of catalogue limited to plants of medicinal importance. We shall return to John Ray later, for one of the pages from his 1670 flora also appears in the present exhibition.

It was, however, perhaps the most unpromising of the images incorporated into the portrait that was responsible for our new train of thought. This was of a herbarium sheet with a pressed and dried specimen of the tiny creeping perennial plant Sibbaldia procumbens, a member of the rose family. It is hard to believe that it is related, albeit distantly, to the blooming roses of a cottage garden, for its flowers are small and inconspicuous, and the plant grows only in the harsh environment of the mountain tops of the Scottish Highlands. Its significance for me is that it is named after Dr Robert Sibbald, cofounder in 1670 of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, the garden of which I was Regius Keeper from 1990 to 1998. A stylised version of Sibbaldia forms the Gardens logo. But the significance of this herbarium specimen in the development of Victoria Crowes painting was, I believe, that she found embodied in it that same tension between timelessness and fragility which is the hallmark of her work as an artist, and the reason for her fascination with the timeless, fragile beauty of Venice. Herbaria: the tension between fragility and timelessness Botanic gardens base their scientific, educational and conservation work on collections of plants. All, almost by defini94


tion, have a living collection of plants. Although primarily a scientific resource, the living collections are displayed in the gardens for the enjoyment of visitors. Most botanic gardens also have, associated with the living collection, a much larger collection of pressed and dried plants kept in special cabinets in a herbarium. These collections are carefully documented, and the plants in them accurately identified and labelled. Together they constitute a remarkable resource for studies of the naming, classification and evolution of plants, work that underpins all other research in plant science and conservation. The living and herbarium collections are further augmented by a collection of books about plants - floras, herbals, monographs - in a library and sometimes by associated collections of other kinds, such as fossilised plants, or wood specimens or microscopic fungi and algae. The reason why botanic gardens have traditionally focused their research on the naming and classification of plants, their taxonomy or systematics, is because in the seventeenth century the earliest such gardens at Pisa, Padova, Leiden, Oxford and Edinburgh, for example were established as adjuncts to medical faculties in their respective universities, as a resource for

teaching students about plants of importance as medicines. In such circumstances, accurate naming and classification was, quite literally, of vital importance, and it was not until the late nineteenth century that an additional, experimental strand was introduced into botanical research. As the portrait progressed, we developed a plan for Victoria to have access to the Herbarium of the Department of Plant Sciences at Cambridge, rich in specimens collected by Charles Darwin and his mentor and teacher John Henslow, to study the collection of pressed plants and see where this might lead her as an artist. As will become apparent below, she soon discovered the fragile Iris specimens in the Cambridge Herbarium, gradually fading as they went further back in time, and realised she had found a new source of artistic inspiration. Following the delivery of the portrait in 2004 she was elected to a Visiting Scholarship at St Catharines College for three years, and the work which resulted in the present exhibition commenced. Victoria Crowe takes up the story: I had been using plant imagery in my work, really as ciphers and symbols within a greater whole. Initial information gathering was in David Ingrams own library, then

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the Plant Sciences and Herbarium libraries at Cambridge, and the library of John Parker (Director of the Cambridge Botanic Garden). Subsequently I went further afield: to the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh and Padua, the Marciana library in Venice, and to the Fortuny, and Mocenigo collections. After visiting the Sedgwick Museum of the Department of Earth Sciences in Cambridge, I started the work on fossil plants which has come to fruition in paintings, prints and the hand made artists book. There were two parallel ideas in my mind before I started working in the Herbarium at Cambridge. First, the Hugo van der Goes Portinari altar piece, (Uffizi, Florence) where the traditional vase of lilies in honour of the Virgin and Child includes iris black and white ones; lily symbolism is associated with the annunciation, signifying purity, but why the iris? Perhaps muddled translation is the reason: iris in German was known as spear lily, linking biblical prophecy ....a spear will pierce your heart. Second, the poem of Kathleen Raine, a former botany student at Cambridge, entitled The Moment, which has stayed with me for many years, and was used in the background of my portrait of Kathleen in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

The fifth stanza sums up the underlying concerns of many of my paintings: The sun that rises Upon one earth Sets on another. Swiftly the flowers Are waxing and waning, The tall yellow iris Unfolds its corolla As primroses wither, Scrolls of fern Unroll and midges Dance for an hour In the evening air, The brown moth From its pupa emerges And the larks bones Fall apart in the grass. (From Kathleen Raine Collected Poems 1935 1980, published by Allen and Unwin, 1981). So, the things I first began looking at in the Cambridge Herbarium were the vast Iris collections. Gradually, the specimens selected themselves by virtue primarily of their visual beauty, abstract arrangement and contrasting scale. There was an element of poetry of nomenclature and description that drew me to certain ones. I decided to draw the selected specimens purely with watercolour, not using a pencil outline but just building up the structure with thin washes, trying to understand the layering that had occurred and to limit a



literal rendition. The watercolours work, for me, as abstract, very meditative experiences. Professor Ingram continues: The specimens that Victoria painted and drew are the following: Iris halophylla (a Henslow specimen); Iris sibirica (1956 specimen); Iris germanica; Iris arenaria; Iris sisyrinchium (1890 specimen & classification; now a member of the genus Sisyrinchium); Iris albicans Lange; Iris scorpioides (Kingdom of Naples 1839 Prof. Gasparini); Iris verna (1810 specimen, visually beautiful ; gathered on the plains of Leontine, where frequent); Iris kochii Kerner; Iris orientalis Mill. (garden of 54 Cambridge Road, Impington, Cambs, collected by P.D. Sell.) Iris, which was so attractive to Victoria, is a fascinating genus with complex winged flowers specially constructed to promote cross-fertilisation rather than selffertilisation. The flowers of violet (Viola), which she also painted are similarly constructed. Iris species and hybrids have been used, variously, as: garden plants; to decorate the Sphinx (known to Thutmose III, 1501-1447 BC); to make the violet-scented powder orris root; as a fixative in pot pourri, and for powdering wigs and hair in the eighteenth century; to decorate Muslim and Christian graveyards; as fodder for

yaks and horses; as a purgative, when steeped in ale; as sources of black dye and ink; and as a coffee substitute. (See The Plant-Book by D.J. Mabberly, 2nd edn, 1997, CUP.) On later visits to the Cambridge Herbarium, she painted images engendered by the Great Fen Project: Liparis loeselii, fen orchid (specimens 1836); Senecio paludosus, fen ragwort (three contrasting specimens - before 1830, 1852 Babington and recent Murrell & P.D. Sell); and the violets Viola stagnina,Viola canina and Viola persicifolia. The Great Fen Project aims to recreate in Cambridgeshire thousands of hectares of wash reed beds and wet grassland once the home to rare species of plants, birds, butterflies, dragonflies and other insects - which have gradually been drained (improved) by merchant adventurers and farmers over the past 400 years. It is worth noting at this point that Victoria was undoubtedly influenced by the fact that it is a transformed landscape. One cannot but be moved by the knowledge that these great tracts of fertile agricultural land producing potatoes, carrots and grain, lie below sea level and were once home to Hereward the Wake and his kinsmen, productive of eels and other fish, teeming with wildlife, and also home to ague,

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the fenmans malaria. Even the newly drained farmland is fragile, however, and subject to change: erosion of the peat by shrinkage, oxidation and windblow; or restoration as wetlands through the enthusiasm and drive of naturalists and conservationists. But through all this change, the herbarium specimens of the great fen orchid slumber on in the Herbarium at Cambridge, always there to stimulate botanists, conservationists and artists alike. Transformation: another continuing theme The herbarium specimens drawn by Victoria had already passed through a series of transformations, even before their images entered her artists mind. The plants had been removed from their natural context by the collector, so were no longer part of a diverse community, but had to stand alone. They had then been pressed and dried, a process which almost but not completely transformed them from three dimensional to two dimensional objects, thereby altering the relative positions and orientation of the plant and flower parts. Moreover, much of their colour would have been lost, leaving only soft, subtle, muted but often exquisite background colours, dominated by brownish shades. This process would have continued as the specimens aged, some

eventually starting to disintegrate. In addition, they had been attached with strips of gummed paper to the herbarium sheet of special paper, and often artistically arranged, for many botanists have an artists eye. A label will have been attached to the sheet, often beautifully handwritten or perhaps typed on an eccentric machine from a bygone age, giving the date and place of the collection and the name of the collector. The collector will probably have added notes about the plant community in which the specimen was found and its colour. Thus context and colour will have been restored to the plant, albeit in words, sometimes of poetic beauty, for botanists love the plants they study and care greatly for them. Those who studied the specimen subsequently may also have added their notes, comments and conclusions. The specimen will thereby have been continually enriched as years went by. The plant will have been named and classified, to the best of the ability of the collector and the current botanical knowledge available to him or her. It may have been identified as new to science, in which case it will have been used as the basis for the published Latin description of that species, and designated a type specimen. The name of the botanist first describing the


species will have been appended, in abbreviated form, as will the names of others who may subsequently have proposed reclassification and/or a new name. And here it is important to note that the language used by botanists for naming and describing new species is Latin: to all but the classicist and biologist a dead language, but for the latter a language that is truly international, often exquisitely poetic and of immense value as a descriptive tool (see the classic book Botanical Latin by W.T. Stearn, 3rd edn rev., 1990, CUP). For the artist it adds an exotic dimension and is a further example of the creative tension between fragility and timelessness. Finally, the herbarium sheet will have been placed in a folder, designated by a special colour such as red if the specimen was a type specimen, and placed in a cabinet in an appropriate part of the herbarium for that species, or Family of plants. It will not have been alone in its cabinet, for with it and about it will have been countless other specimens demonstrating the great diversity of species within a Family and the great, but more subtle genetic diversity within the species. And there the specimen will have remained, slowly changing and ageing over the years, until it was removed by a botanist for study, or perhaps by an artist wishing to paint it. It may have been

examined often, or only once in a lifetime, but will always have been there, as a record, and will continue to be there long, long into the future. Modern plant science has made one more transformation possible. The word transformation has a very precise, technical meaning for a biologist: the insertion of a piece of DNA from one organism into the nucleus of another, where its genes are then expressed, using the technique of genetic manipulation (GM). Herbarium specimens are, in a biological (but not artistic) sense dead, yet some contain DNA that has not completely decayed. This can be extracted and analysed. Such analysis has given the modern botanist another tool for refining the naming and classification of plants, and of understanding their evolution. Moreover, it is theoretically possible for the DNA to be used to transform another plant: a new plant would not be re-created by this process, but a small part of it would be given new life. As the work progressed, Victoria also began to work in the Herbarium of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The collection of some two million specimens is housed in a white, Italianate building just off Inverleith Row. She painted two species and made: six watercolour studies of


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Lilium candidum (over two pages 40.5 x 100 cm), the Madonna lily which grows wild in the Balkans, Israel and Lebanon; and five watercolour studies of Polygonatum (= P. odoratum; P. x hybridum; over two pages, 40.5 x 100 cm), a form of Solomons seal which is said to have healing properties, especially in the treatment of bruises. Victoria comments, I made the Lilium candidum studies to record forms of this flower in addition to the art historical lily and the real three -dimensional plant. The specimens I chose were unexpected in that the information about leaf structure, the grouping and the faded brown flowers of the specimens made the impact and strangeness more telling. In art these lilies are used as symbols of purity and peace in association with the Virgin Mary, but before that they were symbols of the goddess Isis, and subsequently the Black Madonnas. The Polygonatum is again a Marian symbol. Its a plant I have used in many still life paintings in its three dimensional dried form, now colourless, and I wanted to find some refreshed imagery. Before moving on to the paintings themselves it is interesting to note that, either by subconscious selection or by chance, almost all the subjects Victoria chose to study were members of the great

subgroup of flowering plants, the Monocotyledonae, which have only one seed leaf (cotyledon), flowers lacking outer bud leaves (sepals) and somewhat lanceolate leaves with parallel veins. This group compares with the Dicotyledonae, which have two cotyledons, flowers with sepals and usually leaves with reticulate veination. Also, most of her chosen plants were geophytes, vulnerable to extremes of weather yet possessing an underground storage structure such as a rhizome or bulb that enables them to survive adverse conditions to re-emerge, transformed, to grow and flower again. Victoria Crowe takes up the story again: The paintings Iridaceous sequence I developed three mixed media pieces from the Iris studies: in Iridaceous Sequence, thinking of the black/white reference in the Portinari Altarpiece, I wanted to create a flow of images fairly monochromatic yet very rich dense dark areas butted against flows of transparent neutral colour and silver leaf providing a dramatic tonal contrast. Ive played around with scale too: the tiny Iris sisyrinchium becomes the large dark flower against the silver and the Iris orientalis is greatly enlarged to show its structure.



The labels and descriptions are used as a column of concrete poetry. I wanted the amalgamation of these aspects to animate the long horizontal format so that the viewer would scan the surface, be drawn in by scale or word or surface, look again and have to look again. Arcobaleno relates to the flows of translucent colour and the many hued petals of the iris group. In Greek mythology a messenger, Iris, came to earth via a rainbow hence arcobaleno - an arch between earth and the heavens, man and gods. Ive reassembled the herbarium Iris sisyrinchium pages to present a long line of tiny images with intricate differences, and contrasted them with I. albicans and I. orientalis which has assumed a sinister silhouette against a pitted gold paper. Iris Traces, contrasts the beautifully elegant Henslow specimen of Iris halophylla which has lost all colour, with colourful /blowsy Iris albicans. For me the greatest, lasting, most satisfying image of Iris is the blown, fragile, broken Henslow specimen - qualities of the image transcending the actual plant - rather like the poem - i.e. label description - which now seems to exist independently of its starting point. I spent a week in the Herbarium looking at plants which were becoming, or were thought to be,

extinct in the fens: fen orchid, fen ragwort and fen violets. Visually, the fen orchid, Liparis loeselii, had all the intimations of fragility, all the questions of permanence that the other works have. I used the beautiful 1836 sheet from the Herbarium to develop the painting In Great Plenty. There were many sheets which left just an acid stain where the plant had been - the material of the leaves as thin as a wash of watercolour. Notes speak of plentiful collecting in the Victorian age. The title of this work comes from a chilling quote from Swaffham Prior Naturalists Society in 1835: Liparisfound in great plenty 400 to 500 specimens were brought home the bulbs scarcely in the ground we picked them out with our fingers. In the painting Sign and Symbol Herbarium Pages Ive used a collage of paper, applied linen and thickened the primer with pumice powder to split up and distress the surface, making some areas very absorbent, others very crisp. I used the iris watercolours as a basis, treating each individual image very differently - sometimes drawn, or as a thin stain on an absorbent part, scratched with gold leaf like Byzantine paintings, made into a linear pattern or silk screen printed. Scraps of labels, descriptions, a books frontispiece, botanical cross-section are all

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there. They have become a kind of poetic subtext and the plants, far from reality now, have become ciphers or hieroglyphs. On the last visits to the Cambridge Herbarium I painted the following specimens collected by Charles Darwin on the Galapagos islands during his voyage on the Beagle: Sicyos villosa Hooker fil.; and Desmocephalum inelegans holding something world extinct in my hands was a powerful feeling. In World Extinct I the Sicyos villosa is juxtaposed with the image of the world from the Mappa Mundi, the thirteenth century map of the world owned by Hereford Cathedral. In World Extinct II Ive used fragments, of Desmocephalum inelegans - root system, leaves, tissue stains and label all contained within a single drawn circle, representing maybe the world, the moon, or a microscope field. I made two paintings from the Edinburgh Herbarium - Lilium Candidum I and Lilium Candidum II. Both are mixed media pieces, similar to the large Iris pieces in their assemblies of ideas. In the first, the leaf clusters and structures are juxtaposed with a Renaissance drawing of a lily, and a medieval image complete with bulb. In the second work, the same components are arranged with rather more emphasis on the flower head. This time the Renaissance lily, is drawn/

scratched in black ink over silver ground. Some leaves remain linear; others are solid according to the paintings abstract, compositional needs. The Mixed Media Open Book works The exhibition includes twenty mixed media pieces. Each is formed as an open sketchbook, the cover and spine of which are etched. The pages are all unique, drawings, watercolours, paintings or collages. In each work, the plants have been seen in a different way, sometimes classically presented, sometimes ironically, as with Very Common. One of the pieces based on the Madonna lilies includes the annunciation angel, lily in hand, and Isis Madonna refers to the lily in Egyptian art. Two pieces, Fossil leaves and Preserved Skeleton Leaf and Fossil, came from studies at the Sedgewick Museum, Cambridge. Two other pieces are based on medieval artefacts: Outside Eden, the stained glass window showing Adam after the Fall, against sharply defined leaves, and Medieval Mind, based on a drawing of the Chatsworth Hunt tapestries in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the medieval mind saw Nature as a great forest of symbols Others in the series are comments about my own fascination with, and joy in perusing, medieval manuscripts and later herbals in Venice,


Cambridge and Edinburgh. A wonderful exhibition in the Marciana Library, Venice, highlighted the history of the Lazzerati or Plague Islands, and included examples of herbal medical books and lists of curative plants. This provided the stimulus for Antidotes, Bitten by Venomous Creatures, To Ease Snake Bite & Scorpion Sting (showing an evil looking black leaf) and Lay the Leaves Down (a direction to relieve those that piss with payne). Professor Ingram again: All these pieces have tremendous vitality, and for me as a botanist conjure up a lost world of myth and magic, of superstition and earthy humour, rather than science. The fossil pieces stand out as being different, of course, and return to the theme of the tension between fragility, here preserved in stone, and survival. (See also the painting Stone Poem.) Another piece, Marked Pages, has a special resonance for me and takes us back to the start of this project. It shows on the left hand page the title page of a first edition of John Rays flora of England (Catalogus Plantarum Angliae et Insularum Adjacientum, MDCLXX), once the property of Abr: Pryme, who paid four shillings for it in 1694, and now in my own library, thanks to the generosity of a colleague. It is, however, in much better condition than the much aged depiction in

Victorias piece. John Ray, having first studied at St Catharines College, became a Fellow of Trinity College, with a brilliant academic career ahead of him. He was a deeply religious man, his sympathies being with the Puritans rather than the Cavalier Parliament. In 1662 the Act of Uniformity was passed, to which Ray could not subscribe. He resigned from the College at the age of 35 and returned to the village of his birth, Black Notley in Essex, apparently a failure and dependent upon Providence and good friends. One such, Francis Willughby, a friend from Trinity days with a common interest in the study of plants and animals, came to his rescue and enabled him to continue his work as a botanist in exile. Amidst all these images, then, is a message of hope, a reference to a botanist of conviction who suffered for his beliefs, but rose above adversity to continue with his work as a scholar. This brings us to a work which is the summation of many of the issues raised in this project: Victoria Crowe once more: The Hand Made Artists Book My book exists as an object somewhere between a diary, a missal, a sketchbook and a book of hours. There is no didactic logic to it it evolves and is held by visual and symbolic links, not

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by information. Its a tactile experience made with about twenty handmade papers ranging from fine tissue through to deeply embossed. It has been assembled using conservation grade glue and acid free papers, and hand bound in Venice. It is meant to be precious - to be a contemplative experience - an antidote to the form of knowledge presented through a plastic screen and a cold text. Its images are, hand

drawn, silkscreen printed, collaged or etched, each book subtly different. Professor Ingram concludes: This is a rare and precious work (only ten copies exist) that draws not only on what I have described above, but on Victoria Crowes lifetime of experience as an artist. There is nothing more to say - it must be seen and enjoyed for the unique visual and tactile feast that it is.



Professor C Duncan Rice FRSE Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Aberdeen 1 November 2007 The Science of Improvement: Why Scotland Needs its Public Intellectuals Scotlands universities have been both home to and the embodiment of the public intellectual since the time of the Scottish Enlightenment. Indeed, Professor Rice argues, he couldnt talk about public intellectuals without examining the wider questions of what our universities are for. Whilst seeking the answers in this RSE lecture, he outlines stimulating ideas for creating environments where public intellectualism thrives, to the benefit of Scotland as a whole. What sort of graduates should our universities be sending out? Should they be well-trained individuals, able to compete in the jobs market and meet the needs of industry? Or should they also be prepared for citizenship, as ready to grapple with the ethical issues of the day as they are to appreciate a fine piece of writing or beautiful music? And how should these universities be funded? By the state, by fees or through the benevolence of philanthropists or in an entirely new business-inspired way? And how, just how, will Scottish universities garner the finances

they need to compete on a world stage when Government cannot possibly fund them at that level with so many other competing demands on the public purse? These are some of the questions which Professor C Duncan Rice attempts to address under the umbrella of a lecture on public intellectuals. Thats not to say he doesnt make a good attempt at defining public intellectualism and, indeed, name a few candidates, both in universities and outwith academia. But his talk takes in much broader territory than that. Indeed, he says he wouldnt be able to talk about public intellectuals without straying into the wider question of what Scotlands universities are for. Professor Rice defines public intellectuals in several ways. There are the individual public intellectuals - the Noam Chomskys of this world, who are well-known cultural commentators and influencers. They are those, he said, to whom society looks to bring intellectual leadership and criticism to the political process. His view, however, is that public

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intellectualism is a broader church than that. Just as in the Scottish Enlightenment, where highly literate citizens considered themselves to be working on the science of improvement for the benefit of society, the modern public intellectual isnt to be found solely in universities. Having said that, his talk concentrated on university-based public intellectuals, whose reach extends beyond teaching and research, important though these activities are. He can name several, some with strong links to Aberdeen, such as the microbiologist Hugh Pennington, who not only comments regularly in the media on issues such as E.coli but has also advised government on the same. Or Tom Devine, the eminent historian and well-known writer who was previously at Aberdeen but has now moved to Edinburgh University. In Professor Rices view, it would matter a great deal if university-based public intellectuals disappeared and he went so far as to say they were essential to the functioning of democratic society. Public intellectuals are also one of the reasons that universities themselves matter. Universities are important to Scotland, he says, not only because they provide competent technicians and upto-date scientific advice, but

because the Professoriate can help inform public debate ideally helping discussion on important issues not to descend into popular spats. In other words, universities are a good source of public intellectuals. But as well as being considered the natural home of public intellectuals, universities share their fundamental role of creating and transferring knowledge. He believes the success of universities defines the health of society, but that in order to do this, it is essential to understand what a university does and how it is best able to function. Successive governments in Scotland have shared broad aims for universities, including achieving excellence, widening access and driving the social and economic enrichment of Scotland. While Professor Rice sees these aims as excellent, he has concerns about how universities are supposed to achieve them. He also has concerns about whether we appreciate what makes a great university and the extent of the challenge from around the world. He fears that our concept of universities is overly utilitarian and that many valuable characteristics such as the public intellectual role can be lost. Research is, of course, important, and Professor Rice believes the Research Assessment Exercise, which attempts to measure the


output of university departments, has helped to increase scholarly output. But the RAE has, he believes, focused academic scholarship towards the specialist journals, whilstnot rewarding what could be called public intellectual activity. Indeed, he finds it sad that academics have less space and incentives to create and think - and fulfil the functions of public intellectuals. Professor Rice believes that being a corporate public intellectual and a home for individual public intellectuals is one of the most fundamental roles of a university. He argues that the transfer of knowledge must include cultural contributions. Our fixation on technological and economic output confuses our fundamental role, just as the desire for jobready graduates risks overlooking the fact that what really matters is that graduates have the capacity to learn new skills when the technology or particular industry moves on, quite apart from the analytic capacity needed for citizenship. He would also like to see graduates given broader skills in analysis, in arts appreciation and in dealing with the ethical issues of the day. In other words, universities should be looking at the whole student for the benefit of the society they will be part of. Scottish universities are operating in a competitive world, where the top 50 higher education institu107

tions are dominated by America, where there is a fees regime and a culture of philanthropic giving. There is simply more money around to create quality, he says, adding that the rise of universities in the Far East, Middle East and China is also striking. To compete, Scottish universities must be able to recruit and retain the best staff and the best students from around the world, offer top-class facilities, great teaching and research and pay academics competitively. Getting to that point will, he believes, require rethinking our approach to universities in Scotland. Funding is important and Professor Rice believes that this must come from a number of sources, including the state and private philanthropy. He also believes that the issue of charging fees cannot be ignored but accepts there is no political support for this in Scotland.He also wants a greater differentiation between Scottish universities as it is not realistic to expect that all can be internationally competitive in the same ways. Universities are autonomous institutions, not arms of the state, and he has often thought that lessons could be taken from the business world. For example, Boeing has contracts stipulating obligations (within statute) to the US Government, but is otherwise free to go about its business as it

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sees fit. If universities followed this model, they would be free to attract as many students as they wanted and to take on borrowing as appropriate. He also wants better leadership, saying that the work of colleagues who are public intellectuals should be encouraged. This means supporting blue skies research and teaching of the liberal arts, not because the state gives incentives to do so but because these are the things that great universities do. In summary, Professor Rice believes that, along with their utilitarian function, the capacity of universities to provide wisdom for Scotland, through research, education and the outreach of its public intellectuals, provides an overwhelming case for every Scottish citizen to support funding for universities. How that is achieved, he says, is an argument for another day. The event attracted a distinguished audience. At least one of the public intellectuals mentioned by Professor Rice attended (Sunday Herald journalist Alan Taylor) and questioners ranged from academia (including a former Principal of Strathclyde University

and a Professor of Linguistics) to a representative of UNESCO, a politician, a recent graduate from Aberdeen University and a selfconfessed punter. Questions covered topics including Professor Rices overhaul of the Aberdeen University curriculum. He made the point that universities should not rest on their laurels but should re-examine all they do at regular intervals. He also regretted the passing of the Scottish general MA, saying it was a comprehensive and magnificent degree which had been the model for the American system. Sadly the rush to specialisation had robbed us of this jewel in the crown. There was some debate around the benefits of different approaches to university funding across the world. In particular, the former Labour MEP, now Solidarity politician, Hugh Kerr praised the Scandinavian model. Professor Rice said he had been successful in attracting academics from universities across the world, including some in Scandinavia and concluded that every system probably had its benefits and disadvantages.



Professor John Butt FRSE Professor of Music, University of Glasgow 12 November 2007 Classical Music and the Subject of Modernity Aspects of Art Lecture for the British Academy On the last day of 2006, The Observer published an article reporting Julian Lloyd Webbers plea that classical music be restored to its former privileged place in the classrooms of Britain. As he told The Observer, You have to be able to walk before you can runClassical music is the grammar of music; it is the harmony, the melody, the notationIt is wrong for teachers to focus on youth music such as R&B instead of the likes of Mozart and Shostakovich because classical music is the root of all other styles. Now, as much as we might sympathise with at least some of Lloyd Webbers general intentions, there is, I believe, a fundamental misunderstanding of classical music, if it is seen as the grammar of music or the root of all other styles. Much as one might hear some rock and pop superstars from The Beatles to Tenacious D as occasionally playing off, debasing, or even purposely contradicting classical practice, surely one cannot say that classical music stands as their root, even if we bear in mind that it had much to do with the development of notation and the tonal system. And, if we were to consider the history of world music, this too has seldom engaged with western classical music, even when it has had any exposure to it. Of course, it might well be that Lloyd Webbers point works far better in reverse: classical music has often absorbed many other forms of music into its vocabulary and performative gestures, somehow transforming them into a music that is quite distinct from the sum of its parts. In this way, classical music may have something of the quality of an enzyme to borrow a metaphor from Stephen Greenblatt perhaps it is a practice that absorbs many elements (including those indigenous to its own traditions), but somehow changes their meaning and content in ways that cannot necessarily be predicted in advance. Perhaps, then, we should be viewing classical music as something exceptional rather than as the norm. But would such exceptionality necessarily be something that defines it as a


Review of the Session 2007-2008

universal, transcending all other forms of music, or is it rather an exception in the sense of being a temporary deviation from the general cultures of world music? This is one of the main questions I will be trying to address here. What about the voices opposed to Lloyd Webber in the article from The Observer? Tina Redford, project manager at MusicLeader North West (an organisation addressing the professional development of music teachers), states that Music education and teaching methods have to modernise A music leader in a classroom has to have an intrinsic sense of liking and valuing young people, listening to their ideas and responding to them. The only way to do that is to engage with the kind of music they want to make, not what others want to prescribe to them. We are trying to get away from a didactic teaching style and classical music is seen as didactic. Again, one may agree with some of the sentiments here, such as the desirability of a diversity of music within the educational environment. But there are surely some things here that send the fingernails of our ears screeching down the blackboard of our minds: modernisation is a particular word that has assaulted us over the last decades. Seldom does it now refer to such laudable

aims as, for instance, the redressing of historic inequalities, the eradication of poverty, or even, necessarily, the sort of progress in science that unequivocally brings an improvement in the human condition. As Fredric Jameson has recently noted in relation to Oskar Lafontaines memoir of his fate under Schroeder in Germany, modernizers today understand little other than the economic and social adaptation to the supposed constraints of the global market Modernity has simply become a word for the conformity to such economic constraints the question of how we want to live together and what kind of society we want has become a completely unmodern question and is no longer posed at all. Indeed, as Jameson suggests, people like Lafontaine are unmodern because they are still modernists it is modernism that is unmodern modernity however, in the newly approved positive sense, is good because it is postmodern. That Tina Redford is using the term modernise in a postmodern sense is perhaps substantiated by the implication that schoolchildren are essentially customers, with their pre-given interests and desires. This is part of a trend in education towards an insipid sort of naturalism that sees each person or group as a ready-made particular, best left unscarred by any didactic universals. It further


suggests that everything good about music is fundamentally natural, pre-given in all its dimensions within the human psyche. If there is some symmetry between the pre-modern and the post-modern, one might wonder whether this represents a return to the old scholastic prohibition against curiosity in the unknown or unfamiliar, against changing the order at hand and violating our inborn place within that order. But the religious order previously protected against violation is now reoccupied by that of the global market, posing as an ideal democratic principle. If this sort of attitude is hardly conducive to the cultivation of classical music, it is surely barely any better for the health of popular music, since it tends to efface the abrasive or oppositional elements of any music whatsoever. Given that what we call classical music has seldom generated profits, even at the times of its greatest influence, it does not fit so naturally into our world where, increasingly, everything must have an economic cost (again, the same might be said of much other music besides). Therefore, it is difficult to cultivate as an art available to all, whether in terms of its audience or its creation, if it is not afforded some degree of privilege in education and the allocation of public or charitable resources; it requires far more in

terms of general effort and time than most other forms of music. If it is left to take its place, equally, beside the other forms of music, it follows that the personal choice to indulge in classical music becomes increasingly expensive. The claim that classical music is essentially elitist and therefore does not belong to the ordinary person, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. In an environment where the only generally agreed index of value is that which can be quantified this is the essential assumption lying behind John Careys recent polemic, What Good are the Arts? there is no way that anyone can unarguably claim that classical music has any particular value at all, especially if the only way to find out is for everyone to fill in an endless chain of questionnaires. Most significantly and this is perhaps the factor that has changed most over the last few decades the classical music culture has traditionally involved substantial amateur participation in music making, whether this be in large, choral societies, amateur instrumental groups, or simply performance alone at home. Roland Barthes and Edward Said, as ardent amateur classical musicians, stood out as part of a dying breed of intellectuals who felt that their hobby developed their thought and perception in ways that could not otherwise

Review of the Session 2007-2008

have been acquired. But nowadays it is clear that many capable people outstanding intellectuals included get by perfectly well without any encounter with classical music; that the demise of civilization so often predicated on the advent of rock and roll still seems yet to materialise; and, most tellingly, that august journals such as the LRB are more likely to review books about Bob Dylan than Mozart. Does this all suggest that classical music somehow belongs only to the past? This will be another question underlying much of what I have to say, but at this stage my provisional answer is, frustratingly perhaps, yes and no. To begin with, we do need to guard against the assumption that all was somehow rosy for classical music over the last two centuries; that scores of respectable, decent citizens queued up in an orderly fashion for endless concerts and operas. Moreover, if classical music were indeed to have been so directly complicit in oiling the wheels of the industrialised West we might indeed be correct in seeing it as of its time and now to be superseded by music more conducive to our age of diversity and equality. Whilst classical music clearly has to carry the burden of a few threads of respectability in its genealogy dont we all? its history is surely much more varied and ambigu112

ous. Funding was never straightforward or even ubiquitous, nor was universal education in the art, whether for composers, performers or listeners. Indeed, many of the inherited traditions within classical music, at least in the UK and US such as its place in education or the public provision of orchestras were the product of a particular modernist mindset that reached its highpoint only in the middle of twentieth century. What I am edging towards then, is the notion that any strength the classical music tradition has had lies in the way it sits between the establishment confirming the status quo in sound, as it were and that which opposes or subverts it, or at least propels it beyond its secure assumptions. If I understand it aright, it is an art that takes inherited orders as its starting point for a critique of all our assumptions. I am beginning to suggest, then, that classical music is of a piece with the fundamental attitudes and reflexes of modernity itself. My argument now needs to proceed by trying to define what both classical music and modernity might be, in order ultimately to give more flesh to that yes and no answer. After that, the question would then be, does classical music still belong to us and do we still belong to moder-


nity? Inevitably, much of this latter question will have to remain unanswered here. Is there anything substantial that can unequivocally identify classical music as more than merely an example of music in the more general sense? After all, it is hard to dispute that there is much that classical music and most other forms of western music have in common in terms of melody, mode, rhythm and harmony. Greendays Basketcase is a song that in its essential harmonic frame is almost identical to Pachelbels Canon. Whether or not this latter is a genuine example of the Lloyd-Webberish flow from the classical to the more popular, surely what is more striking is that the similarities between these two pieces lies in the basics of the tonal system that is common to both genres. The bass line of Pachelbels Canon is one of the generic expansions of the perfect cadence (V-I), which is, as it were, the most fundamental dynamic impulse of the tonal system. It is not surprising then, that this crops up in a variety of music indeed, precisely the same pattern underlies Puff the Magic Dragon as well. Given that much classical and virtually all popular and traditional music share common tonal underpinnings, it does not take much to turn a classical piece into one that sounds more popular, and to

classicise a popular one. More challenging is the fact that a piece of unadulterated classical music can take on an entirely different ethos if it is used in a way outside its customary home in the concert hall: Vivaldis Four Seasons becomes a different, not always welcome, animal when a company switchboard puts us on hold for half an hour, and Wagners Ride of the Valkeries is somehow translated into another language when heard as part of the sound track to Apocalypse Now. Perhaps, then, the safest way of distinguishing classical music from competing musical languages is to suggest that it tends to display a combination of certain tendencies or attitudes rather than essential qualities: e.g. it tends towards more complexity than most surrounding music; it usually requires the cultivation of a specific, and somewhat abstract, method performance technique or compositional theory before it can be created; it displays a degree of written-ness, that is, the development of a sort of sound structure that is sometimes best created and recorded in notation; it has a tendency to subsume diverse musical gestures within a broader, dialogic argument. But it is surely best not to identify it solely in terms of its specific musical substance. We surely have to take into account at least some of the attitudes and

Review of the Session 2007-2008

tendencies of the cultures that accompany it. These might include the ideal of listening to the music in dedicated spaces where the listeners attention is as fully engaged as possible, and usually without direct physical participation; a culture in which the musical practices termed as classical are seen as beneficial in terms of education and continuing personal development again, a specific method is often cultivated and practised, prior to the music-making proper. It also presupposes a society in which there is a sufficiently numerous paying public to finance both the space and the performances. In other words, classical music is a particular historical construct that includes a menu of performative and receptive practices as much as compositional structures; its an ensemble of things that came together at a specific historical juncture and therefore could equally dissolve when the historical conditions that accompanied its emergence begin to dissipate. Already you might be thinking up problematic questions as to when classical music actually emerged. If it is essentially to be connected with concert-hall practice and that sense of moral self-improvement that the Germans termed Bildung, then its emergence would unequivocally have to belong to the late eighteenth century. This is the

conclusion of Karol Bergers very recent searching study of musical modernity, where he identifies the classical style specifically with a new form of human autonomy, distinct from the order of the cosmos, in which God becomes a metaphor for harmony rather than, as before, harmony a metaphor for God. But, if this account is correct, Pachelbels Canon, Vivaldis Four Seasons and the entire works of Bach and Handel would then have to count as pre-classical (as indeed they do in traditional historical categories of western music, where the term classical tends to be more strictly reserved for the generation of Haydn to Beethoven). One way out of the problem of excluding music predating the classical era is somehow to retrofit it as classical music. The obvious example of this is Bachs St Matthew Passion, which was rediscovered by Mendelssohn in 1829 and received by the German public as one of the greatest of all classical works, a sort of Old Testament to the New of Beethoven and his followers. Another strategy might be to note how earlier music may provide one or more of the vital strands that contributed to an eventual full-blown culture of classical music: the development of an official canon of music within the plainchant repertory; the successive emergence of modality,



polyphony and rhythmic complexity; the implications of using notation. The place of music in the Middle Ages as one of the scholastic seven liberal arts (indeed on the more prestigious, theoretical side: the quadrivium) meant that music retained the aura of its Pythagorean links to the essential proportions of the cosmos. The eventual emergence of classical music might well be a sort of reoccupation of the prestigious position music had retained throughout the Middle Ages, both in terms of cosmic theory and its ubiquity in liturgy, court and civic life; this gave the music concerned a sense of canonic identity. Therefore, there is no obvious point at which early music ceased and classical music began: as one model moved to the other, strands of the older and newer conceptions lay side by side. Some aspects of classical music culture may have been partly accidental, in any case. At the outset of the seventeenth century, music that was specifically geared towards human emotion and expression was very much in vogue: a product of humanism that seemed to forsake lofty cosmic ideals yet remained nave in its naturalism. This idiom was soon to be heard in church, court and the newly emerging public venues, particularly those associated with opera. Yet musics

direct connection with a specific text did not seem as secure as the reformers might initially have imagined: for, by developing some of the techniques of musical construction that had been inherited from the sixteenth century, music seemed capable of pursuing a life of its own, certainly paralleling human emotion and the implications of text, but not necessarily confining itself to these. In other words, however much humanist reformers at the end of the sixteenth century (together with many later music critics) might have prized music for its supposedly natural qualities, what was becoming increasingly effective was precisely its artificial quality, its deviation and modification of supposed natural principles. With this potential for autonomy came the sense that musical works were individuals, following their own implications and potentials, and thus almost of a piece with the individuality of those who created it. Discrete musical works also began to adopt a series of internal laws, checks and balances that paralleled Hobbess theory of the artificially structured state in other words, something that eschewed the immediate dictates of nature in order to mediate between the competing forms of power and authority.

Review of the Session 2007-2008

Perhaps the most dynamic aspect of this developing musical culture was the tension between a sense of the universal and the particular: music could articulate, represent, or even actualise both a more conservative sense of an established order that which corresponds to pedagogic method - and a radical sense of individuality. It could develop a feeling of alienation, resistance or even opposition to the surrounding orders. In other words, it works dialectically in the way it seems to have an inbuilt contradictory nature, one which leads to results that can never quite accurately be predicted. If this thumbnail sketch is accurate, it describes a world of music utterly remote from that of the supposedly modernised classroom, which mirrors the choices of its students or engages them in a range of practices cleansed of didactic, methodical content. The idea of a music that has to do with human, spiritual or moral order and that simultaneously challenges, subverts or utterly opposes such orders, seems to be an ontological category entirely foreign to a conception of music that expresses the self with the apparent spontaneity of an unmediated bodily function. Having looked at the way classical music developed within specific historical parameters, what do these same conditions tell us

about the western modernity that I propose is of a piece with classical music. First, modernity itself is in the wider course of humanity the exception rather than the rule, however much we might today use terms like modern and modernise as normative categories of unlimited progress. The concept of modernity, which I am trying both to define and co-opt, might seem unorthodox to some in the field of musicology, which has tended to avoid the term as a broad historical category and generally associates the modern with the specific stylistic category of modernism. This is applied to progressive music from the late nineteenth century to the last decades of the twentieth. It may well be that musicologists have avoided engagement with modernity and all the broader cultural issues that this implies because of the autonomy that western music seems to have acquired through that very modernity, and specifically through the intensified ideology of modernism; namely, a sense that music stands apart from all other considerations. Historians, on the other hand, have long used the broad categorisation by which the Ancient World is separated from the Modern World by the Middle Ages. Modernity thus has its beginnings in the era of the


Renaissance and Reformation and is fed by the scientific revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Culturally, it surely has some real presence in Montaigne, Shakepeare and Cervantes, the philosophy of Locke, Hobbes, Descartes and Spinoza. It reaches both a peak and a crisis at the time of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution and thereafter forges ahead with the industrial revolution and the increasing dominance of capitalism. It is thus tempting to divide it into three historical phrases: the first dating from the sixteenth century to the end of the eighteenth; the second, from the time of the French Revolution to the late nineteenth century; and the final phase characterised by modernism. By this model, the second phase would neatly coincide with Karol Bergers conception of our modern music, that which is traditionally termed classical and romantic music. However, it is impossible to give the concept of modernity hard and fast chronological markers. While the Renaissance, with its restoration of a lost antiquity, could not be considered modern in itself, its oppositional mechanism could well have been significant, since this was indeed something that was soon to be engaged against the very antiquity it previously envied. In other words, many aspects of modernity

were inaugurated within earlier traditions, their eventual effect being entirely unanticipated when they first arose. Some theoretical traditions usefully define modernity as a qualitative category a sort of attitude rather than as chronologically bounded, thus allowing that elements of it might well appear in periods long before the post-Medieval age. This also allows that there can be considerable strength in non-modern traditions within the age when modernity seems to dominate. Indeed, it may be that modernity is healthiest when it interacts with traditions that it is either trying to surpass or that, in turn, challenge it. This sort of modernity thus retains a dynamic quality which could become ossified if that which is modern finds no resistance. In all, the precise bounds of modernity are dependent on the sort of narrative one adopts to explain it, as if it contains the seeds of a story that can be unfolded in several ways. Well-worn theories associate modernity with various developments in the way the cosmos was believed to cohere: foremost is perhaps the concept of disenchantment (Max Webers famous term), a retreat from the magical significance of the world and human practices, the extirpation of animism (Horkheimer and Adorno). With this came the view that the cosmos was not necessar117

Review of the Session 2007-2008

ily constructed entirely for mankinds benefit, so that a new form of human initiative is required to render the natural world amenable to human purposes. This is what Hans Blumenberg terms the burden of self- assertion. With the development of the new scientific method, it became necessary to adapt man to the impersonal reality uncovered by repeatable experimentation. But this distinction between reality and the human condition also brought with it the contrary tendency: to adapt that reality to the needs and purposes of man. The most positive aspect to arise from this is the potential to see reality as that which is most actual and immanent, rather than as something spreading well beyond our immediate experience; this is what might give modernity its restless and ongoing energy. Yet, this supercharged sense of reality often required a re-invention of the transcendent hidden reality to give it support and justification. While the birth of the nation state is one of the most palpable inventions of modernity, deriving from its tendency to divide phenomena into manageable units, which are then rationally governed as efficiently as possible, such units are invariably buoyed up by the reinvention of myths relating to their identity and cohesion. Again, modernity is

almost always something which works in counterpoint with nonmodern elements, the interaction often resulting in a change on both sides, an unpredictable synthesis that is itself rarely stable. Roughly simultaneous with the beginnings of self assertion in the Renaissance and Reformation was the breakdown of the medieval chivalric tradition and the complex customs and interactions of various classes, dominated by aristocratic and military etiquette. Cervantes satire on the old order, Don Quixote, clearly demonstrates that this had irrevocably declined by the early seventeenth century. What is less certain is what the disintegration in this order actually led to, although it clearly left a space for new ways of defining the self. Some commentators point to the steady breakdown of the assumption of resemblance and interconnectedness between all facets and dimensions of the world and universe (something also central to Cervantes satire). This has been most famously theorised by Foucault in recent years, but was already openly articulated by Descartes: it is a frequent habit when we discover several resemblances between two things, to attribute to both equally, even on points in which they are in reality different, that which we have recognised to be true of only one of them. The concept of


resemblance has undergone many forms of revival within even the strongest eras of modernity, most significantly in the various forms of musical Romanticism. Thus, again, modernity cannot be thought of as a monolithic movement, not inflected by survivals from the past and restorations in the present. Older elements often become spheres of knowledge and practice developed along their own trajectories. Moreover, the inevitable tensions between the various practices, ancient and modern, generate a sense of movement, whether positive and progressive or negative and alienating. If Descartes views reflect a broader state of affairs in the midseventeenth century, this breakdown in the system of resemblance may well have led to the increasing autonomy of different activities and practices developed more for their own sense of coherence than for the way they might automatically relate to other things. The development of different activities independently of one another could, technically, be infinite and ongoing, thus engendering a sense of openness in terms of both reality and the human mind. Something of the excitement at the opening of new horizons is captured by the print of the Pillars of Hercules on the title page of Francis Bacons Instauratio Magna

of 1620. One gets the sense of the possibility of breaking out of an enchanted circle of interconnected elements and that, having chosen a direction in which to sail, the journey could be potentially endless. Pragmatically, separation could also be exercised in the name of efficiency, something most obviously demonstrated in the concept of division of labour necessary for industrialised societies. It was precisely this same division of labour which facilitated the development of the modern symphony orchestra, where every player has a specific place and a single instrument to perfect to the highest possible level, through methodical practice of an approved pedagogical system. If, in one sense modernity led, through the division of labour, to alienation for the individual, in another way it led to a consolidation of the individual. Given that reality has to be constructed, as much as it is duplicated or mirrored, the question of how it is represented from each individual viewpoint becomes more pressing, something obvious in the development of perspective in painting. Modernity is thus frequently related to the development of instrumentalised rationality, the ability to adapt rational principles from one situation and apply them in another, thus progressing the material comforts of humankind.

Review of the Session 2007-2008

Max Webers conception of equal temperament in music as an essential element of rationalisation is, of course, particularly telling here. The standard accounts of the development of the human subject within modernity tend to stress its sense of autonomy and freedom from the constraint of the inherited orders into which it was born; yet this has to negotiate with other subjects in order to achieve a society that is both harmonious and progressive. This approach immediately risks a level of generalisation, though: after all, were there not recognisable human subjects before the mythical dividing line between modernity and pre-modernity? Is not the variety of subjecthood within modernity so extremely great as to render the concept of a modern subject meaningless? Charles Taylor links the growing sense of internalisation with the turn against an external, preexistent order that is found and that determines our station and role in life, towards a form or order that is made with our own minds; this is something made overt in Descartes work on subjectivity. Of course, something of this inward turn was evident in Augustine, but there it was coupled with a sense of the moral sources as lying outside us, which

are by definition good (like Platos cosmos). Descartes move was to make such moral sources internal to the individual. This by no means excluded the divine origin of such internal moral sources, but made these independent of the order of the external world and cosmos. Thus the essence of modern ethical and political thought was to lie in the subjects sense of his or her own dignity, something to be enhanced and developed over and above the disenchanted matter of the world. This was seeded in Descartes conception of the subject and later developed much more overtly in the moral system of Kant. This is not to say that the modern subject is to take a reckless attitude to the external world as something that is merely the plaything of subjectivity, but rather that the orders of nature do not automatically determine our inner nature, that our rationality demands that we accept the outside world in relation to the evidence it offers, our models for understanding it always being subject to modification and improvement. Rationality is thus procedural rather than a substantive, ready-perfected vision of reality. Before turning more directly to the way that music might relate to this sense of modern subjectivity, I will briefly suggest another contextual element that arose at


precisely the same time that classical music came into being. I would suggest that the sort of music emerging with modernity acquired much of its apparent power precisely through doing musically what the modern novel was doing textually, in other words, as a sort of fiction that brought its own, new form of truth. Catherine Gallagher relates the development of the true fiction of the novel specifically to modernity, to that attitude of speculation and scepticism which led the reader of novels to entertain speculations about the believability of the characters and actions, to hypothesise about motives and outcomes. This sort of fictionality exercised the reader in gauging the likelihood of possible outcomes, something vital in negotiating new forms of commerce and enterprise. As she perceptively puts it, ordinary people had to exercise the ability to suspend literal truth claims in order to accept paper money. Thus most of the developments associated with modernity required precisely the kind of cognitive provisionality developed in the novel, a sort of fiction that was accepted and fostered for some sort of practical convenience. The characters of novelistic fiction are open, inviting the reader to bring them to life, internalised in a way that would be impossible were they to

represent actual people. This sort of internalisation is not necessarily the direct identification that many critics of the bourgeois sensibility of the novel have assumed, but something much more open and flexible, enabling the reader to reflect on his or her own unfathomability in contrast to the knowability of the novelistic character. It is thus more an exercise in flexible self-creation than one of recognising a completed model of oneself behind the text. Moreover, as Descartes tried to show in Le Monde, the notion of fictional worlds becomes the prototype for the way we gain our knowledge of the real world, as if we were imitating Gods creative capabilities, trying them out on a fictional world in order to adapt them to the real world. The representation of the world becomes a form of metaphor, a representation of what things ideally should look like, rather than something essentially of a piece with nature, as metonymy. Having brought up the relation of music, not only to modernity as a broad cultural attitude, but also to the novel, I am perhaps beginning to fall victim to a very common problem in recent music scholarship. That is the tendency to translate music into other phenomena, to reduce it to more concrete and readable models, particularly the verbal. However,

Review of the Session 2007-2008

having used such models as analogies in order to bring music out of its habitually autonomous territory, I now suggest that the type of music I am addressing is specifically important because it also helps to constitute modernity in the very process of reflecting it. Taking the novelistic analogy as a starting point, it is clear that most forms of music imply some sort of narrative and also some sort of voice. Indeed, the latter can, as in novels, be quite multiple, but, given the way lines and gestures can be combined simultaneously in music, this can present multiple voices and associated viewpoints in a way that is entirely unique. While some forms of musical narrative can come closer to the novelistic than others sonata form for instance what is significant is that a narrative element is palpable in music precisely because it is performed in time. A listener will try to piece together elements of narrative in any music which contains a plethora of events and gestures. Indeed, it is this stronger form of listenership akin to the reader of a novel that makes classical music so significant in the development of the modern subject. In hearing relationships both between figure and ground if the music profiles a specific melodic line and between events passing in time, one is not just testing out a possible world, as one might in reading a novel, but

exercising a form of consciousness over time. And what is specifically significant about this form of consciousness is that it is purposely artificial, based on fictional musical events. Let me suggest that ways in which this form of artificial consciousness is different from that of a premodern experience. One of the most perceptive accounts of experience of the self in time from the ancient world is Augustines self analysis of the recitation of a psalm thus something that could well have been a musical experience as much as verbal. He overcomes the problem of the pinpoint subjectivity of the present by noting the persistence of the minds attention and how it is through this that the expected passes into the memory. Before beginning a psalm, his faculty of expectation engages the whole, but as he begins to recite, this future expectation pours through the consciousness into the memory rather like the sand in an egg-timer. From the experience of reciting a psalm, Augustine abstracts the way we encounter both small durations and longer, including life itself and the whole history of mankind. Music, in this sort of consciousness, thus helps to attune us to a greater reality that is entirely pre-given and to which the state of attention aligns us. There are of course, many other ways in which music can exercise our sense of being: dance


music can regulate a predictable flow of physical movements in space as well as time; music can also be used to express precisely the feelings we are experiencing at any particular time, the type of person we believe ourselves to be or the cultural group to which we belong or wish to belong. None of these modes and more are necessarily excluded in the culture of classical music, as I have been outlining it; rather I would suggest its crucial element is that of fictionality, of the construction of a form of consciousness that is not merely an amplification or confirmation of what is already given or expected. I do not have time to do anything more than sketch out what I mean by this relationship between classical music and modern subjectivity. My current work specifically addresses the passions of Bach, which are significant in this regard since so much about the intention lying behind them is surely of a pre-modern mindset: texts concerning the universal sinfulness of mankind, as a state dating back to the beginnings of human time; or the sovereignty of Jesus as something wound into the very fabric of the word and all creation. Musically, too, the textures tend towards a consistent web of harmonic certainty, music which is so technically confident that it might reflect the very unseen structure of the cosmos that surrounds us and of which

we are a symptom. Yet, in practice, the results can be entirely surprising. When Jesus speaks only three lines in the long second half of the St Matthew Passion, we hardly notice his absence, since the large number of emotionally-charged arias, sung by personages constructed in our present rather than in the past of the story, together point to him in their varied ways. Following Hobbes, we might infer that the monarch is constructed through the very authority of his free subjects, who together authorise him through their own intensified subjectivity. Moreover, in the arias themselves, there is a constant dialectic between the singers as personages entirely dependent on the material of the music that brings them to presence and their melodic independence from this web of musical connections. And, as listeners, we hear these abstract but emotionally-charged personages emerge in the course of their ariosos and arias, as musical characters who are built up through conformity to a pattern, or deviation and repetition. Sometimes, these characters acquire a sense of themselves through a subjectobject duality, by which we hear an emotion or flow of tears represented in the music, but viewed at a distance by the singer. This same subject object relationship can work at the level of listening: we can observe the construction of a

Review of the Session 2007-2008

musical subjectivity in time as an object from our own position, or we can make the same musical event part of our own subjectivity. Following the musical events of a Bach aria can have a sense of directional narrative, although this is much more a feature of later music, as Berger has shown. But, in the way so much of the music is the manipulation and creative elaboration of an initial body of sound, there is almost the sense that our expectation is exercised through an increasing enlargement of our initial experience. The progress of the piece both confirms and expands an initial burst of musical consciousness, deepening our experience as if in concentric circles. This form of subjective consciousness is quite different from that performed by coordinating oneself with a given reality, like Augustines recitation of a psalm. Neither does it necessarily have a specific aim in mind, such as the anticipated resolution of opposing elements: it is a sort of exercise in consciousness in and for itself. Of course, my study of Bach relates to what I would call the earlier stages of musical modernity. But similar issues would emerge for the study of classical music proper and later types. The period of the later eighteenth century brings in the obvious linear features of sonata form, by which the free and open dialectical elements of earlier music are

now directed towards a level of synthesis and resolution, precisely in the way many novels might be structured. Again, it is not the truth of the individual elements that counts, but the way they relate, both combining and inflecting one another in a process we can both view objectively and map as subjects in time. This is precisely the type of music which can absorb other musical influences and snatches of song and which thereby become something entirely different within the course of the musical fiction. In typically modern fashion, this music strips elements of folk music, dance, or even ancient church polyphony, of their supposedly natural truth and constructs something that is a new type of fiction. As we map this music with our consciousness, we might find ourselves facing particular moral quandaries. How are we to take it, for instance, when Mozart writes some of his most ravishingly beautiful music in his operas for characters we know are being flattering, dishonest or downright evil? Does the beauty of the music represent some sort of truth that belongs to us as listeners and which the singer does not directly hear? Or does the music teach us that fiction is all we have, but it is up to us whether we use it for good or ill? The crucial thing is that this music might encourage us to ask questions, feel ambiguities, try


out characters, ones that we might not otherwise have been able to experience. Later music might radicalise the subjectobject relations by rendering the music quite alien to our own feelings or sensations, an independent entity that is neither the continuous cosmos of premodernity nor the idealised bourgeois subject of the early nineteenth century. But there are countless ways in which this process might work; what they all have in common is the tendency for the music concerned not to take its elements at face value, as a form of truth continuous with the rest of existence. They all mostly presuppose a form of attention that is bounded by a time frame. Many within the modernist mindset tend to assume that supremely autonomous musics fictional truth is so refined and honest in its own integrity that it in fact outdoes any other kind of truth. It is supremely true because it is so distanced from the messy ambiguity of the rest of reality. With this in mind, it is easy to see how the later culture of classical music has so contributed to its own sense of exceptionality, the modernist outlook assumed to apply to the whole of this art of modernity, as I might call it. From this point of view, the advent of a postmodern mindset, which undoes the dichotomy of high and low culture, has provided a healthy

corrective. But, one could ask, might we also have lost a sort of productive tension between different types of culture? My thesis that classical music is something exceptional, invented within modernity, is substantiated by the fact that its canons belong largely to periods when modernity has been most in the ascendant. Other western arts and intellectual traditions, on the other hand, comprise a canon that stretches back into antiquity. However much music was cultivated in the ancient world, even as something with striking affective powers, it never in any sense developed as a body of exemplary works, and definitely none that went beyond monophony. If we do accept my thesis of classical music as not only reflective of modernity but also part of its very constitution, we then have to accept that it also brings with it both the positive and negative elements of that modernity. Human autonomy as something cultivated away from what seems to be naturally inherited is both wonderfully liberating and fulfilling, but also potentially oppressive and cruel. Artificiality enables us to escape naturalising prejudices and achieve things in technology, art and thought that we might never have believed possible; yet it can also take us so far away from our necessary grounding in the world that we are in danger of destroying the environment that grounds

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our existence in the first place. Universality, in the sense of bringing differences together and synthesising them into something new can both surpass the best qualities of the contributing factions or intensify the worst; moreover, it is very easy for a dominant faction to claim successful synthesis of all the others and exterminate anything that remains, the cultural equivalent of colonialism, perhaps. I would claim that it is classical music that expresses, represents and even constitutes all these things in musical time. One can easily think of examples where classical music seemed to be coopted as a force for the good Beethovens evocation of the free human subject free from hierarchy or domination, the various forms of musical resistance to Stalinist oppression or for the worst the co-option of Wagner and Bruckner by the Nazi regime. In its historical use, then, classical music might bring as many dangers as advantages, although it belongs to a modernity that is we might agree ultimately more successful than not. If it were entirely a safe sort of art, I doubt if it would have the importance that I am trying to attribute to it. But, if we are to believe that classical music contains a specific kernel of cruelty its origins in barbarism, as Horkheimer and Adorno would have said this could hardly refer to specific aspects of musical

content, since this would be to read a meaning into something that can carry no stable meaning. Rather it is the mechanism that is the central issue: music in modernity combines elements, plays them off one another within an artificial construction in such a way that the listener is invited, as never before, to hear meanings, resonances and significance. This is music that seems positively to encourage a diversity of reception, since it can work in both rhetorical and dialectical relation to virtually anything we bring to it. In a rhetorical mode of listening it will confirm our assumptions, beliefs or prejudices with remarkable conviction and certainty; in the dialectical it will put everything we assumed into question. If what is powerful about this music is essentially its mechanism, something similar to the thought processes of modernity, one can begin to understand how such mechanism can be put to a variety of uses. So what is the fate of this culture in our own time? First, it is impossible that the conditions of, say, the early nineteenth century can be recreated in such a way that the music has exactly the same, seemingly beneficial, effects and cultural aura that it supposedly had then. The notion of restoration is a sterile one if it is believed to take us back to exactly where we were once before. On the other hand, as I have argued


elsewhere, the concept of restoration in the present is considerably more promising if it becomes a part of our own creative practice. Theres also a sense in which restoration of past practices, values or ideas, helps to ground us in a feeling of historical continuum that replaces some of the roots that the more aggressive forms of postmodernism have tended to efface. Such roots might be entirely false, or for some people, entirely alien to their actual genealogy. But in many ways these roots are all we have, synthesised as they are in the wake of the alienation resulting from late modernitys purposive erasure of the past. Putting this more positively, historical roots of this kind are there for all to share, particularly for those who have benefited directly from some of the inclusive processes of western modernity and can now claim a stake in a cultural inheritance to which they were formerly denied access. Thus, if there is any time to break with the truism that classical music is essentially a bourgeois phenomenon, now is that time. Another point to consider is that what I have called classical music has always had the tendency to absorb and transform gestures and vocabularies from other types of music. The dialectical nature of this music as a process heard in real time means that it has the

potential to inflect whatever presuppositions we bring towards it in new stages of reception. In this sense, it is not necessarily worn out as historical conditions change, since its counterpoint of elements render it always already something that is changing whenever it is sounded. Thus, the presentation of existing classical music in ways that may borrow from popular or non-western musical practices is not necessarily to be condemned wholesale. The same goes for new composition, which can also benefit from interaction with other genres. But here the sense of the demise of a particular trajectory within modernity is particularly acute: until, say, the 1960s there was still the sense that classical music had gone through a sense of progress stretching back to the late sixteenth-century. The tonal harmonic language seemed to develop in ways that built upon gestures of the previous generation, but broke certain rules in order to push the musical language forward towards more complexity and expressive nuance. To Schoenberg and his circle, the development of tonality towards free and, later, structured atonality was an historical inevitability. If we can still admire certain composers say Tchaikovsky and Elgar, or those in the Italian opera tradition from Rossini to Puccini partly because they remained purposely resistant to certain aspects of

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musical progress, and thus quite modern in their own oppositional way, today it is exceptionally difficult to tell whether a contemporary composer is progressive, conservative, reactionary or avantgarde. Ironically, composers who adopt the technical complexities of 1950s high modernism, or indeed the aleatoric procedures of experimental music, might seem curiously old-fashioned, while some of those who write music in a simple, modal or neo-tonal style can seem up-to-date. With the demise of its specific trajectories, then, the culture of classical music has clearly changed; but this is something it shares with most of the arts. Creative restoration of past practices together with interaction with other forms of music are not merely options in ensuring its survival, they are absolutely imperative. Perhaps, like modernity itself, classical music is not going to endure without some form of positive effort. Contrary to the Lloyd Webber view, its universality is hardly self-evident and definitely not self-sufficient.

If classical musics integrative tendencies somehow survive in our time, even without its original sense of historical trajectory, we might also reconsider its traditional forms of resistance to the societal norm of its time (the same could be said of popular music, which is perhaps only in danger of becoming too popular to preserve its counter-cultural credentials). Learning to play an instrument, applying this technique to a sometimes alien repertory, developing a coordination of the physical and the intellectual are all somewhat counter to much of the culture we currently experience; none of these activities has an immediate purpose in our world of targets and measurable goals. But bringing up a new generation that works towards ends that cannot, by definition, be measured, might perhaps help us creatively to restore one particularly crucial strand of modernity: its striving for a world that transcends inherited prejudices and subverts the literalism of convenient, unthinking beliefs.



Professor Miles Padgett 26 November 2007 Does God Play Dice?

This lecture took place at Wallacetown, Primary School, Falkirk as part of an RSE Roadshow, organised by the RSEs Education Team. Professor Padgett also delivered this lecture at the Society on 1 September 2008 and a report is printed on page 187.


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Professor Ole Laerum CorrFRSE President, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and Professor of Experimental Pathology and Oncology, University of Bergen 3 December 2007 Cellular Clocks Professor Laerum began by saying that since there has been life on earth, organisms have had to adapt to variations in light, temperature and the changing seasons. For many years it was observed that plants, animals and humans responded to changes in light and temperature, but the reason for this was unknown. Then, around 1015 years ago, it was discovered that every single cell, not only in insects and higher animals, but also in the human body, has a clockwork mechanism that can keep the time. The process is controlled by specific genes. This led to an explosion in research and it was found that cellular clocks can be found in all types of organisms. This is an evolutionary development that dates back 700 million years. There are nerve cells in the middle of the brain the suprachiasmatic nucleii that Professor Laerum described as the master clock which controls time regulation in the body. This master clock is reset every day by pulses received from the retina of the eye in response to daylight. Without this light stimulus, the cyclical processes within the body would

slowly start to drift. Exposure to daylight is necessary to maintain equilibrium in the rest of the body. Light is, however, not the only factor, as genetic and environmental factors, such as temperature, also influence these processes. Every organ in the body has its own way of regulating time. The needs of the liver, for example, are totally different from the needs of the brain. Individual responses are thus required, but they all have to be co-ordinated with the rest of the body. The result is that each single cell in the body is coordinated with the others. Social behaviour can also influence the workings of this clock. Professor Laerum said it is a very complex mechanism, but the end result is a person who is in equilibrium with the outer world and all the cues to which he/she is exposed. Melatonin, which is secreted by the pineal gland during the night, plays an important role in this regulatory process. Production of melatonin results in, amongst other effects, a reduction in blood pressure and pulse rate and


feelings of drowsiness. Its main function is to prepare the body for renewal during sleep. Practically all the functions of the body operate in different time phases. For the heartbeat, it is a rhythmic process repeated every second, whilst others follow a day/ night pattern and some are seasonal. So-called circadian rhythms are governed by cellular clocks through specific genes. There are eight main genes involved which act by either suppressing, stimulating or modifying circadian functions in the cell. Around 10% of the nearly 30,000 genes in each human cell are directly controlled by these clock genes, whilst many others are under less direct secondary control. Cellular clocks act in most tissues and their main function is to help the body adjust to the external environment. There are two types of main time function in the body cyclic time, where processes are repeated periodically, and linear time, where activity is induced but then is halted, such as the growth phase at adolescence. Professor Laerum said his talk would concentrate on cyclic variations. This has developed into an extensive area of research which is now called chronobiology the

study of biological functions related to time, in its broadest sense. The gene suppression, stimulation or modification within cells means there are both negative and positive elements controlling functions in the cell. Professor Laerum considered why this should be important. He said cells are complex systems with more than 5,00010,000 different chemical process taking place, all of which need to be co-ordinated. Most of the time regulation that takes place is for the internal use of cells. He illustrated the variation that can happen over time by examining changes in body temperature throughout the day. It is at its lowest between 3 am and 5 am, starts to increase as we wake up and reaches a peak between 6 pm and 8 pm. There is a difference of 0.6 degrees centigrade between the maximum and minimum, which he described as quite a substantial variation. These variations are important, as there are many daily functions that are dependant on temperature. However, experiments that have involved raising body temperature to try to influence certain functions have proved unsuccessful, as these variations only occur in a restricted temperature range. Research has shown substantial circadian variations in many


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functions, including feelings of well-being and happiness. A group of psychologists have even examined when humans are at their happiest and have concluded that it is at 3.20 in the afternoon! Professor Laerum went on to describe the different cyclic variations of a number of hormones in the human body which rise and fall at various times of the day and night. His own research has involved trying to discover if stem cells vary in the same way as other cells. This has found that cell division in the bone marrow does vary throughout the day and night and follows a similar pattern to body temperature. Professors Laerums team has also shown that it is possible to induce clock gene activity in stem cells which, he said, may be important for the treatment of various diseases. There is evidence that clock gene activity can also be influenced in cancer cells. This is important, as it has been shown that clock function is disturbed in malignant cells, which may be why they divide in an uncontrolled fashion rather than at defined time periods. Most diseases also have a periodic component. They are not constant throughout the day or the year. Cardiac infarction and angina, for example, mostly occur at around ten oclock in the morning. This has been observed throughout

the world and may be connected to changes in blood pressure and heart rate that occur around that time. Resistance to pain is lower throughout the night and doctors and nurses need to be aware of this, said Professor Laerum. Asthma is worst during the night and peaks in the summer months. Most children are born throughout the night, as the onset of labour most commonly occurs at that time. Most people also die during the night, although the reasons for this are not entirely clear. People who are deprived of normal cues provided by exposure to daylight can also suffer symptoms such as depression, sleep disorders and stress. This can occur in people who are exposed to continuous daylight in summer and continuous darkness in winter. In conclusion, Professor Laerum said traditional rural life was much more in tune with cyclic variations in nature. People started work when it got light and finished when darkness fell. Now modern society had turned this upside down. People today are becoming more and more dependent on electronic communication and losing touch with the traditional pattern of living. This may be a disadvantage, but it may also have advantages and Professor Laerum said that discussion would be best left to the audience.



A short question session followed in which Professor Laerum was asked about the potential to give chemotherapy at specific time periods to maximise its benefit. He said a large European trial of colon cancer has shown that such a strategy delivered substantial improvements compared with conventional therapy. However, since then, new drugs have been developed and the question would have to be re-tested before a final answer was produced. The next question related to the implications for blind people whose brains do not receive any cues from exposure to daylight. Professor Laerum said people who are totally blind usually get disturbances. However, light is not the only factor, as variations in temperature can have an impact

on an individuals perception of the environment. Regular habits can also help. Professor Laerum was asked if there is a connection between circadian rhythms and epileptic seizures. He said that there is some evidence that strong light stimulates the brain and can induce epileptic seizures. In addition, manic depressive illness is more common in summer months when light is strong. Another question asked how complex organisms have to be to have these clock functions. Professor Laerum said clock genes have been found in uni-cellular organisms. It seems to be a universal system in all types of cells, he concluded.


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Johnny Ball 17 December 2007 Wobbling on the Shoulders of Giants

Johnny Ball started his public career as a stand-up comedian and went on to become one of Britains best-known TV presenters, making science fun for children. The title of his RSE Christmas Lecture, supported by the University of Edinburgh, was Wobbling on the Shoulders of Giants, and argued that too many people today focus on worry science rather than wow science blaming science for creating problems rather than solving them... Many in the audience had grown up watching Johnny Ball on childrens television, and had been inspired by him to study science. And after igniting a lively debate on global warming, Johnny came under friendly fire from some of his audience who had clearly been doing their homework. Ball is an evangelist for science, who declared at the start of his lecture that the most important subject you can learn at school is maths, and that maths will open doors to any future career. By the end of his talk, he had also declared that the greens have

demonised carbon dioxide, that Al Gore has exaggerated rising sea levels and that politicians should get out of science. He also argued strongly for nuclear power and asserted that wind power will not come close to the targets the government recently set, describing the UKs energy policy over the last few years as a farce. Ball kicked off the evening by describing how most major breakthroughs in science are not achieved by individual geniuses, but by successive generations who stand on the shoulders of others. To illustrate this, Ball used Newton as the primary example building on the theories of Galileo and Kepler to reach his own conclusions on gravitational motion. The use of props and volunteers to illustrate Newtons achievement made the lecture seem more like a game show at times, and that is what gets Ball excited: Science is supposed to be difficult, he said, but its so easy and so beautiful. Science also has the potential to transform our everyday lives, Ball suggested, but sometimes more effort goes into Formula 1 than


chemical formulae. There is not enough application of science in areas that matter, like medicine, he said. Ball is also concerned about the way that science is depicted in the media and has been hijacked by politicians. While radiation has been our salvation, according to Ball, providing energy and helping in medical treatment, the media portray it as a danger and the green lobby flatly rejects it. He also said that nuclear waste is a much smaller problem than critics suggest, and lamented that France now provides us with as much as 10 per cent of our power, most of it from nuclear reactors. More controversially, Ball also talked about climate change, claiming that the merchants of doom and gloom were harming the image of science. Greenpeace have demonised carbon dioxide, he said, adding that CO2 is only one 3,000th of the atmosphere and is a temperature retardant, not a warmer. He also questioned how we measure temperature changes to start with, pointing out that cities are hot spots which may distort readings. Then he claimed that recent floods in Bangladesh were probably caused by geographical factors, rather than by rising sea levels as a result of global warming, as some people claim.

Al Gores film An Inconvenient Truth predicted an imminent 20feet rise in sea levels, but does this take account of plate tectonics, Ball asked, adding that London has been sinking at a rate of 3mm per year since the time of the Romans or about 20 feet. Wind power has been held up as the answer to most of our energy problems, said Ball. But according to recent research, no wind farm has ever produced energy at even 25 per cent of its potential, which means that Britains target of 50 per cent may end up more like 10 per cent of total requirements. The new generation of nuclear reactors, said Ball, is eight times more efficient than the first generation, producing 10 per cent of the waste that it used to produce. The reactors are also four times smaller than they used to be and quicker to build. So why wind not nuclear? Ball asked. Scotland also came under attack, with Ball suggesting that over the last year, instead of providing the south with five per cent of its power requirements, we now import power from England. The efficiency of power stations using fossil fuels has improved by over 60 per cent over the last 12 years, claimed Ball, adding that providing cheap electricity to developing countries would lift them out of poverty faster than financial aid.

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If we use technology, and turn one child in 20 into a scientist, then we would achieve much more than energy cuts, Ball continued, saying that seven out of ten experiments in classrooms today are worry science, not wow science. Climate change has been outrageously overstated, especially by politicians, Ball concluded. But the future is brilliant! Even though he may have ruffled a few peoples feathers, no-one could accuse Ball of dodging his

critics. At the end of his lecture, he patiently debated the issues with a number of people who had stayed behind to comment both for and against. Several audience members were concerned that Ball was advocating points of view based on bad science, while others said that he was right to criticise the bad science used by the greens, and raise important questions that are sometimes ignored in the frenzy for end is nigh headlines.



Professor Geoffrey Boulton, OBE FRS FRSE Vice-Principal and Regius Professor of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Edinburgh 12 February 2008 Science, Innovation, Education: The Challenge to Society Edinburgh Consortium for Rural Research (ECRR) Peter Wilson Lecture The Enlightenment has posed humankind with a dilemma. The scientific knowledge we gained as a result of the Enlightenment empowered our species, but that in turn has brought us to the brink of overexploiting our planet. In a wide-ranging lecture, Professor Boulton argued that the Enlightenment also equipped us with the means to resolve the dilemma and that universities should play a central role in meeting the challenge. It was technology that saved our hominid ancestors from the uncompromising tread of evolutionary extinction. But it is only in recent years that the levers by which humankind has attempted to move the earth have been underpinned by science. Today, from communications to biotechnology, the endeavour is overwhelmingly based on scientific knowledge, driven, Professor Boulton argued, by the same rational, emperically-based approaches to understanding that fuelled the Enlightenment. Much had been achieved, from a deep knowledge of the chemical basis of life from which cures for

hitherto incurable diseases emerge, to computers capable of undertaking calculations in fractions of a second that just 20 years ago would have taken months. The communications revolution is currently changing global perception and awareness. While some hope this new world of information will foster tolerance and understanding, others are more pessimistic, claiming it is actually increasing disparities of wealth and is illmatched to our political structures and cultural assumptions. Professor Boulton said: It is certainly a world where moral, social and political progress has not kept pace with our mastery over the physical world. Predicting future technology is a dangerous pursuit, he said. For this reason, planning a national science base by picking winners is a disastrously bad strategy. Much better, he advised, to place a wide range of bets by funding a broad spectrum of activity. Scotland has an excellent research base in its institutes and universities first, in the world of citations of published papers in relation to

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gross domestic product, secondly for the impact of that research and thirdly for productivity. And in some respects, those same institutes and universities have become better than even those in the US at licensing intellectual property and spin-out companies. Nevertheless, Professor Boulton observed: that strength is a necessary but sadly not sufficient basis for knowledge-based economic growth, and he labelled Scotlands performance in commercially exploiting such strengths as quite lamentable. Even in the most researchintensive industries, Scottish companies spend less on research and development than their counterparts elsewhere in the UK. He suggested that the process of public procurement can stimulate the demand for the products of research and development in industry. But there is another side to this coin. The application of science, fired no doubt by Enlightenment ideals of progress, has eaten seriously into the Earths accumulated capital. Technology now permits people to utilise on average twenty times the amount of power than was available to the fittest of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Humankind used ten times more energy in the 20th century than in the preceding 100 centuries. While we are healthier and better fed than ever before, the demands

we make on our planet seem to be approaching its sustainable capacity. Fifty per cent of all the primary productivity of the continents is being sequestered for our use, along with sixty five per cent of all usable fresh water. Humankind is now a major geologic agent, each year moving as much mass of the Earth as the ice sheets, rivers and oceans. Some suppose that we have entered a new geological epoch which we might call the Anthropocene, he said. Professor Boulton noted that this engineering of the planet over the last century or so has been based on ignorance. But with a global population of 6.5 billion, projected to rise to nine billion by 2050, there is no turning back. We have, in my view, no option but to continue with that engineering, but with knowledge and wisdom. The key is to break down the popular but dangerous distinction between the natural Earth, of which humankind is somehow not a part, and our own, unnatural Earth. We are now a fundamental agency in nature and we have to concentrate ourselves on some of the profound political, philosophical, social and scientific issues that that understanding requires us to address, he said. Scientists and others have to make their understanding of such matters clear to both the public and politicians. To do so requires


an end to the tribal differences between scientists and social scientists so they can work together at the interface between public policy and scientific understanding. The most profound issue is climate. I believe that we can currently say that the probability of severe climate change with massive impacts is uncomfortably high, Professor Boulton said. And theres a high probability that these changes are driven by human action, by our emissions of greenhouse gases. The evidence is compelling and the latest data shows that the increase in emissions is greater than the most pessimistic scenario explored by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The implication of this is clear although the mitigation of change by pulling back our emissions is crucially important, we must now think seriously about adaptation. In addition, there is also the possibility of a sudden shift in climate. We have to recognise that the more the Earth moves into unknown territory, the less our science will be able to forecast the future, Professor Boulton said. It is unwise to poke a potentially dangerous animal with a stick, which is effectively what we are doing.

Analysing complex systems such as climate requires a new, more holistic approach to science. But scientists have already developed the technology required to do this the computer model. The importance of the model is now on a par with the experiment and theory that have constituted the scientific method since the Enlightenment. In my view, there has been an almost unnoticed scientific revolution in the last 20 30 years. For the first time, we can analyse coupled, nonlinear, complex systems, which are the open systems of everyday reality. The situation has created an interdisciplinary imperative that is overwhelming. But he said that society had been very slow in finding ways to embrace this. The universities, with their great breadth of knowledge, are ideally suited to respond to this challenge. They have the potential to reconfigure the way in which they work, to put teams together to address the many transdisciplinary issues that now face us. But they have been held back by the principal sources of their funding that keep everything in clearly defined silos, as well as by the conservatism of academic institutions. One might say that changing a university is like moving a graveyard you get very little help from the people inside.

Review of the Session 2007-2008

The impact of science on society makes it vital that science be more of a public and less of a private enterprise. This makes it crucial for scientists to engage more. But there were widespread public misapprehensions about science, such as the uncertainty involved in scientific knowledge. This causes problems when the science is difficult, the stakes high and the decisions urgent as was the case with BSE. Furthermore, there is distrust surrounding some of the powerful impacts that science might have on society, such as the issues thrown up by the cloning of a single sheep. Professor Boulton said he disagreed with those scientists who believed that if they could only make the public understand the science, they would support its proponents. If the Scottish government is to make some of the difficult decisions that it needs to make, such as, for example, in relation to climate change and energy generation, it will need to engage with the public to achieve public consent and the scientific research community must be willing agents of that engagement, he said. Universities have a central role to play. But while they have moved from the periphery to the centre

of many government agendas around the world, they are increasingly being guided by the conditions attached to their funding towards producing specific marketable commodities for their customers, be they students, businesses or the state. This is a mistake. Professor Boulton said that universities could only be one, possibly catalytic, part of the process of producing a successful knowledge economy. Rather, their central role should remain the task of making generation after generation of students think, giving them the ability to reduce chaotic information down to identifiable problems that might be resolved through rational argument supported by evidence. The point is to direct a students attention to that which, at first, exceeds their grasp but whose compelling fascination draws them after it. A combination of deep personal understanding and technical skills is a powerful alchemy that sustains a creative and innovative society, he said. The immediate demands of today are inevitably myopic, often ephemeral and give little thought for tomorrow. Universities at their most creative provide a vital resource for that future as well as an insurance against it. Professor Boulton said that the freethinking


university is being confronted by a new fundamentalism that finds the questioning of rational inquiry less comfortable than the certainty of dogma and revelation. But he believes it is important not to become too defensive and think ourselves into a conflict of civilisations. Instead, it is necessary to reassert our commitment to a common European ideal that fair and open societies can resolve legitimate competition between individuals and groups. I believe that one of the few things that stand between us and an accelerated descent into darkness is the set of values inherited from the Enlightenment. It is the only foundation for the aspiration to build societies for all human beings to live anywhere on this Earth for the common efforts to sustain that life and for the assertion and defence of their human rights as persons. In answer to questions from the floor, Professor Boulton noted that one of the great challenges our society now faces is

maintaining a functioning democracy capable of taking decisions as the old habits of command and control fade. We are moving into a world where decisions are going to be required and a society that is unable to take them is likely to be a derivative society unable to cope with the challenges of the future. Sir Michael Atiyah, President of the RSE, asked whether the Enlightenment could be transplanted into other cultures. He suggested that different models might be needed. Professor Boulton responded that the West should not be too prescriptive and there were other routes being sought towards development. Nevertheless, he insisted: If you detach some of the principles of Enlightenment thinking from the cultural base, I think there is an echo.


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Captain Chris Air and Lance Corporal Jason Hare 45 Commando Royal Marines 27 February 2008 Arbroath High School The Commandos from Arbroath Famous Campaigns From the frozen wastes of Norway to the deserts of Afghanistan, this two-part lecture looked at the history and present-day reality of one of the most famous units in Britains armed forces. Capt Air and LCpl Hare provided a vivid account of the role that the Arbroath-based 45 Commando has played in many parts of the world. In some cases they have played a crucial part in fighting wars, at other times they have been peace-keepers, or brought relief in the wake of natural disasters. The brainchild of Winston Churchill, 45 Commando began life in1943 as a unit designed for raiding the Nazi-occupied ports of Continental Europe. Capt Air described many of the conflicts with which they had been involved from World War II through to the Troubles in Northern Ireland and more recently in Iraq. Their reputation as an elite force was established from the very start, when those who wanted to join faced a major challenge to even get inside the Commando training base at Achnacarry.

It was six miles from the railway station at Spean Bridge to the base. They got off the train in boots and carrying full kit and had exactly one hour to run to the base. After 60 minutes the gates were shut and anyone arriving after that time would be denied access, said Capt Air. Members of the unit, known as 4-5 Commando, rapidly earned a reputation for personal courage as well as toughness. One example was from Monforterbeek, in Holland, in 1945, when medical orderly LCpl H E Harden was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross after crawling 120 yards through the snow to dress the wounds of three comrades, and carrying one of them back under heavy mortar fire. Throughout the second half of the 20th century there were deployments in many of the worlds trouble spots. These included conflicts that shaped the political map of the world such as Korea and Suez. Since 1972, each tour of duty has meant a return to home base in Arbroath, a town from where the


captain said they drew enormous tremendous strength and support. During the Cold War 45 Commando became renowned as Arctic Warfare specialists, with all members undergoing extensive training in the mountains of Norway. This tradition is maintained to the present day as superb preparation for anything else a Royal Marine is likely to encounter. Capt Air said: We still train there because it is so demanding and prepares you for extreme conditions anywhere in the world. It teaches you to survive anywhere and gives you that mental toughness that you need. This was displayed in 1982 when 45 Commando were pivotal in the liberation of the Falkland Islands. After a long march through a hostile environment they took key Argentinean positions on high ground known as the Two Sisters during a rapid night attack. Soon afterwards they were welcomed by islanders as they marched victorious into the capital of Port Stanley. In the 1990s, following the first Gulf War, they found themselves in very different circumstances, when they protected Iraqi Kurds. We were part of Operation Safe Haven, providing a safety zone in Northern Iraq for the Kurds when Saddam Husseins police were slaughtering all the refugees,

said Capt Air. In the years since the 11 September attack on the World Trade Center, 45 Commando have been closely involved with the UKs anti-terrorism operations. Members of the unit were involved in the Second Gulf War and contributed to the swift defeat of Saddam Husseins forces. They were also active in Kosovo, at that time a province of Serbia, where they helped keep peace between rival Albanian and Serbian factions. In Nicaragua and Honduras they were able to bring aid to the victims of Hurricane Mitch. We dont just fight wars. We provide help and support in many different situations, whether its peacekeeping in areas of human conflict or relief work after natural disasters, said Capt Air. In the second part of the lecture LCpl Hare described his own experiences during two tours of duty in Afghanistan. This was accompanied by footage of comrades on patrol, in bases, enjoying meals with local people, and under enemy fire. In 2002 45 Commando conducted Operation Jacana, which was designed to force out Taleban and Al Qaeda fighters and destroy their weapons caches. The type of work involved going into villages, having a sit down with the local warlords and tribal

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leaders; we also gave medical treatment, and were gathering a bit of intelligence at the same time. It was harsh terrain and a harsh climate that we were soldiering in as we searched for the Taleban, who had basically done a runner into the mountains of Pakistan, said Cpl Hare. The units training in Scandinavia proved enormously valuable in Afghanistan, as did its experience in presenting itself as a force for peace. Past experience in politically tense areas such as Northern Ireland has provided a vital understanding of the need to win hearts and minds especially among people living in fear of reprisals from the other side. Most of the Afghans welcomed us, they wanted us there. But they were afraid, especially after all those years living under the Taleban, and with all the propaganda and not knowing who to believe, said Cpl Hare. More recently, he has served as part of Operation Herrick in Helmund Province, where 45 Commando has been engaged in heavy fighting to oust the Taleban and help the democratically elected government establish control. The tasks we had saw groups of our lads in Military Operation Liaison Teams working

with the Afghan National Army. We were showing them how to patrol and police so they can learn to handle these problems for themselves. And then we were giving them a bit of advice on how to handle the enemy. Apologising in advance for the language used by some of the troops in a recording of engagements with the Taleban, Cpl Hare said: We are boys, and we do get a bit excited. But this shows the nitty gritty of it, out there taking the fight to the enemy. He again emphasised that modern conflict situations are highly complex and are as much about supporting local populations and rebuilding infrastructure as they are about fighting. We have to be prepared for anything, any kind of incident at any time. The situation you find yourself in can change completely from day to day. The Lance Corporal also highlighted the importance of relationships between 45 Commando and the people of Arbroath as vital to troops morale. When we came home there were no big parades through the town or anything. But we felt our efforts were appreciated. People sometimes stop you in the street, shake your hand and say well done Royals, or even do what we like the best and buy us a pint, said LCpl Hare.


Following the lecture there was a vote of thanks by the Rector of Arbroath High School and an open question and answer session. Asked if they had learned anything from the tactics of Taleban and Al Qaeda, LCpl Hare said British forces have been involved in conflicts in Afghanistan a number of times and were always aware that Afghans are hard and resilient fighters. The Royal Marines responded to a question about whether the local community could do more to support them by thanking people for their efforts and saying they felt highly valued which was why so many chose to settle in the town after returning to civilian life. Asked about the reaction they got from ordinary Afghans, LCpl Hare said it tended to be very positive and supportive, with most wanting peace, stability and reconstruction rather than a return to Taleban rule. Questioned about how Northern Ireland had contributed to 45 Commandos skills, Capt Air said that the unit always tried to learn from

experience of previous generations. He added that working in Northern Ireland, and other places, had taught them the value of trying to earn the trust of civilians. On the issue of equipment levels for front line troops the soldiers said that these are improving. And they added that the way the British Army operates relies as much on high-quality intelligence, and superb training as on having the latest equipment. Final thanks to the speakers was offered by Sue Black OBE, Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology at the University of Dundee, who had chaired the lecture. She added that her own experience of working in Iraq had shown her just how accomplished British forces are at winning the confidence of local people. Professor Black expressed appreciation for the work 45 Commando does on behalf of the British people saying LCpl Hares modest comments were among the greatest understatements she had heard at an RSE lecture.


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Mr Douglas Anderson Founder, Optos plc 10 March 2008 Optos: The Design Challenges and Business Tribulations Joint Lecture with the Royal Academy of Engineering Optomap is a totally new (and disruptive) eye imaging technology aimed to improve preventative diagnosis of eye and general health problems. Based upon his personal experience of observing difficult manual eye exams undertaken on his five-year-old son, Douglas Anderson will describe the history and the secrets of the whole Optos story from sceptics originally saying it is impossible and not needed anyway right through the 15 year innovation and entrepreneurial processes. Today Optos (now LSE list plc) have 3000 users and over 13 million patients have benefited from this new type of eye exam. Examination of the retina is normally conducted manually in one of two ways. Either without dilating the pupil this is normally the standard in primary eyecare (optometry), or after dilating the pupil - in the UK this is normally only done within the hospital setting by an ophthalmologist. Un-dilated retinal exams are by their nature of low sensitivity causing a large number of patients to be referred unnecessarily (60%) into secondary care at considerable inconvenience and cost to all concerned (cost per initial referral to the PCT typically 100+). The high level of false positive referrals adds very significantly to waiting lists, which can be in excess of 22 weeks for non-urgent cases. Equally, because of the low sensitivity of un-dilated manual exams, many cases of clinical significance go undetected until the patients vision is badly affected. Late detection and referral in many cases, for example, Diabetic Retinopathy (DR), Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Inter Ocular tumours etc, will often result in poor outcomes for the patients, with high quality of life impact and cost to the community. In many other developed healthcare systems, for instance, the US and Germany, dilated exams are the norm for practitioners in the primary care setting. Today there are many emerging advances in treatment possibilities (some


driven by Optos technology) that use new pharmacological (such as anti - VEGF) or less dramatic surgical interventions (focal laser). These treatment possibilities are most effective when the condition is identified early. Optos technology makes it possible for a practitioner in primary eye care to consistently and comprehensively capture early indicators of retinal and systemic diseases evidenced in the retina (without the need to dilate the patients pupil) at a level of sensitivity that would normally only be accessible to a fully skilled ophthalmologist or retinal specialist conducting an advanced (dilated) manual examination. For Optos technology to be used to its greatest effectiveness clinically (and with cost benefit to the NHS) in detecting early disease and reducing false referral rates, its output (known as an Optomap - essentially a high detailed picture of 80%+ of the total retinal surface), needs adequate interpretation skills to be available. Sometimes these are present in the primary eyecare location and sometimes not. Where the skills are not adequate, an internet link to the secondary care ophthalmology setting is hugely effective in obtaining fast diagnostic support; examples of which might be to (a) send the patient for urgent attention, or (b) hold the patient and examine again in six months, or (c) release

the patient after findings of no clinical significance. It is worth noting that the diagnostic skills of Optomap users accelerate quickly, and clear referral thresholds are greatly helped when practitioners have on-screen image content to work with. There is an unjustified fear from some UK ophthalmologists that Optomap technology will actually increase referrals. While early users find much more pathology, they quickly learn those of low clinical significance (Optos provides online and other diagnostic support for this purpose). In a limited trial in the Scottish borders the rate of physical referral was down 40%. Optomap technology is intended to be placed in primary eyecare locations (high street opticians, Diabetic screening centres) where patients have easy access, either as walk-ins with symptoms or because they are referred by GPs or, most often, because they are going for routine annual Optomap exams as part of Optos partners Wellness programme. Under Optos protocol of annual retinal examination, practitioners look for early eye and general health disease indicators. When significant pathology is found, the patient may be referred immediately (electronically) for a second opinion from a local or geographically remote secondary care

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specialist, and a decision made as to the necessity and urgency of physical referral. The second opinion can generally be obtained the same day. This compares with the conventional route via a letter posted to their GP, often containing little diagnostic information, requesting referral to a consultant ophthalmologist that may result in a protracted waiting period for the patient to be seen. The Optomap retinal exam is designed to be a fast and very patient-friendly experience, even for young children. It is capable of detecting a huge range of eye and systemic diseases that present indicators in the eye often while the disease is otherwise totally asymptomatic. These include Diabetic Retinopathy, AMD, Glaucoma, Hypertension, Cardiovascular disease, Bowel

Cancer, Inter Ocular tumours, Leukaemia, Stroke Risk and many others. Because the Optomap Retinal Exam is accessible, fast, non intrusive and does not require pupil dilation, annual compliance is high. It is part of the annual Wellness protocol that clinicians also invest time in helping patients understand the consequences of the disease they may have or the fact that they are in fact healthy, using the on-screen Optomap image. This educational experience is universally embraced by patients and greatly improves their sense of being well cared for. The fact that the practitioner also has a datum for future comparison is hugely helpful for long-term patient management.



The Rt Hon Lord Fraser of Carmyllie QC Formerly MP for Angus, Minister of State at the Scottish Office, Minister for Energy and Shadow Leader of the House of Lords Currently a Privy Councillor, Honorary Visiting Professor of Law at Dundee University, Honorary Bencher of Lincolns Inn, London and member of the Scottish Broadcasting Commission 25 March 2008 The Red Lichties and their Impact on the Rest of the World The American Declaration of Independence, lawn tennis and even the adhesive postage stamp all owe much to Red Lichties. The Arbroath area has produced more than its fair share of great men and women across the centuries. Lord Fraser offered an informative and entertaining insight into the lives and work of some of them, from the 18th century to the present day. Not all are widely known, but each helped shape the modern world. Whether their names are celebrated or forgotten, Red Lichties have long displayed a gift for inventiveness and hard work. Lord Fraser underlined the point by choosing the oldest sea-washed lighthouse in the world at Bell Rock as the backdrop to his lecture. Thanks to the fine workmanship of the stonecutters of Arbroath, it has withstood the fury of the North Sea for two centuries. The blacksmith whose metalwork was equally vital to its strength had just six hours day in which to work before the rising tides extinguished his furnace fire. The workmens spirit of determination left its mark on history. So too did the efforts of the Reverend Patrick Bell, 19th century minister of Carmyllie who, witnessing the backbreaking efforts of agricultural labourers, was inspired to invent the reaping machine. When you next see an American movie with a massive combine harvester working its way across vast prairie-like fields, its worth remembering that the basic principles on which it operates have changed very little from the days of Bell, said Lord Fraser. The audience had been welcomed into the lecture theatre to the sound of Bob Dylans From a Buick 6, a song that could never have been written had it not been for a Red Lichtie. David Dunbar Buick was described by Lord Fraser as the maker of the finest and most beautiful motor cars the world has ever seen and was founding father of General Motors. He reflected that the $10 million that Buick was worth in 1920 meant his fortune was greater than that

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of 21st Century Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates. Regrettably, like some other Red Lichties, his capacity for inventiveness was not matched by business sense and Buick died poor. Before applying his talents to the motor industry, he had worked out how to attach enamel to cast iron. The technique was applied to everything from typewriters to the once-ubiquitous enamelled baths that, after being eclipsed by plastic, are now back in fashion as expensive and sought-after features for period bathrooms. Most of us would have been perfectly satisfied if we had just done that much for humanity, but to have also been the founder of the greatest automotive company that ever existed seems to me to have been quite, quite remarkable. Shifting from the realm of manufacturing to moral philosophy, the next in what Lord Fraser described as a personal and idiosyncratic selection of great figures from Arbroath was William Small. As a young man of 24 he crossed the seas for a post at the William and Mary College in Britains American colony of Virginia where, despite malaria, he blossomed. The insanity of the head of the college and indifference of its deputy meant that Small was forced to take up the reins. Fraser claimed this daunting task yielded an invaluable legacy

for the academic world: He was so brilliant in all that he did that all the foundations of modern university teaching are probably attributable to him. Yet this was just one aspect of his influence. Among Smalls students was future American President and coauthor of the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson praised Small as the man who probably fixed the destinies of my life. More than this, he stands behind the founding vision of a nation as, according to Lord Fraser, it was the ideas that he developed in the intellectual foment of Enlightenment Scotland that were the basis of the Declaration of Independence. I always thought that this document broke new ground, not only in its beauty and simplicity of expression, but also in its profundity of intellectual thought. But I later realised that I was wrong. There is nothing new in that declaration. It was all from Scotland. It had all been thought about and argued about many years before Small went across. Another man who allowed others to fulfil his dreams was engineer James Shanks, whose lawnmowers included a roller, so they flattened as well as cut the grass. This innovation made possible the development of the smooth playing surfaces needed for the emergence of lawn tennis. Displaying an early machine,


around 120 years old, Lord Fraser said that without Shanks there would be no Wimbledon and Roger Federer may have grown up as an Alpine goatherd rather than a sporting champion. The idea was a winner, but the business ultimately failed. This may partly have been because the first Shanks mowers were so good they never needed to be replaced. Just as revolutionary was the contribution of James Chalmers, whom Lord Fraser lauded as the man behind the sticky postage stamp, ahead of rival claimant Sir Rowland Hill. Another Red Lichtie who has tended to be eclipsed by the fame of another was James Bowman Lindsay. He was the first person to discover how to create light by putting electricity through a vacuum and publicly demonstrated how it worked at the Thistle Hall, Dundee. Despite being in a position to revolutionise the world with the light bulb, he failed to patent the idea. It was thus left to American Thomas Edison to bring electric light to the world. With little obvious interest in commercial possibilities Lindsay, who Lord Fraser describes as a man of unbelievable genius instead devoted some 34 years to compiling a nowforgotten dictionary in 50 languages. Nonetheless he is still remembered as a pioneer of telegraphy and also had a

fascination for astronomy and religion ultimately being granted a pension by Queen Victoria for his contribution to science. And the towns fame continues into the modern age. Lord Fraser cited the Arbroath Smokie as a culinary dish so excellent the French have just about adopted it as their own. It also has a famous daughter to celebrate in Professor Anne Glover, Scotlands Chief Scientific Advisor, who also has a Chair in molecular and cell biology at the University of Aberdeen. Paying tribute to her trailblazing career Lord Fraser said: She is a leadingedge scientist who was born and bred in this place, and she is simply mega-brilliant. And it is wonderful to think that we have someone like her to carry forward the great Red Lichtie traditions. Following the lecture there was a vote of thanks by Principal of Angus College, John Burt OBE, followed by an open question and answer session chaired by Professor Jan MacDonald, VicePresident of the RSE. Asked if Arbroath was still producing as many figures of such scientific note as in the past, Lord Fraser said he believed people of the same abilities were still out there. However, the efforts of the individual are often not as

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obvious as in the past because people work in teams and their careers tend to be in highly specialised areas. On the subject of the influence of the Shanks lawnmower overseas, Lord Fraser agreed that they were popular in places such as the Indian region of Assam and even in the Middle East. Lord Fraser was questioned on whether great Scots often seemed to be poor in enterprise. He agreed that this often seemed to be the case, but cited the claim by

the BBCs Jeremy Paxman that the Scots are set on running England, adding and nae bad thing either! Asked which of the figures, or inventions, he had spoken about he would most like with him on a desert island, Lord Fraser opted for either Small or Buick. Rounding off the evening, Professor MacDonald said she believed that while his intellect opted for the philosopher, his heart was with the Buick 6.



Professor Deborah Howard University of Cambridge 21 April 2008 Architectural Politics in Renaissance Venice

When we visit Venice and marvel at some of her most beautiful buildings, we may assume that they were planned and built in a measured and coherent way. But this is not necessarily the case, says Professor Deborah Howard, who, in a fascinating lecture to The Royal Society of Edinburgh, described the messy and intricate processes which led to some of the citys most famous landmarks, exploding some myths in the process. Venice in the 16th century was the scene of some of the most ambitious public building programmes in early modern Europe. What is more, there are contemporary parallels. Professor Howards Edinburgh audience winced, for example, when she asked if public confidence could be sustained by elaborate building projects or sapped by their failure. This, of course, is a question which has particular resonance in a country still smarting from the over-budget Scottish Parliament building. Many myths and ideas have grown up around the politics of architecture. These include the

idea that states use the magnificence of their public buildings to help communicate their political ideals to the public and the wider world and that the nobles apparently making the building decisions are selfless individuals, dedicated to the state. Seeking to scrutinise these ideas, using the example of later 16th century Venice, Professor Howard showed how other influences were brought to bear on the building process. These included factors such as religious feeling, a growing admiration for technical advances over traditional classical erudition and, importantly, the workings of democracy, including lengthy consultations. Professor Howard used four case studies. These were the building of the Redentore, a votive church built as a result of a vow taken during the plague of 1575-76; the restoration of the Doges Palace after the fire of 1577; the rebuilding of procurators lodgings in St Marks Square; and the rebuilding of the Rialto Bridge. All illustrated how political processes and changing ideas could lead to outcomes widely at

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odds with initial visions. They also showed how the classical influences brought to bear by the architect and proto (building supervisor) Sansovino (responsible for many great Venetian buildings) in the earlier part of the century were to fade away. The Redentore The plague of 157576 wiped out a third of the population of Venice. At its height, the Senate vowed that it would build a votive church to Christ the Redeemer, which the Doge would attend annually to mark the end of the plague. But there was huge debate over where it should be and how it should be built. There were two main opposing factions: the politically radical Giovani (literally youth), who were nevertheless culturally conservative and the Vecchi (old), who were politically conservative but had broader cultural horizons and aspirations. Debate raged over such issues as whether a magnificent design by the famous classical architect Palladio should be chosen to reflect the dignity of the Republic or whether a more austere approach should be taken. Eventually it was decided to build Palladios design, but at a site associated with the highly ascetic Capuchin friars. The church was supposed to cost 10,000 ducats but cost seven times that amount,

leading Professor Howard to draw comparisons with the rising costs of the Scottish Parliament building. The church was built at a time, however, where natural and other disasters such as floods, fires and, of course, the plague, made the wrath of God something to be feared. It was, said Professor Howard, difficult to question expenditure in these circumstances. Rebuilding the Palazzo Ducale Palladio was less successful in winning support for his proposed radical rebuilding to the Palazzo Ducale or Doges Palace, following the fire of 1577. Proposals for a grandly classical new building were thrown aside in favour of a simpler and much cheaper reconstruction of the existing medieval palace. Many technical experts were consulted and Palladio had powerful advocates, particularly MarcAntonio Barbaro, a prominent patrician, who, according to a contemporary diarist, spoke for days in his favour. Despite this filibustering, he failed to win support. This, said Professor Howard, was partly because of the urgency of finding somewhere for 2,000 nobles to meet every Sunday. A restoration project would be quicker and easier than a rebuild. But it was also because of the outcome of the consultation of technical experts, in which a majority favoured restoration.


Procurators houses on the south side of Piazza San Marco In Venice, the Procurators de supra were essentially in charge of the buildings of Piazza San Marco (St Marks Square), with the exception of the Doges Palace. Theirs was a wealthy organisation, richly endowed and with lucrative rents. The procurators themselves were elderly patricians who generally got the job (for life) because of long service to Venice. Sometimes, however, to replenish the coffers, people were elected after paying donations, such as Federico Contarini in 1571, who was 33 and, two years later, Andrea Dolfin, who was 32. Both paid 20,000 ducats. This particular case study shows the difference between the elderly patricians and the young blood, which bought its way on to the august body. Or, as Professor Howard put it, exposes the myth of the erudite and selfless body of men dedicated to the state and shows the value of youth and energy. The idea of this project was to renew the accommodation for the procurators themselves on the south side of the square. The process began in 1581 and Barbaro was supposed to be supervising it. He was chosen in his absence, however, which leads Professor Howard to believe he was reluctant. Certainly he

resigned more than once and seems to have been reluctant to take responsibility. In the event it was the young procurators, Contarini and Dolfin, particularly the former, who were to take charge (and also resign). But again there was much consultation and argument throughout the process of the form that the project should take and whether, for example, a third storey should be added to Sansovinos neighbouring library. Scamozzi, a renowned scholar architect was appointed to design the work, but a local proto, Sorella, was made the building superintendant, thus separating the roles which had been combined in Sansovino. Still there was huge debate and many people were consulted. Eventually the Senate stepped in to tell them to get on with it and the first stage (offices) was completed, but again, when work on the housing began, there were concerns about incompetent site supervision and poor accounts. According to Professor Howard, the whole story illustrates that although the procurators were the elite, the internal disagreement and reluctant management characterised their patronage in the late 16th century. In addition, their independence was reined in by the elected assemblies.

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The Rialto Bridge The process of consultation was extended still further during the design and building of the new Rialto Bridge. Not only were technical experts asked their opinion on factors such as how safe competing designs would be relative to their beauty, but the public was questioned too. Bystanders, including sausage makers and brandy sellers, were asked their opinions on the soundness of the pile-driving techniques being used by the workmen, for example. The full Senate had taken the decision to rebuild the old wooden Rialto Bridge an idea which had been discussed since 1507. But it was 80 years later that planning began in earnest, starting with an argument over whether it should have one arch or three. Even the idea of replacing it in stone raised some objection, notably from Leonardo Don (later Doge) who provocatively said that it should be rebuilt in wood to save money for the defence budget. Architects including Palladio (before his death in 1580) and Scamozzi submitted elegant designs. Three magistrates were elected to be in charge of the project: Foscarini and Barbaro, who

favoured three arches and Alviso Zorzi, a puritanical man, with poor eyesight, who wanted one arch. Over 30 technical experts, including 17 proti, were consulted. Following much debate in which Barbaro spoke long and vigorously in favour of three arches a design with one arch was chosen. Eventually he got just eight votes and the decision was taken to base the decision of the views of experts which were pretty contradictory. In the end, a design by the 78year-old, practically illiterate Antonio da Ponte was chosen partly because it was the most economical bid and he was put in charge. The controversy did not end there, however, as questions were raised about the nature of the design and whether the construction would be sound. The three magistrates continued to have an uneasy relationship and Barbaro in particular was often absent, with Zorzi giving most day-to-day support. In the end, the bridge (incorporating elements from many influences, such as balustrades from Scamozzis design and rustication from the Roman arena in Verona) was a success. The senate even granted da Ponte a patent. But this was only after a process which Professor Howard called dynamic and erratic. The


image of the republic was therefore portrayed by technical innovation rather than classical erudition. Professor Howard concluded that towards the end of the 16th century, attempts to refine the Roman identity set in motion by Sansovino under Gritti had faded beneath the more pragmatic, technologically orientated cultural programme of the Giovani. She also said that the contribution of prominent individuals such as Barbaro had been overestimated. It was perhaps surprising, that in a patrician oligarchy, the views of mere proti, and even members of the public, were held in such high regard. She added that the lengthy consultation processes could have been paralysing, but played a crucial role in winning political acceptance for extravagant adventures in public building. Professor Howard was asked how the building industry was organised in Renaissance Venice. She responded that each building site had its own proto, who would make up briefs for each task and invite tenders from tradesmen, such as stone masons, who were organised into guilds and who provided their own materials. The proto would then supervise the work according to the brief which would have to be signed

off by noble magistrates although sometimes the final result, particularly in detail, could vary from the original design. She was asked, with particular reference to the Arsenal, if there were rival projects going on at the time of the four case studies outlined in the lecture. She replied that there were, but not on the scale of these four. Nevertheless, there would have been competition for materials, particularly wood, which was scarce and also needed for ships vital for defence and in times of war. The final questioner asked about the differences in decision making between the late 16th century and the 1530s, and whether it was over-simplistic to ascribe this to the personality of the Doge (Gritti). Professor Howard said that in her view Grittis role had been exaggerated and that circumstances had been different generally. In the late 16th century Venice had been shaken by factors such as the Plague, whereas in the 1530s there was more a sense of triumphalism; of wishing to restate Venices magnificence. The vote of thanks was delivered by Professor Charles McKean of the University of Dundee, who made particular reference to the valid comparisons between Renaissance Venice and Scotland. Lessons which he felt that

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politicians could heed included the notion that the one who spoke the longest (Barbaro) gleaned the fewest votes. He also appreciated the debunking of the

architect as grand, all-powerful master of the design, replaced in these instances by the power of technical innovation.



Sir John Grant, KCMG Former UK Permanent Representative (Ambassador) to the EU 8 May 2008 The EU: Does it Have aFuture? Dont Blame the Fault Lines .. The RSE European Lecture The fault lines which divide the UK from the rest of Europe are more than geological, but the EU is our best bet for the future, despite all its flaws, according to Britains former ambassador to the EU, Sir John Grant. In a world which will be dominated by regional superpowers, the EU will not only give us a stronger and more influential voice but also provide the global leadership needed to establish common principles and values, and promote effective action to deal with the major challenges of globalisation The EU what is it good for? was the main theme of Sir John Grants recent RSE lecture. As well as focusing on Europes past achievements and future potential, he also discussed what was bad about the EU, and the grumpy acquiescence interspersed with bitter controversy of the UKs relations with Brussels, over the last ten years. Sir Johns core argument was that the maintenance of international peace and stability in the 21st century will depend on a system of global governance and collective action. There will have to

be a new balance of power that takes account of the growing influence of the emerging economies. The EU has the potential weight and influence in the world to play a decisive role in that process, while the mediumsized economies of Europe (including the UK) do not. And because of the EUs position in the world, the way it represents a set of values and its leadership in areas such as climate change can play a positive part in this process. The UKs uncomfortable relationship with the EU Even though it is not uniform throughout the country, the UK often feels uncomfortable about Europe, across the political spectrum. There is a general perception that the EU is a place where people muddle and compromise in order to reach unsatisfactory conclusions. And perhaps this has something to do with the fact that the UK was reluctant to join in the first place, and therefore played no part in shaping its early development. Weak leadership and fears about a European superstate are among the most common complaints.

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One sound you never hear in Brussels is the smack of firm government, Sir John said. On the contrary, he added, there is an exhaustive process designed to reflect the interests of all the participants, including minority voices, as a result of which negotiations often get bogged down in waffle and finish with fudge. The UK is often depicted as batting against all the odds to defend itself from Brussels, and while this is exaggerated by the media and exploited by politicians, these negative attitudes do have roots in reality in what Sir John described as the fault lines which divide us from Europe. Our position in Europe has to be understood, said Sir John, because our long-term future will depend on the success (or failure) of the EU and its place in a fast-changing, potentially unstable world. What are the fault lines? Unlike the UK, most EU member states have not had a history of stable, democratic, long-established political institutions, for instance because of the traumas of Nazi and Communist rule. It has been easier for those countries to allow the transfer of power to the supranational institutions of Brussels. In addition, the UK is an island, with a particularly close relationship with the United States. Our legal

system, based on common law rather than the Napoleonic Code, also sets us apart. We are determined to get the fine print right while our European partners are often more relaxed about trusting the spirit of the law. We also have different employment laws, economic structures and agricultural traditions. In Sir Johns own experience, the UKs representatives also have tougher instructions to follow when it comes to talks in Brussels, and therefore less room to manoeuvre. But there is also room for optimism, according to Sir John, not just in the UKs improving relations with Europe and our growing influence on policy, but also in the way the EU learns from its experience, developing a set of common values which will have an impact on the rest of the world. Is the EU fit for purpose? Many people say the EU is a good idea in principle, but a bad one in practice. Sir John conceded that EU processes were complex, chronically inefficient, and prone to fudge, muddle and compromise, and described the decision-making process of the EU as like operating a threedimensional coalition government. But there are reasons for that, he explained.


The EU is designed by a series of treaties which not only reflect the divergent views and interests of all of its members, but also provide the checks and balances needed to protect smaller nations from big ones. Minorities, pressure groups, NGOs and individuals cannot be easily bullied, and power blocs cannot dictate the agenda. Sir John believes the EU could be much more efficient, but the price would be the creation of a superstate. More constitutional reform is not whats needed at the moment, he added. The challenge is not how to change the EU but to make it work better. The EU has much to be proud of. It is the worlds largest single market, with a strong and stable currency, and a leader in environmental policy. It is a global regulator and setter of standards. It has a key peacekeeping role and is also a trailblazer in supranational cooperation. The EU has always had vision, but rather than focus on what it has done in the past, Sir John sees it having a much bigger role in the future, far beyond Europe itself, offering leadership not just on issues of principle but also in practical action. Europe what is it good for? In Sir Johns view, the major problems facing the world are sustainability, globalisation and climate change, terrorism, regional conflicts, and shortages

of energy, water and food. There is also a crisis of values, while the emergence of new forms of capitalism do not sit comfortably with our own, said Sir John. The challenge for the EU is to help the world establish mutual values and work much more closely together. We can no longer rest our hopes on a benevolent world policeman like the US, and we long ago rejected the imperial model. The balance of power will be decided by regional superpowers, and Europe has a key role to play. Sir John said: The EU offers leadership to the world not only on issues of principle, but also in the thornier area of application and implementation. And the UK will do better as part of an EU-led superpower than a small (and getting relatively smaller) nation state. In response to a question from the farming community, criticising the dead hand of the EU, Sir John agreed that UK farmers were often critical of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and agreed that it was desirable to reform it further. But, he suggested, the EU was more than just the CAP. Sir John concluded by saying that despite its imperfections, the EU was our best hope for the future. It may look muddled, he explained, but the alternative is worse.

Review of the Session 2007-2008

Professor Fabiola Gianotti Research Physicist, Deputy Spokesperson of the ATLAS Experiment 12 May 2008 Exploring the Mysteries of the Universe with the large Hadron Collider How many infinities are there? People sometimes joke that Switzerlands greatest contribution to the world is the invention of the cuckoo clock, but a group of physicists from all over the world working in Geneva are about to have the last laugh as they set off on a great scientific adventure which could take us back in time to the birth of the cosmos and in the process prove the existence of the God particle and what makes the universe tick We dont know what we will find, said Professor Fabiola Gianotti, describing some of the most important experiments ever attempted in science, but we may see strange phenomena. Our discoveries may be a big surprise Professor Gianotti was in Edinburgh to talk about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the worlds largest and most advanced particle accelerator, which will start operations this summer at CERN in Geneva. And she spelled out the challenge as follows: Its a great scientific adventure which will revolutionise our understanding of the basic constituents of matter and the mysteries of the universe, and rewrite the physics text books. We may not get the theory of everything, she added, but we should make significant breakthroughs. Based at CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research), the LHC will continue the ground-breaking work which began in 1954, when the worlds largest particle physics lab set out to decipher the structure and evolution of the universe, from the infinitely small to the infinitely big or what Professor Gianotti calls the two infinities. Particle accelerators (one of the first was developed in Glasgow in the early 1950s) are used in highenergy physics research. The way they work is relatively simple they accelerate two beams of particles around a special tunnel, close to the speed of light, using powerful electrical fields and superconducting magnets, to see what happens when the particles collide. The high-energy collision produces a stream of new particles, including things called


quarks (the heaviest one weighs as much as 344,000 electrons), and the higher the energy, the heavier the particles. LHC: Facts & Figures CERNs latest particle accelerator is the LHC 100 metres underground and 27km long. It will be built at a total cost of 3.5 billion, and CERN as a whole has an annual budget of about 500 million, with the UK contributing about 78 million a year the equivalent of one cup of coffee per person, according to Professor Gianotti. The LHC will use massive instruments to detect what is happening during collisions and identify the products of collisions, using a massive network of 100,000 computers distributed in 250 sites in 50 countries the largest infrastructure of its kind in the world. Professor Gianotti said the data generated by the ATLAS experiment will be about 10Pb per annum, the equivalent of 20 million DVDs (enough to build a stack 20km high). And 2,100 physicists from 167 universities will study the data. The energy involved in the experiments will be the equivalent of 20 volts for every single star in the cosmos, but Professor Gianotti reassured a questioner after the lecture that this will not lead to a giant explosion which blows up the world (at least not according to theory).

With 1,232 superconducting magnets, 7,600km of superconducting cables, temperatures of minus 270 degrees (colder than space) and 40 million collisions per second, each producing 1,000 particles, you begin to appreciate just how spectacular the LHC is. One of the detectors, for a project called ATLAS, is as high as a fivestorey building. Professor David Saxon FRSE described it as cathedral-like, while Professor Gianotti said it weighs almost as much as the Eiffel Tower. The different detectors are like giant digital cameras, capable of taking 100 pictures per second. Using pattern recognition software, scientists will then be able to reconstruct the trajectories of the particles produced by the collisions, so they can study the origin of the events and solve a few conundrums in the process. Scotlands role As well as being home to some of the pioneers of particle physics, Scotland will play a significant role in the LHC experiments. Out of the 10,000 computers which the UK will provide for the GRID, Scotland will contribute 10 per cent of the total. Scientists at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow have also been involved in the development of new detectors. Glasgow also hosted a major conference last year to discuss the ATLAS experiment.

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Some theory of everything Ultimately, asked Professor Gianotti, why invest so much in the new project? According to her, the LHC will help us answer lots of big questions, including: 1. What is the origin of particle masses? 2. What is the nature and composition of dark matter? 3. Why is there so much matter and so little anti-matter? 4. What happened in the first few moments after the Big Bang? According to modern physicists, the standard model of particle physics cannot explain everything. There must be new particles, as yet undiscovered, and the LHC could play a key role in advancing our knowledge of these unusual particles and their interactions. For example, a lot of attention will be focused on the search for the Higgs boson (or God particle) first predicted in 1964 by RSE Fellow and Royal Medal recipient, Professor Peter Higgs of Edinburgh University. To detect this elusive particle would be a major breakthrough in physics, because no-one has so far been able to prove its existence, yet without it, things would simply fall apart we would have no mass, no hydrogen, no chemistry, etc.

Another quest is to discover dark matter the invisible stuff that accounts for 25 per cent of the cosmos. That may not seem very much, but matter as we know it only accounts for about five per cent of the cosmos. The LHC will be a dark matter factory, Professor Gianotti said. The LHC will also enable scientists to navigate back in time to the origin of the universe, producing the same amount of energy present immediately after the Big Bang. We are seeking answers to the fundamental questions about elementary particles and the universe, Professor Gianotti explained, and advancing the frontiers of science. As well as other big questions such as proving the existence of brand new dimensions, and exploring supersymmetry and forces we cant even imagine yet, CERN has stimulated development of innovative concepts and technologies, and lead to useful by-products and spin-offs in areas such as medical imaging, cancer therapy, materials science, security scanners, food sterilisation and nuclear waste transmutation. In addition to creating massive networks of computers, one of CERNs most famous spin-offs was the worldwide web. The LHC will also help to train a new generation of physicists, bringing them



together in a neutral environment which promotes cooperation among different countries. As Professor David Saxon echoed, in his warm vote of thanks at the end of the lecture, the LHC experiments remind us of Columbus setting off for the Indies and discovering America science sometimes takes us to some very strange and unexpected places.

The LHC will clearly answer lots of big questions in science and take us faraway through space and time, but for those attending the lecture, the big question is: When will the popular Professor Gianotti come back to the RSE to tell us the results of the experiments?


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Professor John Wallace OBE, FRSE Principal of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama 21 May 2008 Arbroath High School Blurring the Boundaries from Classical to Contemporary Music Music frees the human spirit. It has the power to uplift the individual and transform nations. Professor Wallace argued that a society which encourages music, and the other performing arts, paves the way for wider intellectual, scientific and economic achievement. As well as being among Scotlands most respected figures in arts education, the Professor is a renowned trumpet player performing solo at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. His wideranging lecture encompassed everything from a performance on a replica Renaissance serpentine trumpet to insights on how we can recover the energy of the 18th century Scottish Enlightenment. This, he suggested, is important for a country that is good at many things, but has dropped far behind many international competitors. The enjoyment of music is deeply personal, but it can also bind whole peoples together in a sense of common purpose. Professor Wallace opened his lecture by playing a brief excerpt from a recording of Verdis Nabucco. Describing the overture as

immensely important, written during the period of resurgence in Italian national pride and identity called the Risorgimento, he argued that all forms of music can allow the listener to transcend the mundane. There are no boundaries. Music speaks to us whether it is good, bad or indifferent, whether its classical, contemporary, traditional, jazz, rock, pop, garage, indie, dance rap, all the different genre, because it is all to do with how it affects you. Its in your head, your heart, that funny thing we call a soul, in your gut, and in your instincts that you feel music. The boundaries become very blurred and after a couple of seconds our minds are free from this terrible thing we are locked in, our bodies, and our minds are free to roam wherever they want to go. We move into a boundary-free zone. Indeed, music is hard-wired into humans and other species at a genetic level. While birds may get practical evolutionary benefits from song, such as finding mates and marking territory, the Professor said that research suggests they also do it for sheer


enjoyment. The urge to make music is not confined to creatures of the land and air, but is common to whales and dolphins. It may even stretch back to our common ancestors with the Professor speculating that dinosaurs might have sung as they trundled across the Earth. Humans experience music in the womb, said Professor Wallace, and enter the world with precious talents that can all too easily be squandered. We are all born with perfect pitch. But we have to use it or we lose it. In China, perhaps because pitch and tone play an important part in speech, a far higher percentage of adults seem to retain perfect pitch. At the same time there are now 80 million pianists in China, five million at Grade 8 or above. In 19th century Britain there had also been an immense appetite to play music, closely linked with a desire to break free from toil. Three months after the Nabucco overtures premiere at La Scala, Milan, it was being performed by a working mens band in Merthyr Tydfil. The music of Verdi says something universal. It brought freedom to the newly industrialised men with their 12-hour shifts, six days a week in the mines. By the end of the century there were 30,000 such bands up and down Britain and a million players, around one in 30 of the population.

The capacity of music to bring a sense of freedom even in the face of tyranny was something the Professor learned from Timothy Dokshizer, one of the finest trumpet players in the Russian tradition. Born in the Ukraine in 1921, his family walked to Moscow to escape the famine caused by Stalins reforms. Aged 12, Dokshizer joined the army as a mounted bugler and managed to work his way up to become a wellknown conductor and a trumpet player in the Bolshoi. There were times when he looked up from the orchestra pit to see Stalin as the guest of honour in the equivalent of the royal box. And yet, rock and roll, jeans and baked beans helped bring down the Iron Curtain. Oppressive regimes tend to ban certain kinds of music. They fear it because they know it has the power to modernise. According to Professor Wallace, the story of the trumpet in western culture underlines the power of music to affect people individually and collectively, and its connection with our deepest motivations. The trumpet, for me, sets music free. From the earliest times it has been a military and a religious instrument. An ancient Carnyx, now in the National Museum of Scotland, was a priestly instrument carried into battle by our ancient Celtic ancestors. In the Renaissance the

Review of the Session 2007-2008

Italians became the first to translate the heroism of the trumpet into art music. Professor Wallace played an example of an early 17th century sonata by Girolamo Fantini on a replica serpentine trumpet. By the end of the 17th century the French had learned from the Italians. Professor Wallace played from a Te Deum by Marc-Antoine Charpentier written to celebrate a victory of King Louis XIV. War, battle and religion again. You can see it is French: aristocratic, haughty heroism. It is also familiar today as the theme to the Eurovision Song Contest. In the 18th century the British, full of confidence from the union of Scotland and England, was producing its own magnificent trumpet music celebrating its selfimage as a land of heroes. A new dimension was introduced by the French Revolution when the trumpet shifted from being an aristocratic to a universal instrument. And with that came the Marseillaise, originally a trumpet tune, which celebrated the heroism of ordinary men and women. Beethoven then took up the cause of the universality of humankind giving us the Ode to Joy in his 9th symphony. From there it was a short step to the music of Verdi, and Garibaldis struggle to win Italian independence from the Austrian Empire. Verdi was an

emotionally-committed patriot, a freedom fighter through his music. All of his operas before Aida were written in the shadow of war and revolution. The fervour of Verdis melodies and the irresistible tidal surge of his underlying rhythms had the power to generate mass emotion. The Professor argued that the performing arts are a vital instrument of education music is freedom, drama is liberation and dance a continuum in time and space. They also expand a societys consciousness and raise a nations game. And wherever the performing arts flourish, modern economies flourish. Scotland has a great tradition as a centre for the performing arts and remains an international influence as is emphasised by the national theatres success on Broadway with Black Watch. But recent decades have often seen a decline in the value placed on the encouragement of the performing arts. This contrasts with Professor Wallaces own experience of being sent to a junior band at the age of seven, moving to the senior one at eight, and being able to learn by doing and enjoying. Later, the passion for opera among his teachers at Buckhaven High School provided a fun-filled learning experience which helped launch his career.


Professor Wallace argued the performing arts are not just an end in themselves, but benefit every area of education, including the sciences, by engendering a sense of fun, a striving for high standards and the capacity for self-expression. The promotion of the performing arts in education breeds an adult generation able to imagine beyond the bounds of the everyday, as the great figures of the Scottish Enlightenment had done. Back in the 1960s my school was a sort of opera factory. I saw that the performing arts could give a school the ability to be anything it wanted to be. It was that experience that put music and freedom on the same page for me. Professor Wallace called for the performing arts to be given a place in the nations Curriculum for Excellence. Music works, drama works, dance works. They liberate the consciousness to think the unthinkable and to make the future a better place than the present. And its my feeling that music, drama and dance can work for Scotland. We happen to be very good at all three. They work through play; they are all fun. Only when we are

turning out a generation of young people who know how to coax their own potential to its optimum will this young country of Scotland fulfill its own potential. Questions Asked what could be done to encourage more young people to join choirs, Professor Wallace called again for the performing arts to be given a more important role in schools. He added that following an initiative by Jack McConnell in 2003, the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland had done a tremendous job in reviving music and singing among schoolchildren. Questioned on the origins of his replica trumpet he said an American musicologist had identified one like it in a picture from the 1580s and that there are a number of surviving examples in museums, including in Verona. Similar ones were created in Nuremberg by a maker called Haas. A vote of thanks was offered by Willie Payne, director of Hospitalfield House, a residential arts centre in Arbroath.


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Professor William J Hardcastle, FBA FRSE Director, Speech Science Research Centre, Queen Margaret University 9 June 2008 Electropalatography in the Analysis of Tongue Dynamics during Normal and Disordered Speech Speaking of tongues Its no coincidence that languages are also known as tongues, because the way that we control our tongues determines the sound of our speech. Researchers at Queen Margaret University near Edinburgh, led by Professor William Hardcastle, have developed an innovative electronic instrument to map the patterns of contact between the tongue and palate during speech. This not only helps to diagnose problems but also helps speech therapy Its not very often the audience sees what is happening inside the mouth of the speaker at one of the RSEs lectures, but Professor William Hardcastle is no ordinary speaker his specialist subject is the science of speech, and the development of a revolutionary new device which improves diagnosis and treatment of speech disorders. According to Hardcastle, at least 2.7 per cent of the UK population (about 1.6 million people) have a moderate communications problem a speech or a language disorder. This may

involve a variety of problems including how we make sounds and the way we use language, and as well as congenital problems (Downs Syndrome, cleft palate, etc.), they can also result from a stroke (e.g. aphasia and apraxia). Hardcastle also explained that speech impairment can have a negative impact on anyones life, causing psychological and social difficulties, as well as bad effects on education and employment. Hardcastles research focuses on speech output or articulation the quest to understand the inner mechanics of speech, or how we make sounds with our tongues and the roofs of our mouths. He described the different methods used to analyse problems with speech, demonstrating how every method has minus and plus points. For example, he explained, transcription of sounds can be highly subjective and unreliable, and encourages categorised judgements. Most importantly, it does not produce precise information on the speech organs themselves.


Speech is very complex, Hardcastle explained, involving the coordination of a number of cylinders, pistons and valves i.e. the lungs, larynx, glottis and velum, as well as the lips and tongue. The tongue (particularly the tip) is the key to the process, but we know very little about it, said Hardcastle. The challenge is how to record and analyse what is going on inside the mouth during speech, capturing the partly hidden, very rapid movements of the tongue, an organ with a unique anatomy and physiology which Hardcastle compared to an elephants trunk or an octopus tentacle. Professor Hardcastle then showed four films of the tongue during speech, using four different methods: x-rays, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), ultrasound and EMA (Electro Magnetic Articulography). These instrument-based methods help to analyse the physical impairment of the organs more objectively, and this in turn can lead to better evidence-based therapies. All the methods work by showing movement while the subject pronounces particular sounds, e.g. te, ke or ss, or a short string of words. X-rays show whats happening inside the mouth very clearly, but can also be harmful to health. MRI is better for research but is very expensive and can be claustrophobic for many subjects. Ultrasound, using a helmet and

probe, can also be costly and awkward, while EMA is invasive and often unpleasant because it involves the attachment of coils to the tongue. The breakthrough by researchers at Queen Margaret University (QMU) is a new method called electropalatography (EPG). This involves developing an artificial palate made of acrylic, with a chequerboard of 64 electrodes (and a tiny electrical current) which detect the precise place the tongue meets the roof of the mouth during speech. Every individual subject has a custommade palate which moulds to the roof of the mouth, and Hardcastle then demonstrated the method by plugging himself in and carrying on with his lecture, displaying his tongue patterns in real time so the audience could monitor the different shapes of different sounds while he spoke. Every sound has a characteristic quasi-static pattern of contact, he explained e.g. the horseshoeshaped pattern of te. EPG enables researchers to see this pattern, as if the tongue is printing sounds onto the palate like old-fashioned typeface on paper. When the pattern is displayed on a computer screen, it provides instant feedback not only for researchers and speech therapists but also the subjects themselves. By displaying an idealised model pattern for

Review of the Session 2007-2008

particular sounds alongside this real-time display, subjects can then try to reproduce the same shape in their own speech by adjusting the sound that they make so the pattern resembles the model displayed on the screen. For detailed analysis, researchers need a permanent record, so Hardcastle and his team at QMU produce a cine film using the EPG method to capture frames at intervals of 10 milliseconds which show the gradual changes in the patterns of a sequence of sounds. The tongue moves all the time and subtly changes its configuration every few milliseconds, and the films prove that the visual representation of sound, using the EPG method, is much more accurate than listening, using our ears. Hardcastle then demonstrated this by comparing the films of a clear, normal speaker and one with rapid, colloquial speech. While the auditory sounds seemed almost identical, the visual patterns were clearly quite different. The EPG films can also reveal the characteristic patterns of certain conditions like aphasia, and this is what helps diagnosis and treatment. For example, in some cases, people appear to be forming the sound of a te instead of a ge, then realise their mistake and adjust their tongue to make the correct sound

the typical signs of a certain condition which can respond to therapy. The therapeutic benefits of EPG are currently being researched in a project which will finish at the end of this year, funded by the Medical Research Council, in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh. Thirty children with Downs Syndrome will take part in the controlled study, with ten of them receiving no speech therapy, ten receiving conventional therapy and the other ten receiving EPGbased therapy. After the end of the project, the team has received additional funding so that the children not receiving any therapy will also get the benefits of EPG. According to Hardcastle, many subjects especially children respond very well to the biofeedback they get from the graphics they see on the screen as they speak. The initial results from the study are promising, and Hardcastle hopes this will lead to the creation of a network of centres where EPG will be made much more widely available, not just in Scotland but wherever speech disorders affect peoples lives. During the Q&A, Professor Hardcastle also explained that most children respond very well to the EPG palate being placed in their mouths, and very few resist it. Most of them also like interacting with computers.


The Principal of QMU, Professor Anthony Cohen, said after the lecture that Professor Hardcastle and his team of researchers deserve congratulation for the elegance of the new method and its practical efficacy. EPG not only provides us with a profound understanding of speech disorders but a simple diagnostic device whose genius is its simplicity and ease of use, he continued, adding that the new invention was a life-enhancing

device which would change peoples lives and help them to participate more widely in society. Many mysteries remain in our understanding of speech disorders, said Professor Hardcastle. For example, many people who stammer can speak a foreign language very fluently, or sing well. But if EPG continues to advance our understanding, many of those mysteries may soon be solved, and many people lead more normal lives.


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Professor Leonard Susskind Felix Bloch Professor of Theoretical Physics at Stanford University 16 June 2008 The Black Hole War: The War That Made the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics Lecture organised by the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences Chaired by RSE President Sir Michael Atiyah, this lecture, organised by ICMS with the support of the RSE, complemented a week-long international workshop at Edinburgh University, supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the London Mathematical Society, the Edinburgh Mathematical Society and the Institute of Physics. Professor Susskind invited the audience to consider that in 1976 Stephen Hawking imagined throwing a bit of information, a book, a computer, or even an elementary particle, into a black hole. Black holes, Hawking believed, were the ultimate traps, and the bit of information would be irretrievably lost to the outside world. This apparently innocent observation was hardly as innocent as it sounds; it threatened to undermine and topple the entire edifice of modern physics. Something was terribly out of whack; the most basic law of nature the conservation of information was seriously at risk. To those who paid attention, either Hawking was wrong, or the 300-year-old centre of physics

wasnt holding. Hawkings claim set in motion a controversy that eventually radically changed the way we think about space, time, matter, and information a war of ideas between Susskind, Hawking and Dutch theoretical physicist Gerard t Hooft, co-recipient of the 1999 Physics Nobel Prize although not in the way Hawking imagined. Instead of A World Without Law, the new paradigm has become The World as a Hologram. The edifice of modern physics has been built upon the foundations of quantum mechanics, whose fundamental dynamical principle enshrines what Susskind called the conservation of information. Therefore the suggestion, borne out of Hawkings calculations about the dynamics of black holes, that information could be lost in a black hole would if true be capable of undermining our present approach to Physics. Susskind and t Hooft believe that this could not be the case. Susskind explained the nature of information in Physics, the notion of a black hole and of its horizon, and used a fish-pond and sink


analogy as an example. He explained that around the sink there is an imaginary circle such that if a fish crossed it, it would be unable to swim back out, but nevertheless the fish would notice nothing extraordinary when crossing it. By further analogy, Susskind also explained how the horizon of a black hole can appear, depending on the observer, as a singularity to Bob,

an external observer, or as nothing extraordinary to Alice, who is actually falling into the black hole. Susskind did not explain how quantum mechanics, and hence he and t Hooft, won the war, but referred the audience instead to his forthcoming book, THE BLACK HOLE WAR: My battle with Stephen Hawking to make the world safe for quantum mechanics published in 2008.


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Professor Charles W J Withers FBA FRSE Professor of Historical Geography, University of Edinburgh 23 June 2008 Maps, Mapping and Map History

Maps of the mind The first maps were created long before the written word, but today they are no longer secret documents or precious possessions, but part of our everyday lives. In a recent lecture, jointly organised by the RSE, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and the National Library of Scotland (NLS) to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Map Library at the NLS, Professor Charles Withers traced the history of maps from ancient Anatolia to SatNav, and explained how cartography says a lot more about people than the planet we live on... Is mapping an art or a science? Are maps a mirror of the world or a reflection of what we believe more politics than geography? According to Professor Withers, maps do not merely help us get from A to B (and in the process lead to endless arguments) they also trace the path of human history. Accuracy is always relative and is not the only important dimension of maps. Even in the age of computers, every map is coloured by the views and intentions of the people who

create it. As well as providing a guide to the world, maps provide a snapshot of the age when they are made. People are increasingly cartographically literate, and maps are now taken for granted, said Withers. But even though most people understand maps, they dont understand mapping in detail, and even less so map history. Right from the start, Withers declared that maps do not correspond to the real world. At the end of his lecture, he even said: All maps deceive. Maps are abstract objects which give us what we want to know or what the map-maker wants us to know. They not only show us where things are located but are also used as evidence or propaganda for example, when Americas geographer, Jedediah Morse, placed the prime meridian in Philadelphia, rather than Greenwich, to declare the geographical independence of the United States. Maps have been around since 6,500 years before the Christian era, when a town plan of Catalhoyuk in Anatolia was inscribed on a wall. There have been many


technological advances since then, and from 1800 onwards, mathematical precision has led to much more accurate mapping, but Withers questioned whether this means better maps. Often what is not shown on the map says more about reality than what is on the map for example, when rivers are shown to flow uphill in order to camouflage launch sites for nuclear missiles. Maps are not mirrors but social and political documents, said Withers. They may be accurate but they are also instruments of authority. Maps also vary greatly in terms of their practical value. While some maps, such as William Smiths Geological Map of Great Britain revolutionised our conception of the world beneath our feet, others such as Google Earth are also cartographically dreadful, he added. According to Withers, there are four cartographic modes in the history of modern maps: chorography, charting, topography and thematic mapping. Chorography describes a place or area, depicting basic features such as mountains, towns and rivers, etc., which travellers meet on their journey, and may include historical comments e.g. Timothy Ponts maps of late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Scotland. Charting was designed to help navigation, including more

accurate data on distances. Topography shows features in relief, including buildings and mountains. Thematic mapping focuses on subjects such as wildlife or human activities, simplifying geographical features. Withers rejected the linear view of the history of maps, believing it is more important to understand the different modes and how they have evolved as well as why they have evolved. He then focused on several key moments in the history of maps: the Mercator Projection (1570), John Ogilbys Brittania (1675), elements of the work of Thomas Jeffreys and Jedediah Morse (in mapping late eighteenth-century America), thematic maps (1830s onward) and the Peters Projection (1974). The breakthrough of Gerardus Mercators map was to flatten the earth by creating a cylindrical projection which took account of the fact that the world is a globe not a flat piece of paper, using basic mathematics to reduce the distortions of previous maps (which tended to increase the scale the further you travelled), based on a grid of intersecting lines. Its prime use was to help with navigation and, despite the limitations faced by Mercator no chronometer, logarithms or calculus it proved an effective solution.

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Withers then explained how John Ogilby created the worlds first national road map in 1675 when he published Britannia, the work showing routes as a series of strips, with major features at the edges, measured using a dimensurator or way-wiser. As well as helping to create a new American geographical culture with his contemporary Jedediah Morse, Thomas Jeffreys also had a playful side, said Withers, and some of his rude maps were banned, including one which showed the road of love, steering a perilous course between the islands of money, lust and virtue. The 1830s were the start of the age of specialisation, including large-scale trigonometrical surveys, as well as thematic maps showing subjects such as the worldwide distribution of plants. In 1832, the Scottish map-maker John Thomson published his Atlas of Scotland, including a plate comparing the view of the relative heights of the mountains of Scotland, with Arthurs Seat providing the reference point, at the foot of the picture. The visualisation of scientific phenomena gathered momentum, and in 1863, Francis Galton published Meteorographica weather maps based on data gathered in Europe, showing barometric pressure, wind & rain and temperature. According to

Withers, the BBC News weather map in use today continues to reflect the social and cultural bias which has always affected cartography. Returning in conclusion to Mercators Projection, Withers then discussed the map of the world created by Dr Arno Peters in 1974, designed to counteract the supposed Eurocentric view of the planet. Backed by West German Chancellor Willy Brandt and since adopted widely by numerous Third World charities, this equal area map tries to restore a realistic perspective but in the process also distorts the proportions of several countries. Withers also meditated on the innate impossibility of depicting the globe on a screen without distorting reality. Maps are not mirrors, he said, but objects which reflect the purpose they serve. Accuracy is always somebodys accuracy. Maps have an enduring place in our lives because they dont agree with the real world they purport to represent. Finally, Professor Withers paid tribute to the founders of the Map Library, William Beattie and John Bartholomew, drawing attention to a new project called the Bartholomew Archive, involving the cataloguing of the material created by John Bartholomew & Son. Withers also mentioned the number of hits


on the NLS web site, with ten million people a year viewing maps online a big change since the Map Library opened in 1958, and evidence of peoples enduring fascination with maps.

Withers concluded by wondering what would change during the next 50 years: I predict the modes of mapping will be largely the same, he said. The technology will be transformed, but maps will be doing the same job theyre doing today.


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Professor J. Michael Rotter, FREng, FRSE, FICE, FIStructE, FASCE, FIEAust 30 June 2008 Structures and Granular Solids

Grains of truth You may think that pouring grain into a silo then getting the grain out is not exactly rocket science, but you would be wrong. Not only do the problems of structures and granular solids have much in common with the challenges faced by designers in the aerospace industry, but the mathematics are so complex that the worlds most powerful computers have not yet come up with the answers In his free time, Professor Michael Rotter goes on buckle hunts to search for examples of damage to silos. He may spot only a slight dent or what looks like a small crack, but in the wrong place and of the wrong shape, the damage may indicate impending disaster for the structure. In turn this has implications for human safety and may involve huge sums of money when the industrial process being fed by the silo is arrested. According to Professor Rotter, more than 60 per cent of all the materials used in industrial processes (e.g. food processing, steel making, cement, plastics and pharmaceuticals) comes in the

form of small particles powders or granular solids. Huge quantities of these materials, including plastic pellets, coal, mineral ores, maize, barley and sugar, are stored in different types of silos, and the containers suffer structural failures much too frequently. Rotters ultimate aim is to improve the design of containers to make them both safe and economic, but the problem is that neither engineers nor scientists properly understand the behaviour of granular solids when they flow out of a silo, or their interaction with the structures used to store them. Solids are anisotropic and inhomogeneous, he said in other words, even a single type of granular solid (e.g. coal) can vary in shape, size and texture, leading to radical changes in the way it flows. Fluids, by comparison, are relatively simple to understand, mainly because they are homogeneous and uniform. The simple fact, said Rotter, is that when it comes to storage, the containers must be able to survive the most extreme conditions and events in their lifetimes, including wind, earthquake and storing


sticky solids. Quite simply, they must not fall down, buckle or burst when subjected to complex patterns of internal or external pressure, and especially under the frictional drag of the solids sliding against the wall. Moreover, the granular solids must flow out smoothly when required. Rotter has had a passion for applied mathematics and physics throughout his career, and takes what he calls an holistic view of structural collapse, recognising that the individual parts of each structure affect each other strongly, so that a strength assessment based on looking at one part at a time is often quite misleading. His research focuses on problems such as plastic collapse and the effects of unsymmetrical pressures in silos. These pressures cannot yet be predicted using computational models because the appropriate equations to describe granular solid flow (like salt pouring out of a salt pot) have not yet been successfully formulated it is not just the behaviour of the solid and the structure individually that must be modelled, but also the complex interactions between them. For example, said Rotter, the most powerful computers are capable of analysing the mechanical behaviour of about 106 particles inside a silo, but a typical silo contains between 109 and 1013 particles, so we still have a

long way to go. The simplest route for computers to model this dynamic process is the development of a satisfactory continuum theory of the flow of solids, so that the huge number of particles involved do not pose a major problem. However, such a continuum theory remains elusive at the present time and is one of the big challenges for applied mathematics. Perhaps the fact that Rotters grandfather invented the high explosive RDX explains his fascination with the dynamics of collapsing containers filled with powder, but he also explained how his studies and career have steered him into this specialist area, via subjects such as plasticity in soil mechanics, his Thesis on Continuous composite columns and many industrial problems involving steel and concrete structures, collapse, material failure and buckling. Rotter uses colourful and esoteric language such as biaxial bending, elastic flexural restraint, flow zone geometry, axial compression and elephants foot buckling, but the simple purpose of these unfamiliar concepts is to gain understanding of what goes wrong in each individual case when a structure falls down, and to prevent that problem from happening again. In Australia, where he did research after his studies in Cambridge, he analysed

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many real-life disasters, beginning with the bursting of a grain silo when the grain swelled with moisture uptake, fatigue cracks in a coal silo, and stress analysis of beer fermentation tanks. Industry was queuing up for practical advice. As Rotter explained, it is hard to observe what is happening when silos burst or fall down, because the problems tend to appear very suddenly and the moment of failure is always a shock. You usually see the results of disasters when its much too late to stop them and working out what happened just before the collapse, when all that is left is broken pieces on the ground under a huge pile of grain, is often real detective work. The design of silos used to be based on rules of thumb but Rotter not only applied mathematics and physics but also the knowledge developed by the aerospace industry, and then went on to draw up a series of international industry standards, first in Australia and later in Europe and the USA, turning academic research into practical guidelines. Later this year, for example, the European Convention for Constructional Steelwork will publish its new design recommendations on the buckling of shells under his chairmanship.

The research on shell structures always finds new applications, the latest of which are two Scottish projects. One concerns a wind tower climbing device called the Orangutan; the other a new pipeline structure called the Helipipe a super high-strength steel, helically- wrapped pipeline, with a stainless steel liner for maximum strength and flexibility. The questions facing the designer of silos are not only how to design a better structure but also how to fill the silo and empty it. How will the material flow inside the structure? Where will the pressure be greatest, and where lowest? How will the structure be stressed by complex pressure patterns? What conditions will cause catastrophic buckling failures? Even though he has been able to transform his experiments into a set of design rules, in pursuit of a conceptual framework for all types of structural systems, Rotter says that neither the experiments nor the current theories are even close to correct when it comes to real-world answers to the problems of granular solids and structures, despite all the statistical analysis and computational models devised by researchers. The reasons lie in scale effects and instrumentation difficulties in experiments, and misunderstand-



ings in most theoretical models. Engineers and applied scientists like Rotter have advanced our understanding of structural failure, but he himself admits that phenomena such as shell buckling are still tricky to analyse because very small deviations in different forms can either radically weaken the structure, leading to disaster, or have little effect, depending on the circumstances. For the climax of his lecture, Professor Rotter brought together his different themes of granular solids flow, complex pressures on the structure and buckling behaviour of shells, to do a live experiment that demonstrated the complex and unpredictable nature of silos. Using four transparent model silos filled with sand, each about one metre high, Rotter proceeded to empty them in sequence to observe the effects of symmetrical or unsymmetrical

discharge. The first silo emptied its sand through an outlet beneath its centre, with internal flow and a relatively even pressure pattern, producing an uneventful and safe outcome. By contrast, the other three silos were emptied from outlets that were slightly or severely off-centre, and each produced a catastrophic and disastrous collapse, shedding the sand contents all over the floor! Rotters final silo experiment may have gone slightly wrong, as the collapse of one silo appeared to cause some damage to its neighbour, possibly making it more likely to collapse. But after listening to his lecture, the way this happened seemed to confirm that the real world may long continue to defy the predictions of mathematical models of perfect systems, especially when it comes to structures and granular solids.


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Professor Alexander Stoddart 5 August 2008 Statues in Modern Cities Presented as part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Larger (and smaller) than life Alexander Stoddart is well known for his classical sculptures, including statues of David Hume and Adam Smith, and will soon unveil his latest public monument in Edinburghs George Street a statue of James Clerk Maxwell, commissioned by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. But judging by his recent performance at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, he would also be a big hit at the Comedy Festival Scottish sculptor Alexander Stoddart has something in common with the work he creates like many of his statues, he is larger than life. In the course of his lecture, Stoddart covered everything from Triumph of the will to Oor Wullie, the ancient Greeks to modern Philistines, in the process deconstructing beards, genitalia, tea cosies, shellsuits and togas. But even though he knocked our modern laugh-a-minute culture, his audience never stopped smiling.

Stoddart set the tone at the start of his lecture, when he posed the question: Why do statues have small penises? And as many people giggled, he launched into a serious discussion of perspective and cultural values, analysing the impact of statues in public and why they command our attention (and make people giggle). Classicism, Stoddart said, has certain laws and principles which all of us can recognise. For example, most classical statues have eyes without pupils, and are covered in drapery rather than wearing contemporary costumes. And the nude males have penises smaller than life-size to conform to the classical rules. Even though they are otherwise larger than life, monumental classical statues are often positioned in places which make it hard to see such modest details, unless we use opera glasses for example, the statue of Henry Dundas, which stands on the top of a column which presides over St Andrews Square in Edinburgh. People may protest they cannot see them, but such statues are



designed to transcend history and outlive our species, said Stoddart. No touching allowed! Contrast this, said Stoddart, with The Fair Maid of Perth, a contemporary life-size bronze figure which sits on a bench in the High Street in Perth an awful thing with chewing gum stuck on its nose. Instead of making people stand in awe before it, this statue represents for Stoddart the worst of our democratic, box-ticking culture. And ironically, even though the public are being invited to sit down beside it, most people seem too embarrassed to do so. Drapery, for Stoddart, is also a critical factor in classical statues and even has a metaphysical significance. Statues tell serious stories which will always survive, and drapery is timeless, lending gravity even in the way that it hangs from the figure. When Stoddart sculpted David Hume wearing a toga, rather than wearing his contemporary 18th century costume, some critics were appalled, but Stoddart says you may as well have Cicero wearing a shell suit fashions come and go but drapery reminds us of eternity. Civilised people seek the transcendental to get away from carnality, but the landlubbers are obsessed with the now, Stoddart declared. Drapery signifies nobility and immortality.

In his sculpture of Adam Smith, which stands on Edinburghs Royal Mile, one side of the figure shows the Scottish economists buttons, to represent his worldliness, while the other side has drapery to remind us of his spirituality. Some works, like the heroic realist statues in Stoddarts monument to Robert Louis Stevenson, do suit contemporary costume, but Stoddart tends to lean towards the purity and timelessness of classical forms. Like the unseeing eyes of the statue without any pupils, a classical sculpture also obliterates the world of the viewer, said Stoddart, speaking to the dead and people still to be born, rather than those who inhabit the world that we live in today. Sculpture also has a transcendental quality that goes far beyond other art forms like painting, he added. The statue ignores you, he said, while the painting says hi and the eyes follow you all round the room. When Stoddart moved on to discuss philosophy, his realistic approach to sculpture started to make even more sense. Even though he joked about his statue of the great Emmanuel Kant, describing it as the ultimate garden gnome, he regards the statue as one of his most important works and admires Kant as

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a serious thinker who believed that words are not enough to communicate truth. Pessimism leads to compassion, he said, adding with a smile that he has spent his own life in contemplation of misery. Another great thinker, Arthur Schopenhauer, has also greatly influenced Stoddart, especially his book The World as Will and Representation, in which he says that will is the cause of all problems. For Stoddart, his chief aim in life is to conquer the will, with the help of his art. Developing this theme, Stoddart then declared that the classical drains the will, and that during times when the will is strong, classicism goes out of fashion. While modern art tends to stimulate people, classical art tends to calm, he said. Explaining this later, Stoddart said that even though the arts of peace have sometimes been associated with some of the cruellest regimes in history, this was because those regimes ironically projected a

public image of peace (e.g. the swastika), while seeking to impose their will, behind the scenes. Unfortunately, Stoddart added, Modernism is sometimes portrayed as a rejection of the art of the Nazis, even though the Modernists owe much more to the true, brutalist, ugly and despotic image of the Nazis than theyd care to admit. Another of Stoddarts targets is conceptual art which depends on the power of words for example, the work of Ian Hamilton Findlay and other word-borne Philistines like Tracey Emin. Rather than contemporary, ephemeral impact, Stoddart is attracted to immortal aspirations. Statues are mysterious, he added. They also tell the truth grim reality not entertainment. But even though Stoddart may frown upon some of the jokes of contemporary art, he certainly knows how to tell them and never shies away from taking on the Philistines.



Professor Miles Padgett, FRSE 1 September 2008 Does God Play Dice?

Shedding light on light Albert Einstein would have had some tricky questions to ask at the recent RSE lecture on the wonders of quantum mechanics by Professor Miles Padgett of the University of Glasgow. And he may even have conceded that he got it wrong about one of the most mind-boggling issues in physics As Professor Padgett himself said at the start of his lecture, if you think you understand quantum mechanics, you clearly do not. The greatest minds in physics have been grappling with some of the basics for decades, and often come to opposite conclusions, but that is just part of the fun. According to Ockhams Razor, quoted by Padgett at the end of his lecture, scientists should seek the simplest explanation for what they observe, but even the subtopics in Padgetts talk sounded scary: waveparticle duality, wave interference for single particles, and the role of the observer in determining outcomes. And Professor Padgetts challenge was to help his audience understand

some of the most difficult subjects in physics by shedding light on light One question that scientists have asked over the years is whether light is particles or waves. And the answer appears to be both. Padgett explained that when two beams of light overlap, we see interference effects, the same as with waves made of water. When two crests meet, the lightwave gets bigger. When troughs meet, the lightwave gets smaller. And when crests and troughs meet, they cancel each other out. Thus, light appears to travel in waves. However, Einstein won the Nobel Prize (and in the process fuelled the birth of quantum mechanics) by proving that light, under certain conditions, also behaves like streams of particles concentrated packets of what we call photons. Although it is bizarre, most physicists are happy to accept this wave-particle duality, and Padgett suggested that the answer depends on the question you ask whether you emphasise the wave-like or the particle properties of light. In addition, said Padgett,

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the two opposing theories are simply the models we use to describe the behaviour of light. The truth lies much deeper To explore the question further, physicists have set up variations on an experiment which Padgett presented as a kind of video umpire in cricket, except that instead of bowling a ball at a wicket, you fire a single photon at a photon detector. The challenge is how to predict where the photon will land, just like the projection of a cricket ball which tells you if the ball would hit the wicket or not, based on measuring speed and angle of rotation, etc. When does the photon decide where to land as it leaves the source or when it is observed? And what constitutes an observation? Is the outcome determined by observation like some kind of telekinesis? Is the outcome undecided until the system is observed? In Padgetts words, the photon says either: I know where Im going but the answer will be hidden from you till I get there. Or: I dont know where Im going but I will decide when you observe me. Does this mean the photon can think for itself and determine the outcome like some kind of intelligent cricket ball? Do the photons somehow communicate with each other, to deceive the observer?

Einstein and the the Danish physicist Neils Bohr had two rival theories to explain where the photon would land. Einstein said the outcome was predetermined by subtleties in the initial state of the photon hidden from the observer, or what is called the hidden variable theory, while Bohr claimed that the outcome is only determined at the moment of observation. Einstein therefore leaned towards predetermination and Bohr to random chance, leading to Einsteins famous remark that God does not play dice with nature and inspiring the title of Padgetts lecture. Modern experiments with polarisation have started to settle the argument, Padgett explained. Every photon seems to flip a coin to decide its polarisation for example, vertical or horizontal, or an angle of 45 (left or right). What polarisation should I be? asks the photon. And when do I decide? When the photon passes through a polarised filter, it either passes through the filter, changing its angle of polarisation, or it doesnt pass through at all. In one experiment, two photons are fired off simultaneously in opposite directions, begging the questions: What is their polarisation? How does one photon relate to another, and how do they affect each others polarisation?


According to the work of French physicist Alain Aspect, the orientation is only decided at the moment we measure it. Furthermore, the measurement of either photon instantaneously determines the state of the other something called quantum entanglement or spooky action at a distance. So Einstein was wrong Turning to his own research, Padgett also talked about angular momentum, and introduced a wholly new dimension to the argument by describing how shining a light on a wall both moves the wall back and rotates it. He concluded: We have shown that measuring the angular position of one photon defines the angular momentum of the other. It seems as if God does indeed play dice with angles. What it all comes down to, Padgett suggested, is the quest for understanding. If we can understand the photon and the way it behaves, we can begin to understand the other mysteries of physics, much like The restaurant at the end of the universe, when author Douglas Adams suggested that from one small piece of fairy cake, we can extrapolate the whole of creation. In addition, said Padgett, if photons throw dice to decide what will happen, the same may also be true when it comes to

microscopic systems. Is there a chance, he asked, to show quantum entanglement with living systems? During the Q&A session that followed, Padgett had to wrestle with some challenging questions. For example, instead of measuring photons which are vertical or horizontal, or 45 (left or right), what about the other angles? Padgett thought for a moment then revealed that in fact the most interesting photons had an angle of 22.5 or 67.5 the angles of greatest divergence. Another question touched upon the issue of long photons, and whether the photon reached the detector while still being linked to its source, thus interfering with the twin photon opposite. How would this affect results? Is the entanglement between the photons themselves or between the source and the detector? Finally, one member of the audience asked how all this affects our daily lives. Padgett said he had a stock answer to this secure communications, based on quantum cryptography, or the properties of photons and their complex interactions, which guarantee security by telling us when someone is listening in. So next time you turn on the light, think about quantum entanglement. It may be a brilliant idea

Review of the Session 2007-2008

Professor Rodney M Goodman Carnegie Trust Centenary Professor, University of Edinburgh 3 September 2008 A Code in the Nose

From the incense of ancient Mesopotamia in 3000BC, to the foul Black Death miasmas of the Closes of 17th century Edinburgh, people have been delighted and nauseated by smells. Only recently, however, has science revealed how our brains process odours, and this understanding has led us to develop electronic nose chips capable of learning and recognising odours. As part of his tenure as Carnegie Trust Centenary Professor, Professor Rodney Goodman delivered a public lecture at the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

In this lecture Professor Goodman gave an entertaining and accessible lecture at the popular science level on biological and artificial olfaction. The lecture covered the neurobiology of the mammalian olfaction system, the design of artificial electronic noses, which Professor Goodman demonstrated, and the use of these noses in tracking robots.



Professor Frank Kelly, FRS, Master, Christs College Cambridge 22 September 2008 The Challenges of Road Pricing

Forecasts using the UK National Transport Model suggest that a well-targeted national road pricing scheme could achieve 10 billion-worth of time savings a year in Great Britain alone. Road pricing has had strong theoretical support over many decades. So what is the problem with implementing road pricing? Professor Kelly set out to explain some of the challenges, the technological background, the economic and social framework, and the network modelling issues. First and foremost a mathematician, Professor Kelly began by setting out the correlation between his own academic discipline and the challenges of road networks for the next twenty to thirty years. There is, he postulates, a common underlying abstract theory concerning mathematical models of networks, whether they be communication, power or transport networks, although the technology, economics and social issues will differ between application areas. Professor Kelly set out the standardised traffic modelling graphs that measure the degree of

congestion on a road in terms of the amount of traffic. The increasing delays on road networks have moved the issue of congestion up the political agenda in the face of a perhaps naive assumption that somehow the traffic flow will find its own benign equilibrium; that people wont drive if they expect a route to be congested and will instead take alternative times or routes, thus creating a selflimiting mechanism. To indicate the counter-intuitive nature of road traffic equilibria, Professor Kelly described Braess Paradox: in a congested network where each driver selects a route to minimise that drivers individual delay, it is quite possible that adding a road to a network will increase the delay for every user of the network. An example of Braess Paradox was described where the delay for everyone increased from 83 to 92 when a road was added to the network. Behind these models lie basic mathematical theories that collate sources, routes, linkages and destinations and allow for choice of routes. The Wardrop Equilibrium describes the pattern of flows

Review of the Session 2007-2008

that emerges when each driver makes a self-interested choice of route. A Wardrop Equilibrium captures the phenomenon that drivers will choose the routes that work best to meet their specific needs ignoring, or not being aware of, the consequences for other drivers. According to Professor Kelly, our intuition misleads because we are prone to assuming that the addition of capacity must improve delay. It may not. The system is efficiently minimised, an objective, but the wrong objective. In fact, the objective we would prefer to minimise is a different one (Beckmann, McGuire and Winsten 1956). To put it a different way, the system self-regulates, but it does not self-regulate to the equilibrium we want it to. At this point, Professor Kelly filled in some of the historical detail so as to explain the progression of theories and their impact. There were, he explained, economists between the 1920s and the 1960s who examined the theories, leading to Barbara Castles Transport White Paper of 1966 which began to look at road pricing as a solution to the problems of congestion. As early as 1959, the Columbia University economist William Vickrey was a leading advocate for electronic road tolling. His influence has been extensive.

While we learn to live with congestion, its impact on our behaviour is difficult to measure. The amount of travelling we do is influenced by fundamental aspects of human behaviour as well as by technology or advertising techniques. Interestingly, across the world the time spent travelling, averaged amongst a countrys population, comes out at a fairly steady level. The differences between an African tribal village and a modern industrial society are surprisingly minimal, nor does the percentage of income spent on travel show much variance (Schafer and Victor, 2000). We are, argues Professor Kelly, constrained by time and money when we choose where to work, our leisure activities, schools and so on. Even the shifts in technologies - from horses to air travel, roads to trains - do not reveal the kinds of dramatic shifts one might expect. The average distance travelled per individual increases at around a fairly steady 2.7 per cent a year. As we make our travel choices, are we mindful of the impact upon the infrastructure? Although disposable income has more than doubled since 1974, the cost to a driver of driving a car has not increased at anything like the same rate. The UK remains one of the worst two or three countries in Europe in terms of the amount of time spent in congested


travelling situations. The contribution of road traffic to congestion costs us as a society, according to fairly robust cost/benefit analyses, far more than its contribution to accidents, air pollution, noise or climate change. A feasibility study of road pricing in the UK came out in 2004. The Department for Transport suggested then that a welltargeted national road pricing scheme had the potential to achieve some 20 billion worth of time savings a year at 2010 traffic levels in Great Britain alone - but there is a price. The introduction of the congestion charge in London used a fairly unsophisticated tolling mechanism, but was a good choice in a democracy where the benefits would need to be apparent before the Mayor sought re-election. The scale of the political and social experiment resulted in worldwide interest in

what would happen in London. The variety of technologies available worldwide ranges from tariffs based on registration plates to those that use sophisticated technologies based on transponders and GPS. Technology is undoubtedly raising issues around privacy and trust but it should not deflect us from the central reasoning around road charging. We need to be aware of the trade-offs between privacy, convenience and personalisation implicit in our use of emerging technologies. A topic also touched upon was who should set the rates and position of cordons and with what constraints? In conclusion, Professor Kelly expressed his belief that road pricing looks inevitable for those cities which hope to position themselves as global centres. It is, he feels, a matter of when rather than if.


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Lecture 30 September 2008 Availability of Drugs for the Elderly Joint event supported by The Edinburgh Drug Absorption Foundation and the Ewan & Christine Browns Charitable Trust The meeting was held against a background of rising drug costs and tightening NHS resources. Its aim was to encourage public debate about how we decide what drugs should be available and whether this has a particular impact on the elderly. The speakers included those who make decisions of this nature at a national and local level and also one of the UKs foremost health economists. Chaired by Dr David Lawson CBE, Honorary Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Glasgow. As founding Chairman of the Scottish Medicines Consortium and a former Chairman of the UK Medicines Commission, Professor Lawson, was well-placed to chair the evening. He began with a short explanation of the current position. Briefly, the UK, as with the rest of the world, is struggling to pay its drug bill. This is particularly the case when expensive new treatments, such as biological therapies, come on stream. While products will receive a licence if they are safe, of good quality and efficacious, issues

such as demand, need, cost and affordability are not taken into account in the licensing process. Every country is struggling to deliver, with finite budgets set against near infinite demand, in populations resistant to raising taxes. The aim has been to make new medicines available and avoid postcode lotteries, he confirmed, but the question is how to achieve this. There are some who believe its better to spend the money buying drugs, than in inventing a new bureaucracy, he said provocatively. Professor David Webb Christison Professor of Therapeutics and Clinical Pharmacology, Queens Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh. Scottish Medicines Consortium; principles and process, elderlyrelevant medicines accepted and rejected. As a former Chairman of the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC), Professor Webb ran through the processes by which the organisation assesses newly licensed drugs. He spoke of the benefits of SMC, which include its


fast decision making and the fact that it was created and is owned by the NHS. He cited an Audit Scotland report from 1997 (The Bitterest Pill) which focused on the year-on-year rise in drugs costs within the NHS. At that time, said Professor Webb, Scotlands four large and 11 smaller health boards were each doing their own thing, with varying levels of expertise. This meant duplication of effort and, crucially, led to so-called postcode prescribing because different boards came to different decisions. The SMC was set up to look at all newly licensed medicines around 100 products per year and advise health boards and area drugs and therapeutics committees whether they should be available on the NHS in Scotland. The SMC makes decisions quickly (within 14 weeks), based on a submission from the licence holder, which is a novel method. Essentially the SMC makes a decision on whether the new product will provide value for money for the NHS, based on cost and efficacy. The assessment process is two-tier and involves a scientific committee of about 20 people, whose findings go to the main committee, which has 30 members, including lay members and representatives from the Association of British Pharmaceu195

tical Industries (ABPI) (representing industry). The main committee revisits the scientific evidence and takes a broader societal perspective, he said. There is also an opportunity for patient groups to submit evidence. There are three potential outcomes: the drug is accepted; accepted with restrictions; or, not recommended. Re-submissions are encouraged and there is an appeals process. Acceptance does not necessarily mean the drug will go into health board formularies (the list of drugs which can be prescribed in each NHS board area). If the Area Drugs and Therapeutics Committee does not feel it will be of use for example, if it is the fourth or fifth me too drug and they already have others in use then it might not go in the local formulary. Around a third of submissions are rejected. In general, the cheaper the drug is, in terms of cost per QALY (quality adjusted life-year a term used to judge how many years of good quality life a product will buy for a patient), the more likely it is to be accepted. If cost per QALY is under 20,000, there is an 80 per cent chance that it will be accepted, whereas the SMC rejects around 50 per cent of those where the cost per QALY is between 20,000 and 30,000. If

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the cost per QALY is 40,000, then the chance of rejection is high, he said. These criteria are similar to those used by NICE, but are still well above what health economists tend to say we can afford, which would be more like 10,000 per QALY. (To add context, he said that beta interferon for multiple sclerosis costs 174,000 per QALY). The strengths of the SMC are that it has a bottom-up approach; is owned and was created by the NHS; is flexible; engages with industry; has a single consultation stage; and, makes decisions rapidly. It is also fully supported by the Scottish Government. He pointed out that of the 63 drugs looked at by both NICE and the SMC, the same decision was reached in 83 per cent of cases. Scottish patients get the advantage of getting drugs substantially earlier. The SMC had offered to work more closely with NICE but had been rebuffed. He accepted that the SMC takes an NHS perspective and doesnt look, for example, at the carer cost implications of rejecting or accepting a drug. He also said there is a need to make sure that there is room for genuinely innovative drugs and cited the view of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), that it might be better to price drugs based on the

value one gets from them. He also pointed out that drugs are priced with the US market in mind, because thats where half the global sales are. In conclusion, he said that the SMC avoids duplication, is not influenced by affordability and makes early decisions. It is open, transparent, consistent and NHSled. Dr Ken Paterson Diabetes Centre, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Chairman of the SMC Clinical Effectiveness: Sources and quality of data available to the Scottish Medicines Consortium Dr Paterson discussed the complexity and limitations of the health economics modelling which underlies the decisionmaking over whether a new treatment should be available in the NHS in Scotland. He looked in particular at the impact which economic modelling has on drugs for elderly people. Starting with the concept of costeffectiveness he pointed out that it is not as simple as it seems. Cost doesnt refer only to buying the drug, but also to how much it costs to give it, monitor it and treat any side-effects. What matters is the overall cost, he said.


Effectiveness is also tricky, especially when trying to place clinical trial data in a real world context. There can be problems with extrapolating short-term data to long-term; questions over looking at surrogate end points (such as blood pressure) rather than actual outcomes; and, issues over whether the trial compares the product to an old drug or even to no drug at all (placebo). Patients in clinical trials are unrepresentative of the real world patient in that they tend to be younger, fitter and have less wrong with them. In the real world patients are much older and often have multiple morbidities and are on a multitude of treatments. The typical trial patient will also get more monitoring than real life allows, which can also confound matters. Trial data cant simply be used uncritically, he said. It can inform decision-making but cannot be regarded as the last word. Health economic modelling involves taking the data into the real world and using the information to predict what would happen in routine practice. Clinician input is vital in this process, so it is important that they are engaged and involved. When looking at costs, its also important to note that cost savings predicted are putative rarely, if ever, will a new drug

result in getting money back. When all the factors are not known, judgment calls come into play. He described the attempts to bring the question of health gain into a single measure, the QALY (qualify adjusted life-year). Again this is a vexed issue. How is survival benefit measured when it might be based on younger, fitter patients than we have in Scotland and when the outcomes are being extrapolated from surrogate end points? The model tries to produce an outcome measurement, but it may be part of a range of estimates. Theres also the question of quality of life: is it from the perspective of the patient or of the NHS and how does one assess it? There are several methods, including asking patients to say how they feel (visual analogue scale); asking them how they feel about a time trade-off (eg ten years of life feeling awful compared to two feeling good); and, standard gamble what risk of death would they take to have an injection which might make them better, or could kill them? These are decided on a scale where 0 equals death and 1 equals perfect health. There are other issues including the age of a patient (biological and actual) and special circumstances someone with six

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months left to live might not want to give up any of it so might inflate the gain in quality of life, while some older people might feel theyve had their three score years and ten so might be happier to take a chance and refuse treatment, which deflates it. All QALYs are allegedly valued equally by society, he said, but this ignores the questions such as, how we feel about whether children should take precedence or whether priority should be given to something which cures. How much should we pay for a QALY, he asked, saying that infinity is not an option. Do we bankrupt the NHS or bankrupt UK plc? Economists want to lower the threshold. This could involve restricting treatment or lowering prices. With the QALY, all health gain is valued equally, whether it goes from 0.4 to 0.6 or 0.7 to 0.9 on the scale its the magnitude which matters. That means that older people may have an inherent advantage because more have diseases such as hypertension, osteoporosis and heart disease, which tend to inflate the QALY gain and makes treatment more cost-effective than in younger patients.

Other factors such as co-morbidities, which may alter the efficacy or toxicity of a drug and biological age also need to be taken into account. He said there is a theoretical issue over what would happen if a drug took 20 years to become cost-effective. And niche drugs, which would only be used for a few people, also present challenges. He outlined a paradigm shift, where there is lower pricing based on how well a drug performs. Show us the benefits and well pay for it, he said. The current system isnt perfect, but is the best weve got. Otherwise decisions might be made on the basis of who shouts loudest. Tom Divers Chief Executive, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Affordability and Prioritisation Mr Divers began by saying that Scotlands NHS Chief Executives were very supportive of SMC. He proposed to describe some of the blunter methods used in making decisions at a regional and local level about which drugs are made available, once they have been accepted by the national body. He asked the audience to bear in mind that his NHS Board the biggest in Scotland was trying to deal with the challenges of paying for new drugs against an increase in budget this year of just 3.15



per cent. He described the work of the West of Scotland regional advisory group, which involves NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Dumfries and Galloway, Lanarkshire and Forth Valley, as well as Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Other groups include the Area Drug and Therapeutics Committee, which makes the decision about which drugs make it to the local formulary, and the Prescribing Management Group, whose job includes horizon scanning, to see whats coming up and the financial and other implications. Each of these groups plays into each other. The approach is to have explicit criteria and an annual prioritisation round. This is based on business cases drawn up by each specialist service for example, cardiologists will be asked to rank new cardiology developments. A sub-group of the regional group short-lists these priorities, based on a process which now includes face-to-face meetings with clinicians. This has been a really valuable development, said Mr Divers, as it allows both sides to see what is behind decision making. Health services in Scotland are facing real challenges. In recent years additional drug costs have generally been within boards uplift. This has nothing to do with the change in government, but up

to this year, minimum uplift has been six per cent, so thus far we have been able to accommodate additional drug costs. That might become more challenging with smaller uplifts. He illustrated the difficulty by showing the increase in hospital prescribing costs double figure percentage rises, year-on-year making it one of the biggest pressures (along with fuel costs and surgical instruments and supplies). The Prescribing Management Group (PMG) uses horizon scanning and trend analysis, he said. Its a big group, mainly clinicians, and also considers the high costs of exceptional cases or expensive individual therapies. He stressed that discussions are on a board-wide basis and that all acute hospitals came under the one operating division, unlike the days of trusts and before when different hospitals were trying to carve each other up. He gave a couple of hard examples of coping with new developments. When SMC approved a new drug for wet AMD (age-related macular degeneration), a major cause of blindness, it underestimated the likely impact, in terms of cost and in terms of the facilities and staff needed to administer it. The treatment requires repeated injections of an antibody directly

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into the eyeball by an ophthalmic surgeon in a sterile room and the presence of an anaesthetist. The PMG called for a business case to look at how it could be introduced and how much it would cost. Meanwhile, the board came under pressure to introduce the drug and was accused of denying it to local patients. We took the heat and said we were doing it as quickly as we could, said Mr Divers. When it was introduced, it cost 700,000 less than initially predicted (on a cost of 2.7 million). The other example was drugeluting stents (a coronary scaffold placed into diseased arteries which slowly releases a drug to prevent clots). A minister had promised they would be made available so health boards had to make it happen. The regional cardiac group wanted to fund the more effective CRT (cardiac resynchronisation therapy), which appeared unaffordable. After a negotiation, it was agreed that if DES use was brought down to the level recommended by NICE guidelines, then the saving could part fund CRT. His final thought was that great rigour had to be applied to deciding what drugs the NHS should fund, particularly in an era of tight financial uplifts. A review

of currently used treatments could also help create some headroom, he said. Professor Alan Maynard Department of Health Science, University of York The ethics of treatment denial on the basis of cost Professor Maynard made the argument that rationing is inevitable and ubiquitous if not explicit in health services; the question is how it is done. The problem, he said, is both scarce resources and the fact that in this country we dont tend to be good at dealing with death. There are a number of ways to ration, including willingness to pay (which disadvantages the poor) and the toss a coin method where decisions are taken, for example, on the basis of religion or race or age and by looking at need, demand and supply. Economists, he said, want to improve the length and quality of life, but it is difficult to decide how best to achieve that. He pointed out that much of what is done in the health service has no basis in evidence and many studies are published which are imperfect. Even so, the health service at least has some evidencebase, especially when compared with other areas such as educa-



tion, social work and police. At least medicine is making an attempt to be scientific, he said. He spoke about economic models, including the QALY, but made it plain that health decisions are not always taken on a utilitarian basis; they tend to have an ethical dimension too. He gave the example of low birth weight babies; if considered on a purely utilitarian basis of getting the most benefit from resources, then treating these babies would not be seen as a good idea. The efficient route would be to let them die. Society is prepared to be inefficient, he said, adding that there was a challenge in squaring off both ethics and efficiency. When measuring cost, it is important to look at what is the value of what is given up if one person gets a treatment, another is therefore denied it. There are a number of potential solutions, including finding more resources. Rationing can be lessened by improving the efficiency of health care by, for example, reducing clinical practice variations. It has been recognised for quite some time now that considerable differences occur in the treatments carried out by doctors on apparently similar patients in terms of the frequency of physician visits, the number of diagnostic tests and length of hospital and intensive care (ICU)

stays. Unfortunately the same studies show that a higher intensity of care and higher levels of spending are not associated with better quality of life or longer survival times even in the most renowned teaching hospitals. He said the UK had particularly high levels of variation and that these persisted, despite calls for action over many years, and asked whether incentives or penalties would help achieve change. Another way to reduce rationing would be to drive down the price of drugs. Its time for government to be a price maker, not a price taker, he said. He referred to the OFTs value-based pricing call (where manufacturers would be paid according to the benefit brought by their produce) but asked who would do it. We could avoid the top-up debate if industry was prepared to negotiate prices, he said. Factors other than cost or economics could affect whether patients are denied treatment. For example, its quite efficient to treat an 85-year-old cardiac patient but there might possibly be a view that its better to use resources inefficiently for young people instead. So should we swallow the health economists efficiency model or should we put social value weights in? Were pushing down the efficiency route weve converted the medical profession


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to efficiency but there are other values, there are other things, he said. He outlined some rationing rules, including treating equals equally with due dignity (particularly when close to death); meeting peoples needs for healthcare as efficiently as possible; and, minimising health inequalities something which he said may be inefficient but ethical. He said that the way forward was for the public and politicians to decide, but reminded the audience of the reaction of former health minister Edwina Currie when asked to consider rationing: Bugger off, I want to be reelected. Debate The speakers were joined by Professor Henry Dargie, Department of Cardiology, Western Infirmary, Glasgow. Transparency about cost of medicines The lively question session was opened by a man who described himself as an elderly patient with Parkinsons. He suggested that people might act more responsibly and comply with treatment if there was more transparency about how much medicines cost.

Professor Webb said that it might be helpful if patients understood what resources they were consuming or not consuming. Dr Paterson agreed there was a lack of transparency in how products were priced, but added that people should know the value of prescriptions as it might make them more likely to take the treatment or think twice about whether they needed to get the prescription made up. Professor Maynard was not convinced, however, saying that systems elsewhere in the world which had tried this had not noticed differences in behaviour. Professor Dargie said there could be problems if patients thought that a new drug costing 500 would necessarily be better than an existing 25 product, when there wasnt necessarily any extra benefit from the more expensive drug. He said that there was huge variation in patients and that while knowing the cost might have an effect on some, it wouldnt on others. Mr Divers called on clinicians to be more honest about the benefits of drugs, particularly non-formulary products, and asked them to get alongside managers over what was possibly within the resource envelope rather than handing the issue to a panel which decides on exceptional cases.



Professor Angus Mackay, a psychiatrist, said there would be a problem in psychiatry in particular because patients with depressive illness may not think themselves worthy of expensive drugs. Professor Dargie said it was difficult for clinicians to get to know patients because consultation times were limited. He said it was important to explain what the patient would gain from a treatment, and the downsides. In some cases the patient might say they dont want to bother with that [a drug], particularly if its preventative. QALYs, top-up fees and orphan drugs A former physician from the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh expressed alarm at how vague a QALY is. He also felt that those with rare diseases would get a bad bargain if denied new treatments on the basis of cost, particularly as those looking for further developments might gain knowledge which would benefit other conditions. He also asked about top-up or co-payments. All panellists agreed that there are clear limitations with the current approach, including the QALY, but said they are the best thing available at the moment. Professor Webb said that while economics helped form decisions, essentially they were clinical judgments, while Professor Maynard said that

it would help if the drug industry could be persuaded to do better real world trials. On orphan drugs, Mr Divers said there is a debate within SMC about whether they should be subject to the same criteria as all other drugs and that there is a risk of leaving it up to local decisionmaking by each health board. On top-up fees, Mr Divers said the current system (where patients cannot have NHS treatment if they opt to pay for something such as an expensive drug privately) came about because some hospital consultants allowed their private patients to jump the NHS queue and move in and out of private treatment. Professor Webb said that top-up payments are against the ethos of the NHS, but said he is troubled that people have to sell or remortgage their home to pay for treatment particularly if the effectiveness is marginal. Deciding on other areas of service provision A representative from the ABPI (pharmaceutical industry) questioned affordability, saying that if drugs are subjected to a maximum cost per QALY, what about the other 90 per cent of health intervention. Professor Maynard said that the cut-off was arbitrary, but that rationing has been submerged because so much

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money has been pumped into the NHS. He said politicians would have to look at the issue. Mr Divers said that some procedures, such as surgical practice, are looked at for cost-effectiveness. Folk dont get a 50,000 operation nodded through, he said. Self-monitoring Asked if encouraging people to self-monitor would improve compliance, the panel was not convinced. While it might be good for some patients, possibly those who were engaged with selfmonitoring would have adhered to treatment in any case. Patient education and the media A pharmacist from Edinburgh asked about how to educate patients, when the media publicised the latest must-have drug. Professor Webb said it is important to educate the public that drugs could harm as well as benefit. Professor Maynard added that it is important to get information out to GPs so that they can deal with patients who demanded the latest drug, by, for example, being able to say the results had been based on a small trial. Professor Dargie said the media is part of the problem because what is written

is at best inaccurate and is often misleading. It has to shock to be read, he said. Considering social care costs A representative of Alzheimer Scotland said that NICE had tried to take into account the costs of social care when making decisions about drugs for Alzheimers. She asked if there is a possibility that NHS-centric processes risk ignoring the impact on social care. Professor Webb said that if the NHS identified social care costs as part of the SMCs brief, they would look at them on a case-bycase basis. We dont look at carer costs, he said, adding that politicians would have to make that decision. Tom Divers said that the SMC got insights from patient interest group submissions, but that some groups didnt submit; some submissions were superb; and, others were patchy. Me Too Drugs Asked by Professor Harmer, a pharmacologist, about me too drugs, Professor Webb said they arent necessarily a bad thing. Having more than one drug in a class means that if patients react against one, they can try another. Also, extra benefits might be found from the third of fourth version he gave the example of the contraceptive pill, which has improved in safety as it has evolved. But he said it is important



to be wary where pharmaceutical companies have a drug nearing the end of its patent and alter it slightly to preserve profits. SMC v NICE A member of the audience put the question of which was better, the SMC or NICE. The Chairman replied that the two organisations were different creatures. The SMC makes rapid assessments and uses information provided early by the pharmaceutical industry and tries to form rather than change prescribing habits. NICE takes longer, but can make decisions based on newer information. Wed like them to use the SMCs data. Why reinvent the wheel? he said. Professor Webb said that NICE runs a public health programme, looks at health technology and at whole disease areas none of which is part of the SMC remit. These are hard nuts to crack, but it is important work, he said. The SMC is very good at making fast judgements, but NICE does things that are just as important and which complement what the SMC does.

Dr Paterson said that primary care trusts in England are increasingly looking to the SMC for advice while they wait for NICE to make decisions. Professor Maynard added it was very sad that more PCTs didnt do so. We have 150 PCTs doing their own thing. I think they should use SMC guidance and be more consistent. Patient involvement It was left to a woman active in patient involvement to put the last question, which was really more of a statement. She said she was heartened and encouraged by the debate and the thought and consideration behind it. Professor Lawson finished by calling on members of the public not necessarily representatives of patient groups to get involved in the debate. I think public involvement has greatly evolved were getting better at it, he said, but conceded that there is room for improvement.



Kelvin 2007 .................................................................................................. 208 Are Our Civil Liberties Being Unduly Eroded? .............................................. 210 Science and the Parliament ........................................................................... 214 Inflammation and Inflammatory Disease ...................................................... 216 Cultural Flagships: being a National Music and Opera ............................ 226 Rare Plants and Common Interests .............................................................. 235 Cultural Flagships: being a National Film ................................................. 259 Structures and Granular Solids ..................................................................... 267 Computer Predictions for Nature and Society: Should They be Trusted? ...... 268 The Life and Culture of the Highlands and Islands ...................................... 272 Doors Open Day ........................................................................................... 287


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Institute of Physics Conference in association with the University of Glasgow and The Royal Society of Edinburgh Kelvin 2007 14 November 2007 On November 14 2007 in the Kelvin Gallery of the University of Glasgow we celebrated 100 years of Lord Kelvins legacy. Kelvin was born William Thomson in Belfast in 1824. He entered Glasgow University at the age of ten and published a paper on Fourniers Theory when he was seventeen. He so distinguished himself that at the age of twenty-two he was elected to the Chair of Natural Philosophy at Glasgow. Far beyond the laws of thermodynamics his scientific achievements spanned many aspects of physics, engineering and as a man ahead of his times its commercialisation. Rather than concentrating on his historical achievements, the days lectures centered on exploring the modern legacy of some of the scientific fields that occupied Kelvin presenting modern day insights to work that he can be said to have started. Like many scientists of his time, Kelvin believed that light travelled through ether which filled the vacuum. Kelvin proposed that atoms and molecules were formed from vortex loops and knots within this ether, a theory somewhat undermined by the subsequent discovery that light needed no ether at all! Although flawed as a theory for atoms and molecules, vortex lines within wave fields are prevalent in many branches of physics, ranging from superfluids and cosmic strings to light itself. Professor Sir Michael Berry FRS HonFRSE explained how, ever since the time of Newton, light was known to exhibit vortex-like properties. Optical vortices are an inescapable feature that arises whenever three or more light beams overlap. Professor Berry revealed how for special superpositions of beams, the resulting vortex structure can form both links and knots a topic of current research within Glasgow University. Kelvin gave his name to the temperature scale, which sets absolute zero as zero degrees Kelvin. Not foreseen by Kelvin is that when gas atoms are cooled to a fraction of a degree above absolute zero, their effective wavelength extends beyond the separation between individual atoms. Rather than considering the gas as individual atoms, one


Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums now considers the gas as a whole. These Bose-Einstein condensates are one of the hot topics of modern physics. Professor Ed Hinds produced one of the worlds first condensates, and has established many new techniques for their transport and control. A related area of excitement is that it is possible to hold a single atom within a miniature cavity formed between the end of an optical fibre and a neighbouring mirror. The enhancement provided by the cavity means that it is possible to interact with the atom using a single photon of light. These quantised interactions will form the basis of a completely new form of information processing capable of performing tasks impossible by any classical computer. Beyond Thermodynamics, for which Kelvin is most famous, his contributions to the commercial exploitation of modern science were truly impressive. Nowhere was this more impressive than his contribution to worldwide communication. Professor Wilson Sibbett CBE FRS FRSE outlined Kelvins contribution, both the unsuccessful and subsequently successful laying of the first transatlantic telegraph cable, an undertaking that also required the building of the worlds largest steam ship. Kelvins key contributions to the project included the design of the

highly sensitive receiver, capable of measuring the small currents emerging at the far end of the cable. Professor Sibbett explained how electronic communication has been largely superseded by optical communication, and how UK science has developed the essential optical amplifiers required to boost the light levels throughout the thousands of kilometres of fibre optic cable. Professor Sibbetts own work has centred on making the ultra-short laser pulses that form the basis of high-speed optical communications. Returning again to the ether, Kelvin pondered also its structure, which had to be light, yet to account for lights high velocity, also very stiff. Kelvin speculated that the ether had the same structure as foam, famously only taking a few weeks to establish the lowest energy unit cell. His foam structure was considered the optimum foam until the mid 1990s, when Professor Denis Weaire established an alternative structure slightly more efficient than Kelvins proposal. Interestingly, this structure rarely occurs in nature. However, Professor Weaire showed us how his foam structure has been adopted as the design for the steel framework of the Beijing Olympic swimming venue. Surely even Kelvin would have been proud.

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Mock Trial Are Our Civil Liberties Being Unduly Eroded? 19 November 2007

On 19 November 2007, the Royal Society of Edinburgh staged a mock trial on the topic Are our civil liberties being unduly eroded? The event was sponsored by the Faculty of Advocates, the Clark Foundation, Messrs Balfour & Manson and Messrs Simpson & Marwick, solicitors. The Society is immensely grateful to them for their support. Magnus Linklater, standing in for Jim Naughtie whose flight from Pakistan had been delayed, acted as judge. The audience acted as jury and were asked to vote at the beginning and at the end. The protagonists were Baroness (Helena) Kennedy, QC, arguing the proposition that our civil liberties are being unduly eroded and Lord (Charlie) Falconer, QC, arguing the contrary. Each side led three witnesses. The question for debate had originally been formulated as Are our civil liberties being eroded? At the request of Lord Falconer the word unduly was inserted.

At the outset, the audience voted: For the proposition-94; Against the proposition-33; Undecided20. Baroness Kennedy, whose plane had also been delayed, had not arrived in time to be consulted about the introduction of the word unduly but pointed out that this was a concession that our civil liberties are being eroded. They had indeed been massively eroded since before 9/11 because of Mr Blairs authoritarian attitudes and anxiety to show that New Labour was neither a party of peaceniks nor soft on crime game-playing with the Tories to see who could be tougher. 2,000 new crimes had been introduced since 1997. She cited some 20 examples of authoritarian measures enacted, proposed or threatened, including detention without trial, control orders, removal of safeguards (jury trial, double jeopardy, burden of proof, right to silence, disclosure of previous convictions, admission of evidence based on torture, streamlining of extradition), neighbourhood curfews, keeping of DNA, identity cards. Public fears


Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums were stoked up to make these appear acceptable and necessary. The first witness was Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty. She argued that the Blair Government notably successive Home Secretaries had pursued an authoritarian and repressive agenda. The Human Rights Act was a necessary protection against this agenda, but it was not in safe hands. Ministers treated it as an embarrassing love child, and were prepared to contemplate its repeal. Their true attitude was reflected in Mr Blairs statement that We asked the police what powers they wanted and we gave them to them. The measures taken were counterproductive, discriminatory and disproportionate. Control orders were a form of punishment without trial and without limit of time. Such measures should be taken only in a temporary and exceptional state of emergency. All proportionate alternatives should be considered first and were not. The second witness, Henry Porter, author and journalist, argued that there had been a steady erosion of civil liberties since the Home Secretaryship of Michael Howard. The state was intruding, by stealth, ever deeper into the private sphere of the individual in order to track and control their preferences, their reading, their movements, their purchases and their health. The

police were able to take and retain DNA even where the person concerned was not accused, let alone convicted, of any offence. It was arguable that everyones DNA should be recorded on a database, but this should be on the basis of a comprehensive statute incorporating the necessary guarantees against abuse. The proposals for identity cards pursued the same covert agenda. The third witness was Roy Martin, QC, former Dean of the Faculty of Advocates. He concentrated on the independence of the judiciary, legal aid and the regulation of the legal profession. It was significant that the government north and south of the Border thought it necessary to introduce a statutory guarantee of judicial independence. This was necessary only because, at the same time, the government was introducing legislation that would enable the executive to direct and control the workings of the judicial system. Limitation of expenditure on legal aid in criminal cases led to a denial of access to justice for those who could not afford to pay. Regulation of the legal profession, itself a guarantee of liberty, was to be transferred to a body appointed and directed by the government. Opening the case for the other side, Lord Falconer said that the issue was how we want to live. The government of which he had

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been a member had preserved two things well security and freedom. Our country was faced with new threats that required action to ensure security. There had been detention without trial during World War II. The measures taken to deal with the threat of the IRA had included internment without trial and even torture. Thanks to the Human Rights Act, the courts were now able to ensure that there is no abuse of executive power. Striking the right balance between security and liberty should be seen as a collaborative effort between the executive and the judiciary. The first witness was Lord Elder, who said that it was important that non-lawyers should have a view and should be able to express it. Civil liberty was discussed now more than ever before. Britain had been better able to deal with the threat of terrorism after 9/11 because, as a result of previous experience with the IRA, we already had stronger security systems in place. He could not speak for the Muslim community, but he was Chancellor of a Muslim FE College in Dundee and could say that the concerns expressed to him were about Iraq and Palestine rather than measures of security at home. The use of stop and search powers without a requirement to give reasons was a matter of proportionality. In current circumstances

it was a reasonable response but should be subject to review. The second witness, Alistair Bonnington, solicitor to the BBC in Scotland, argued that the Human Rights Act provided a new context within which to assess the erosion of civil liberties. It was arguable that the criminal law was now more favourable to the accused than before the Act, and the Act had been the means of dealing with problems, such as the tenure of temporary sheriffs at the pleasure of the Lord Advocate, for which there would otherwise have been no remedy. While members of the Executive attacked the Act and the judges, the public were now so distrustful of politicians that it was an aid to judges to be attacked by politicians. The underlying problem with current anti-terrorism legislation was haphazard and inadequate drafting. The last witness was Lord McCluskey, who pointed out that there had been a threat from Islamic terrorism long before 9/11, and cited a list of examples. Meeting the threat from IRA terrorism had involved serious curtailment of civil liberties. The problem of dealing with Islamic terrorism was of a different order. Normal periods of detention without charge were inadequate to allow the police to investigate the contents of computer disks, etc. Power would inevitably be

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums abused, and the purpose of civil liberties, enforced by judges, was to protect against abuse. If unduly constrained, the police were liable to resort to underhand methods indeed, one police chief had referred to perjury in a noble cause. Some extension of powers of detention was, in the opinion of the government, essential and we should accept that, subject to control by the judiciary. Summing up, Baroness Kennedy affirmed that law matters it tells us what our values are. Power is delightful. It will be abused and must be constrained. Erosion of civil liberties to deal with a threat leads to corruption of power and seeps into the culture of policing. Governments will always tell us that it is necessary. But the state and the executive derive their power from the people and the burden is on them to show cause why our civil liberties should be constrained. Laws are the autobiography of a nation and ours includes shameful chapters. The politics of what works are not enough. Lord Falconer did not dispute the importance of law. We must be guided by principle developed by collaboration between politicians and the courts. It is not enough to sign up to words. Our experience of the IRA trials, etc., had shown how the system could be manipulated, and enactment of the Human Rights Act had been essential to provide a new framework. No-one in government wanted to restrict liberty to any greater extent than was necessary to assure security. This country has a good record. Summing up, Magnus Linklater observed that, over the course of the debate, the two sides seemed to have moved further apart. Whereas one side believed that civil liberties had been eroded, the other maintained that they had, on the contrary been strengthened. He then invited the audience to vote again. There voted: For the proposition95; Against the proposition-48; Still undecided-7. There was a very enthusiastic round of applause for the two protagonists and the six witnesses. The event concluded with a vote of thanks to Magnus Linklater proposed by Lord Cameron of Lochbroom.


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Science and the Parliament 28 November 2007

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) hosted its annual Science and the Parliament event at Our Dynamic Earth on Wednesday 28 November. As well as the RSC a range of other scientific organisations participated, with considerable input from RSE Fellows and staff. Significant contributions to the event were made by Professor Geoffrey Boulton, Professor Anne Glover and Professor Maggie Gill. The event provided a great opportunity for the science and political community to come together and discuss some of the key issues facing society. Within the first few months of the new Parliamentary session much political attention had been paid to the issue of energy and climate change. The scientific community recognised the need to explore the subject within the Scottish context and hence the focus this year being Energy and Climate Change - The Science behind the Energy Debate.

The President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Professor Jim Feast, welcomed the commitment shown by Scottish Parliamentarians to the event, demonstrated by the attendance and participation of the Government Minister for Climate Change Stewart Stevenson, and the participation of MSPs of all parties, including Iain Gray of Labour, the Conservative Alex Johnstone, Liam McArthur of the Liberal Democrats and Robin Harper the Green co-leader. The event looked at the whole range of ways in which science can contribute to tackling climate change, including breakout sessions focusing on alternative fuels for transport, renewable energy, electricity generation, and energy conservation. A Scottish Parliamentary Motion was tabled and debated in the Scottish Parliament that afternoon. In the evening over 30 Organisations, including the RSE, put on an exhibition providing the ideal opportunity for networking between the political and scientific communities.


Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums RSC Chief Executive, Dr Richard Pike, said I hope that the Science and the Parliament event has helped to give policy makers some new ideas of how the world of science can help tackle the issue of carbon emissions, and I look forward to seeing the proposals of the Scottish Government for its own Climate Change Bill which will be considered in 2008.


Review of the Session 2007-2008

CRF Conference Inflammation and Inflammatory Disease 29-30 November 2007 Reproduced from Conference Report ISBN: 978 0 902198 55 5 Inflammation and the inflammatory process are central to many diseases, including cancer, heart disease and arthritis. This is not a new observation; in the first century AD, the Roman writer Aulus Cornelius Celsus noted the four cardinal signs of inflammation, namely rubor, calor, dolor and tumor (redness, heat, pain and swelling). Galen added to that loss of function. That did not mean, however, that the ancients came up with cures for inflammatory diseases. Indeed, until well into the last century there was little in the way of treatment for some of the most common and even now cures for many are elusive. There was a sense of history, however, at this Caledonian Research Foundation conference and a feeling that times are beginning to change. Perhaps cochair Professor Chris Haslett summed it up best when he told the audience that his previous pessimism about the whole area of inflammatory disease was being replaced with a real sense of hope. Many of the distinguished speakers had been directly involved in recent dramatic developments which have led to a step change in the treatment of inflammatory disease. These included Professor Marc Feldmann, who described how he came to discover anti-TNF therapy, one of the big clinical success stories in treating chronic disease. Others described promising new targets for potential new treatments, and demonstrated how our understanding of the molecular basis for diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and vasculitis was improving. There was also a political dimension, however. Glasgows Professor Ian McInnes was particularly keen to move inflammatory diseases up the agenda and to see a renewed focus on finding effective new cures. He called for immunology groups to work together to find new treatments and to make a concerted effort to treat patients within clinical trials, sharing the knowledge and pushing the field forward, taking the cancer community as a model.


Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums All in all, the conference lived up to the introduction from Professor David Baird, retired obstetrician and member of the CRF board. It was important, he said, to have such conferences, free from the influence of commercial sponsors, to discuss and drive forward areas of clinical and scientific importance. Mechanisms of Inflammation Menstruation: A Pivotal Reproductive Inflammatory Event Professor Hilary Critchley, Centre for Reproductive Biology, University of Edinburgh. Menstruation is an inflammatory event which involves tissue injury and repair. As such, it may serve as a paradigm for these processes elsewhere in the body. But menstrual disorders also bring their own problems and can have a considerable impact on womens physical, economic and psychological wellbeing. In order to improve the medical treatment of women with menstrual problems, it is essential to understand the mechanisms involved in uterine bleeding. Professor Critchley said that the process of tissue injury and subsequent repair in menstruation involved a complex interplay between the endocrine and the local immune systems, with the functional layer of the human endometrium undergoing serial degeneration and renewal each menstrual cycle. Many of the molecules involved in menstruation, however, are also those involved in the bodys inflammatory response to injury. These include a dynamic population of leukocytes within the endometrium and there is also a complex interplay between sex hormones, immune system cells, locally produced cytokines and growth factors. Menstrual bleeding occurs when the sex hormone, progesterone, is withdrawn, although how that happens is not fully understood. Several compounds could be involved, including uterine cytokines, VEGF and glucocorticoids. Professor Critchley concluded that menstruation was an inflammatory event and there are a number of local mediators at play. A better understanding of the regulation of normal menstruation could open the way to better treatments for menstrual problems. It could also help to improve understanding of Inflammation mechanisms and tumour formation elsewhere in the body. The Pathophysiology of Tumor Necrosis Factor: Insights from Animal Models Professor George Kollias, President and Director, Biomedical Sciences Research Centre Alexander Fleming, Greece.

Review of the Session 2007-2008

Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) is one of the big stories in inflammation and autoimmunity. The protein plays an essential part in the development of rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis and Crohns disease; and anti-TNF therapies have proved to be a breakthrough treatment for these conditions. Professor Kollias, who is renowned for the development and characterisation of transgenic and knockout mice, spoke about the work done in his lab and beyond, to try to find out more about the specific function of TNF and its receptors. Using animal models, researchers are trying to map molecular and cellular pathways which involve TNF. As yet, the specific mechanisms are unknown, but there are promising lines of inquiry. Professor Kollias and colleagues are using functional genomics and high-throughput technologies to investigate genes or pathways potentially involved in TNF-mediated disease. Using a large-scale integrated expression approach in transgenic mice, they have identified many genes and pathways which are deregulated in diseased cells. Mesenchymal cells and follicular dendritic cells for example, are involved in the TNF-signalling process. Again, however, Professor Kollias stressed that there was not likely

to be a single cause or mechanism for these diseases or processes. He concluded that a number of different mechanisms could be at play and that this might help to explain the efficacy and safety of anti-TNF therapies. Using information from both animal and patient samples, the researchers are building up a database of potential therapeutic targets and treatments. Rheumatoid Arthritis as a Syndrome of Accelerated Immune Senescence Dr Connie Weyand, Division of Rheumatology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta. Dr Weyand began by defining various national reactions to ageing: while the French think its a nuisance and the British think its a fact, for Americans its regarded as an option. Although this may have been a joke, it underlined the point of her paper, which was that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is caused by an ageing and failing immune system. The option part comes into it because, if its possible to stop the immune system ageing, then RA might also be halted. Dr Weyand pointed out the paradox that it is when our immune systems begin to age that we develop conditions like RA, which rely on immune and inflammatory responses. Her


Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums hypothesis is that RA is, paradoxically, caused by a failing, rather than efficient immune system. The immune system depends on massive expansion and contraction of cell numbers, imposing intense proliferative stress and restricting the lifespan of lymphocytes. She demonstrated that the bodys production of thymic T cells falls away dramatically once it reaches the fifth decade, leading to a remodelling of the immune system. This was illustrated by a progressive loss of telomeres the cells internal clock and Dr Weyand said that immunoregulatory receptors were different in young and old T cells. Patients with RA accumulate senescent T cells indeed, their immune system is 20-30 years pre-aged, she said. Not only does this affect the memory cells which are Inflammation-mediating, but also the immune systems reserve of naive T cells. She concluded that there was a mechanistic link between accelerated immunosenescence and chronic inflammatory disease in RA. Inflammation and Destruction in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Pathways and Therapeutic Implications Professor Josef Smolen, Division of Rheumatology, Medical School of Vienna. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterised by the propensity for destruction of cartilage and bone, which is brought about by the inflammatory response of the disease. Other disorders which have a similar inflammatory response have less potential for destruction, however. Professor Smolen said that the pathways leading to joint damage in RA seem to be connected to the high level of proinflammatory cytokines which allow osteoclasts the cells which destroy bone to become hyperactive. He said TNF is an important cytokine in the pathogenesis of destructive arthritis, but it is not the only one. What is known is that TNF enhances osteoclastogenesis, primarily via TNF-R1, while TNF-R2 may prove to have a protective role. In practice, when treating patients with RA, it is important to aim to prevent damage both occurring in the first place and building up, but the only certain way to do that is by inducing remission. In all other situations, joint destruction will continue.


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He stressed that since anti-TNF therapy with MTX reduces joint damage at any disease activity state, it is important to report disease state in clinical trials. Professor Smolen concluded that the effects of therapy could be predicted within 36 months, which allowed a flexible approach. Although reducing Inflammation helps to slow destruction, progression to disability will only be stopped by turning off the inflammatory response completely. Pathogenic Mechanisms in Vasculitis Professor Caroline Savage, Institute of Biological Research, University of Birmingham. Vasculitides can attack large, medium or small vessels, causing damage to blood vessel walls. Small vessel vasculitides (SSV) can cause significant damage to major organs including the kidney, respiratory and cardiovascular systems. SSV have strong autoimmune features and, although it is not known precisely what agents cause them, SSV do have an association with anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibodies (ANCA), which may play an important part in the development of the disease. Remission can be induced with corticosteroids and cyclophosphamide and recent successful

treatment with anti-CD20 therapy (Rituximab), which depletes B cells, suggests they are also involved. Professor Savage described results in patients in Birmingham using Rituximab, where remission and B-cell depletion were induced in all, but the mechanism of action is still now known. Her hypothesis is that autoantibodies might predominantly be produced by short-lived Ab-producing cells, dependent on repopulation by precursor B cells. She concluded that Inflammation in vasculitis may be driven in many instances by ANCAneutrophil interactions. But modulation by cytokines is key to this. In addition, certain microvascular beds are more susceptible to injury, so B cells may be needed to support inflammatory niches where plasma cells can contribute to autoantibody formation and T cells may be overactive. Injury may be largely driven by neutrophil serine proteases, making them potentially important therapeutic targets. Chemo Attraction of Inflammatory Cells to Sites of Allergic Inflammation Professor Timothy Williams, National Health & Lung Institute, Imperial College, London. Allergic diseases such as asthma involve an accumulation of inflammatory cells in tissues.

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums While the interplay between the cells (leukocytes) and tissue gives rise to symptoms, it is not known exactly how it works. Professor Williams and his team have been studying the chemoattractants released during allergic reactions and looking at their involvement in trafficking leukocytes from the blood to the tissue. One discovery is that mast cell progenitors express the BLT1 receptor, which may provide a possible mechanism for increasing mast cells in tissues at sites of allergic Inflammation, as activated mature mast cells produce the ligand for this receptor, LTB4. The team discovered Eotaxin, a chemokine produced in allergic reactions which is important in the recruitment of eosinophils, which have been associated with lung damage. Eotaxin is produced by several different cells types and signals via the CCR3 receptor, which is present on eosinophils, mast cells and Th2 cells. Professor Williams said that future treatments could target the trafficking of specific leukocyte types, such as eosinophils or mast cell progenitors, by blocking particular chemoattractant receptors. Therapies could inhibit mast cell hyperplasia, which occurs in allergic rhinitis, asthma and parasitic infection. Immunological Memory and Chronic Inflammation Professor Andreas Radbruch, Scientific Director, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschunszentrum, Berlin. Immunosuppression (damping down the immune response) is the current therapeutic strategy for treating chronic Inflammation, but this does not provide a cure for many patients. Professor Radbruch said the reason for this could be that it does not target pathogenic immunological memory. In other words, the immune system is protected by cells which remember how to resist therapies which tackle the primary immune responses. These protective cells are not proliferating, which removes the possibility of tackling them through mechanisms involved, in or inducing, proliferation. Using animal models, Professor Radbruch has shown that the protective cells depended on their ability to express a particular genetwist 1, in memory Th1 cells for example, to form survival niches for memory cells. Targeting these memory cells could, therefore, be key to effective therapies for chronic Inflammation. In other words, making patients bodies forget that they had rheumatic Inflammation could be the key to curing it.


Review of the Session 2007-2008

He showed results in patients who had undergone immunablation and whose immune system had been rebuilt using stem cells. Pathogenic memory was deleted in these patients with SLE or MS, their autoantibodies disappeared and a new, young immune system developed. Therapeutic Approach to Inflammatory Disease Anti-TNF Therapy Heralds a Major Therapeutic Development: Anti-Cytokines Professor Marc Feldmann, Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London. Professor Feldmann discovered (in the early 1980s) anti-TNF therapy, which has had a tremendous impact on the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases and has since been used to treat more than a million patients. He described how the discovery came about and possible ways forward for new treatments. He pointed out that cytokines are important in every biological process, including Inflammation and immunity. Many cytokines are produced in rheumatoid synovium, so he and colleagues were looking to see if there were any therapeutic targets. Analysis of cytokine regulation revealed the importance of tumor necrosis factor (TNF).

By 1991, the rationale behind the treatment had been established and clinical trials began the following year. They were successful and the first drugs were registered at the end of the millennium. Professor Feldmann pointed out that it has since been clear that TNF is the bodys fire alarm and that many cytokines are effective therapeutic targets. The issue is linking the disease with the appropriate cytokine target. While successful in treating symptoms, however, anti-cytokine therapies do not cure; most work better in combination with other drugs and they are expensive. He concluded that cytokine medicine has come of age in chronic conditions, with many promising new therapies now in trials, but as yet there is nothing for acute disease. Cytokines as Therapeutic Targets in Inflammatory Disease Responses Professor Ian McInnes, Division of Immunology, Infection & Inflammation, Biomedical Research Centre, University of Glasgow. Despite the success of therapies such as anti-TNF, Professor McInnes pointed out that there was still unmet clinical need in rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis. In his view, the important thing is to aim for remission. He pointed out that it is still necessary to

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums know more about disease processes, and added that cytokines other than TNF might also be good therapeutic targets. Even so, he would like to see treatment initiated at as early a stage as possible because there is evidence that this leads to better outcomes, whatever the therapeutic agent. He would like treatment to reduce Inflammation given to patients as soon as they present at a clinic, to try to prevent chronic damage. Cytokines may be good candidates for such treatments because of their role in the early stages of Inflammation in particular, he wants to know more about IL-12, IL-23, IL-15 and IL-33. Different cytokines may be targets for different conditions, for example, anti-IL-33 antibody is in preclinical trials with asthma as a . rst target and anti-IL-18 is being tested in psoriasis. Professor McInnes said he would like to see more collaborative working to find the best targets for each condition and would also like more political engagement with the issues. Genes, Environment and Immunity in the Development of Rheumatoid Arthritis Professor Lars Klareskog, Rheumatology Unit, Karolinska Institute, Sweden. Much work has been done to try to identify genes implicated in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but

environmental factors are also involved. Professor Klareskog described the EIRA (Environment & Immunity in Rhematoid Arthritis) Study, which looks at the involvement of genes and the environment in the triggering of RA, which has recruited around 3,000 cases and 3,000 controls to date. Several genes, including HLA-D and PTPN22, are known to be risk factors for RA and there are now several new candidate genes. Collaborations are being set up and expanding between different groups internationally, who are pooling the findings of studies such as EIRA. Environmental factors are also important, however. Professor Klareskog demonstrated that smoking is a risk factor for ACPA/ RF-positive RA, but not for ACPAnegative RA. Risk increases with the amount smoked. Professor Klareskog posited that certain genes, particularly those coding for some MHC class II transplantation antigens, may act together with environmental factors to cause immune reactions towards proteins which have been modified by a process of citrullination. Antibodies to citrullated peptides are present in the majority of RA patients, but rare in the population generally. There are still many questions to be answered, including whether citrullination takes place before, during, or after the onset of RA.

Review of the Session 2007-2008

He concluded that the scene was now set for immunologists to research the aetiologies and molecular pathways of RA subsets in the light of new information from genetic epidemiology. Genetics, however, must be combined with information on the environment, he stressed. Novel Strategies to Resolve Inflammation Professor Adriano G Rossi, MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, University of Edinburgh. Tackling the processes which lead to programmed cell death (apoptosis) may well provide new therapeutic targets for reducing Inflammation, said Professor Rossi. Apoptosis is an efficient way of clearing potentially histotoxic cells from inflamed sites and is therefore an important factor in resolving Inflammation. Dr Rossi and colleagues have been looking at neutrophil apoptosis and also the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells by macrophages and how they can be regulated by pharmacological intervention. They have shown that signalling pathways and kinases have been shown to regulate cell death and survival in-vitro and have also been shown to be involved in reducing Inflammation in animal models.

There are several candidates for therapeutic targets, including proteins involved in apoptosis (such as Bcl2 family) and cyclindependent kinase inhibitor drugs, which induce neutrophil apoptosis. The team has also produced evidence that CDK inhibitors (being developed as a cancer treatment) promote neutrophil cell death in Inflammation where neutrophils are dominant, including in pleurisy and arthritis. Professor Rossi explained that their plans for future work include defining the mechanisms of CDK inhibitor-driven resolution of Inflammation and testing their efficacy in animal models and in humans with lung Inflammation. Targeting the B Cell in MultiSystem Immunity Dr David Jayne, Dialysis Centre, Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge. Dr Jayne raised the realistic prospect of new treatments for multi-system immune disease such as vasculitis and lupus. He gave an overview of treatments available to date, from steroids in 1948, through immunosuppression in the 1960s to biological means in the 21st century. Newer treatments had resulted from a better understanding of the pathogenesis of the conditions and from developments in recombinant gene technology.

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums The particular thrust of his presentation was tackling B cells, which are key to autoantibody production and implicated in the development of autoimmune disease. Therapies such as Rituximab, which deplete B cells, have the potential to treat vasculitis and lupus but many questions remain. It may be that Rituximab is unsuccessful when B cells are able to find a place to hide and therefore avoid depletion. It is also the case that Rituximab does not work for everybody and there have been concerns about sideeffects, including infection. Dr Jayne said that other therapeutic targets aimed at the B cell were coming on board, including Blyss, a B-cell stimulating cytokine and the receptor TAC1. Although Bcell therapy will not adequately address induction and scarring, he said, it could be used in combination with other treatments. Joint Remodelling: Pathways of Destruction and Rebuilding Professor George Schett, Department of Medicine, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. Inflammatory joint disease leads to destruction of bone and cartilage and changes the architecture of the joint. Osteoclasts are implicated in degradation of subchondral bone and mineralised cartilage if there are no osteoclasts, there is no bone erosion. Various molecules, including the RANK ligand, drive osteoclast formation, but generation of these cells can be affected by inflammatory cytokines and chemokines such as MCP-1, which is expressed in the synovial tissue. Further, although some T cells (possibly Th17 cells) enhance osteoclast production, regulatory T cells suppress it. The remodelling pattern of the joint architecture seems to be different in various inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. Professor Schett concluded that in order to preserve joint architecture, therapeutic strategies may have to regulate bone formation pathways such as Wnt-signalling and BMP-signalling as well as blocking enhanced osteoclast formation in the joint.


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Cultural Flagships Discussion Forum Cultural Flagships: being a National Music and Opera 21 February 2008

The seminar was introduced by RSE Vice-President Professor Jan McDonald, who then handed over to Professor Simon Frith as Chair for the evening. Professor Frith reminded the audience that the idea of a national music had always been a problematic one, but that there was nonetheless a substantial history of the use of music to give weight to feelings of national identity. He said that he felt the role of major musical events and institutions in the nations cultural life would provide a very rich subject for debate, and introduced his two main speakers, Mr Jonathan Mills, Director and Chief Executive of the Edinburgh International Festival, and Mr Roy McEwan, Managing Director of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. For the debate following their initial contributions, the speakers would be joined by Mr Alex Reedijk, General Director of Scottish Opera. Jonathan Mills said that he felt very honoured to be invited to take part in such a distinguished and valuable forum. As an Australian, brought up in one of Britains former colonies, he had always taken the stereotyped view

of Britain as a place of ancient, stable and unchanging institutions, and had therefore been relatively unaware of the pace of constitutional and cultural change notably devolution, and the coming of the Scottish Parliament until he arrived in Scotland in 2006. For him, these are very exciting times, not only in Scotland but throughout Europe. The Europe in which the Edinburgh Festival was founded in 1947 is unrecognisable today. Power is being devolved in many countries, the European Union is developing and expanding, and borders are shifting, with new nations emerging from old powerstructures. He is, he said, impressed by the European Union as a huge political effort, involving a formidable degree of trust and goodwill; he was also struck by the forces of expansion and fragmentation currently working within it. In the last 20 years, we have seen Czechoslovakia split in two, the Baltic states emerge, the Balkans torn by war, the emergence of strong regional forces in countries such as Spain, and just this week the emergence of Kosovo as a self-declared inde-

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums pendent state. And if the audience wondered why he was talking of such matters instead of focusing on the Edinburgh Festival, it was because of his profound belief that culture does not exist in a vacuum, but represents an expression of the ideals and ambitions of a civilisation in its totality. Mr Mills then reflected on the ambitions of the Edinburgh International Festival itself, since its foundation. He recalled the words of the Lord Provost at the time of the first Edinburgh Festival, who said it should be a Festival to embrace the world. He also quoted George Steiner, who, in his Edinburgh Festival lecture of 1996, said that the Festival had been founded as an enactment of European re-union. Today, the Festival is not one thing, but many. The Tattoo, the Festival Fringe, the Film Festival, Book Festival, Jazz Festival, Television Festival, Asian Mela, and now the Festival of Politics, all contribute to an event without parallel in the world of culture and the arts, and Mr Mills hoped that the imminent move of the Film Festival to a June date would not diminish the overall impact of the August festivals. Last year, the Festivals sold 2.6 million tickets to 875,000 festival-goers, to a value of 30 million; and their total economic impact on the city is estimated at between 125 million and 130 million a year.

Mr Mills felt it is therefore selfevident that the Festivals have a national role in Scotland, both culturally and economically. He wanted to make a distinction, though, between the importance of the Festivals national role, and the idea that they should have some kind of nationalistic agenda. He believed that it is possible to make a tremendously meaningful contribution to national life without being nationalistic, and that Scotland provides rich examples of how a plethora of arts organisations contribute in that way. He felt that this is not a time for any arts organisation to be self-limiting. It is a time for open societies, open places, and open prospects; and he was concerned that the discussion of these should not be diverted by nationalistic ideas. Arts organisations should not be constrained by nostalgic or parochial considerations. He reminded the audience that we live, in any case, in a time when there is considerable debate about what constitutes a nation, and that that debate has always been with us in various forms. Edinburgh, he said, is a city which constantly reminds him that there is nothing new under the sun, and he sees evidence of international exchange everywhere in its fabric, as it has evolved through the centuries. The Edinburgh Festival, he reflected, has the word

Review of the Session 2007-2008

international in its title, and is perhaps best defined as a prism through which cultures of all kinds can be reflected in and through Scotland, and where the worlds greatest artists can contribute to that reflection. In his view, it forms part of an exceptionally rich artistic environment in Scotland today. Mr Mills closed by considering the difference between European and what he called Anglo-Celtic approaches to support for the arts. In some European countries, the arts are regarded as an essential part of the infrastructure, and funded in such a stable and generous way that they could become indulgent, and disconnected from audiences. The more commercially-minded Anglo-Celtic model, on the other hand, runs the risks of mindless populism and banality. He felt that the debate about how to strike the right balance between these approaches is a vital one; and that it is therefore all the more essential that we take every chance to define the value of creativity in our time, and to articulate a role for it. He hoped to see the role of art and artists embedded within our community, both national and international. Roy McEwan opened his remarks by reflecting on the crises that has affected many of Scotlands flagship national companies since the mid-1990s, with major threats

to the future of, for example, Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet. He said that those crises have perhaps been associated with a feeling that the traditional bastions of classical art do not deserve their privileged position, in terms of the huge proportion of arts funding dedicated to them. However, what had seemed like a chronic problem has been transformed into an opportunity; and today, with direct funding from the Scottish Government, the status of those key companies is more clearly defined in government policy than ever before. Mr McEwan pointed out that Scotlands five national companies - Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the National Theatre of Scotland - have all emerged in very different ways. The NTS was developed as an idea by the artistic community, and brought to life by a government decision to invest the necessary funds; Scottish Opera was very much the creation of one inspired leadership figure, Sir Alexander Gibson; Scottish Ballet was created by invitation of the Scottish Arts Council, out of the shell of another company based in the west of England; the RSNOs roots lay in a civic initiative at the end of the 19th century; and the SCO was entirely a player-led project, created by orchestral

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums musicians with an interest in the chamber repertoire. In no case was the emergence and survival of these companies inevitable, and they have all, in various ways, trodden a rocky road over the past 15 years. Now, the change in the funding system brings some aspects of the national companies role into sharp focus, both in terms of the scale of their operations across Scotland, and in terms of new opportunities to demonstrate national achievements in the arts. So far as music is concerned, Mr McEwan said he believes that there is a widespread recognition that music crosses borders. The SCO, for example, competes for audiences, artists and recognition with opera companies and orchestras throughout the UK and beyond. He believed it is perhaps easier for music organisations in Scotland to articulate national cultural aspirations, and to be recognised in that role, than it is for cultural organisations in England. He thought there is therefore a need to be very ambitious in terms of standards, and to attract world-class artists, as well as to develop the orchestras recording profile and its opportunities for international touring. He also thought it imperative that the highest standards be delivered at home, in every aspect of the SCOs work in Scotland. He acknowledged that the delivery of the wide range of services required of a national company could be seen as creating conflicts of priorities. However, the SCO feels that its summer activities across Scotland, often in rural areas, are strongly complementary to the winter concert seasons in the cities. Artists and repertoire can be shared across both activities, and also in the orchestras recording work and international touring. International touring, said Mr McEwan, is essential in helping create a critical mass of activity to sustain the orchestras year-round operation, and also in generating a critical mass of high achievement. Every small nation, he argued, needs to open out to the wider world, and to make strong efforts to avoid parochialism. Mr McEwan also highlighted the role of major national companies in the training and development of new talent. All arts organisations play a role in education and training, but the national companies have the resources to be ambitious in this respect. He felt that national companies and arts funders should see education and training as a kind of research and development activity, essential in pushing forward the development of the art-form itself. He also felt that national companies are part of the support mechanism for creative artists at every stage of


Review of the Session 2007-2008

their careers, and that they should act as key hubs in the network of relationships between producing organisations and creative artists. He commented on the SCOs continuing pattern of mixed funding - mainly from the Scottish Government, but also, in some areas, from the Scottish Arts Council (soon to be Creative Scotland) and from local authorities. He said that all five Chief Executives of the national companies had gone before the Scottish Parliaments Culture and Media Committee the previous day, on an occasion that could hardly have been more different, in its positive tone, from some previous encounters. He finished by pointing out that organisations such as the SCO need not only money, but also the opportunity to be partners in a continuing, live national debate about hierarchies in the arts and the relative importance of art-forms, including debates about profligacy, about elitism, about definitions of high quality and excellence, and about new forms of enterprise and innovation in the arts. He also remarked that internationalism is a two-way process, and that it is as important to invite major artists to work in Scotland, as it is to ensure that Scottish artists have opportunities to travel and tour abroad, and to develop international links.

In the discussion which followed, Paul Henderson Scott opened the questioning by asking about the national component in the work of our flagship cultural organisations. Is there a sufficient commitment to including and developing Scottish work, such as the famous Festival productions of Ane Satire of the Thrie Estaites, which have made such an impact on audiences? Jonathan Mills said that he didnt feel any obligation - for example to stage a series of operas based on the Waverley novels, or to include Scottish material in any such tokenistic way. However, it is clear that Scottish artists, orchestras and companies have made massive contributions to recent festivals - he listed the presence of several of them in last years Festival, including the NTS, Scottish Ballet, the SCO and the RSNO. He said that he had been excavating the layers of connection between the Festival and generations of Scottish artists since 1947, and felt there has been a rich connection throughout. He would continue to include the work of Scottish companies on that basis, not fixing any kind of quota, but developing relationships which will result in joint working and co-productions. He added that while Paul Scott drew attention to Ane Satire of the Thrie Estaites as the Festival event that had made the greatest impact


Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums on audiences, he felt that visiting companies could, on occasions, make as great an impact on Scottish audiences and artists. He said that the theatre production most often mentioned to him, since he arrived in Scotland, was Ninagawas Medea, presented at Old College Quad in the 1980s. Alex Reedijk, of Scottish Opera, drew attention to the companys forthcoming Five:15 project, an evening of five short new operas made in Scotland by teams of contemporary writers, composers, and directors. He said that national companies have an obvious duty of care towards the development of the art-form within the country, and that includes a commitment to commissioning and developing new work made here. Roy McEwan said he felt that it was difficult ever to do enough in this area. The SCO routinely commissions four new works a year, mainly from Scottish-based composers, but he felt that national companies should never be let off the hook. They should always be under pressure to demonstrate their commitment to art-form development in Scotland, perhaps through growing cooperation among the national companies, a subject which is increasingly under discussion. Richard Witts of Edinburgh University asked what the panel thought of EU-sponsored projects

to create supra-national performing organisations, such as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Jonathan Mills said that as far as he understood the situation, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe is entirely a player-led initiative, and the European Commission is simply jumping on the bandwagon because of the success the orchestra has enjoyed. He suggested that the dead hand of European bureaucracy might actually cause what has been a very successful initiative to wither and die, but he felt that so long as the enthusiasm of individual artists lies behind such projects, they can be immensely rewarding. He cited the example of the EU Youth Orchestra, driven by the vision and charisma of its founder, Joy Bryer. From the audience, James Irvine said that it was important for flagship national cultural organisations to have a strong presence in the media, in order to strengthen their relationship with the widest possible public. He asked whether the panel believed that the EIF receives enough media coverage. He also asked whether the lack of a permanent conductor at SCO - which currently has a team of associate conductors - is making the year-round working of the orchestra more difficult. Roy McEwan said that all orchestras were facing the fact that it is now more difficult to get world-

Review of the Session 2007-2008

class conductors to commit to a full-time relationship with a single orchestra. He felt this situation is unlikely to change, and was certain that so long as the orchestra has a clear artistic policy and a stable relationship with players, the experience of working with different conductors can actually be an advantage. Jonathan Mills said that he had serious concerns about the media coverage of the Edinburgh International Festival. So far as theatre is concerned, he felt that that the EIF has a job to do in reclaiming coverage from the Fringe, which tends to dominate the drama pages, despite the fact that the EIF now often represents far better value, and presents more exciting cutting-edge work, than the average commercial Fringe venue. His main concern, though, was over the increasing failure of broadcasters, and the BBC in particular, to give serious coverage to the Festival, including broadcasts of major music events. He said that the BBCs growing tendency to focus entirely on its own BBC Proms Season in London during the late summer calls into question its remit and purpose as a national broadcaster for the whole of the Britain. He drew attention to the work of the recently-set-up Scottish Broadcasting Commission, chaired by Blair Jenkins, and said that he had

recently given evidence to the Commission on this subject. In a final round of questions, Ian Yeoman asked the panel how their organisations were responding to the huge changes in demography, technology and national identity now re-shaping Scotland and the world. American composer Chip Clark offered an observation rather than a question, pointing out that the Edinburgh Festival is hugely recognised beyond the UK as perhaps the worlds premier arts Festival. He felt that it was vital to continue to bring international artists to Scotland, and to make sure that Scottish artists are enabled to perform internationally. Alex Reedijk commented that the huge success of the NTSs Black Watch marks a change in the relationship between Scotlands national companies and the nations developing sense of identity. The Scottish Government is now taking it upon itself to use culture as a means of articulating the idea of a confident Scotland. In that process, Mr Reedijk believes it helps to have the national companies in the right place, clearly defined, and with a new funding system in action. He thought the Government is beginning to understand the value of the arts as a way of articulating the presence of a country that punches above its

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums weight - as Scotland punched above its weight in previous centuries, in areas such as medicine and science. Jonathan Mills acknowledged the scale of the challenges faced by the Edinburgh International Festival, in a world completely transformed since the 1940s. He said that the Festival can no longer assume it is alone, in an age when every city on earth seems to have its international festival. He said that the only way forward is to be genuinely ambitious and innovative, and to seek to make intelligent and appropriate responses to developments in the world beyond the arts. He felt, for example, that the British arts community should be making a creative response now to the coming of the London Olympics in 2012. He said that these Olympics would cost 7.5 times more than the Sydney Olympics of 2004, and that the whole issue of resources for sport and the arts is going to be at bursting point in the run-up to the event. He therefore felt that the arts sector should be doing everything it can to galvanise interest in a summer-long, UKwide festival of culture, running alongside the Olympics, that can become part of the strategy to maximise the positive impact of the Olympics across the UK. Mr Mills also felt that there are huge opportunities in the current changing world scene. In 1992, for example, when his predecessor Brian McMaster became Director of the Festival, almost no-one in China or India had any disposable income at all; today, there are millions if not billions of people in Asia now willing and able to travel, and to become involved in cultural experience and exchange. He was also determined to develop the online presence of the Festival in innovative ways. Roy McEwan was also interested in the SCOs evolving online presence, and in new ways of distributing musical experience using the internet. He said that the definition of western classical music is becoming more complex and the boundaries less sharp, and that there are increasing interactions with other musical traditions worldwide. He said that the market for electronic media is extensively international, and that techniques such as remote access and webcasting mean that an organisation such as the SCO can begin to develop a world-wide network of enthusiastic fans and supporters. Simon Frith summed up the evenings discussion, saying that it had demonstrated the truth of the observation that the role of national flagship cultural organisations is not to resolve issues of identity, but to provide the arena

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in which they can be most interestingly debated. He felt that the national companies economic role as key hubs of professional training and opportunity is of great importance and should not be ignored. He also felt, as someone who has been observing the Scottish cultural scene since he arrived in 1987, that there has been a gradual but marked shift

from pessimism to optimism in the arts. He believed that the embedding of the position of the national flagship companies, as a serious part of what Scotlands government is about, represents a very important moment, which this first seminar in the National Flagships series has helped to capture, debate, and record.


Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums RSE/NSFC Workshop Rare Plants and Common Interests (A Two-day workshop on Management Science, Engineering and Public Policy) 1718 March 2008 Scotland and China may be thousands of miles apart, but the RSE/NSFC Joint Workshop on March 17 and 18 very clearly showed how close we are, in terms of both science and business. Organised by the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), the two-day workshop on management science at the RSE in Edinburgh brought together 22 speakers from both countries, discussing everything from wildlife, agriculture and technology to risk, innovation and trust. RSE Vice-President Professor Tariq Durrani set the tone for the workshop, describing how the aims were to exchange ideas and knowledge, and identify areas of common interest so researchers can collaborate and learn from each other, as well as arrange future visits. His words were echoed by Dr Zhang Wei, the Deputy Director of the Department of Management Sciences at the NSFC, who explained that his organisation played a similar role to the RSE, supporting basic research and promoting international links. The metaphor for the event was the joint presentation by three speakers from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (Dr Mark Watson, David Long and David Paterson), describing the RBGEs involvement in China over the last 100 years, as well as contemporary projects, gathering and documenting rare specimens, to continue the tradition of research and conservation, information sharing and exchanges. This tied in neatly with a talk by Dr Cheng Guoqiang, describing Chinas latest agricultural policies, and efforts to address the issues raised by urbanisation, including the environment and balanced development. On Day 2, Dr Wei Yi-Ming extended this environmental theme by focusing on Chinas future energy needs, discussing the problems of carbon emissions and accurate forecasts. Dr Wei was followed by Professor KL Lo, outlining Scotlands efforts to model alternative energy networks and the parallels between the two countries.


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The common thread which ran throughout the two-day event was the complexity of statistical models, and how to take account of both uncertainties and human factors when we are making predictions. Four speakers from the University of Strathclyde (Dr Tim Bedford, Dr Jiazhun Pan, Dr Xuerong Mao and Dr Lesley Walls) talked about the role of statistical models, explaining how tools such as stochastics can be used in a wide range of fields, including risk analysis for nuclear power stations and the aerospace industry, to forecasting population figures, agricultural production and the stock market. This was complemented by several speakers, including Professor Zhang Zongyi, who is studying how innovations spill over from region to region, based on an analysis of patent applications in China, and Dr Tang Lixin, who explained the use of data analysis to improve production scheduling in the steel industry. Trust was the concern of several speakers, most notably Dr Wang Dan, who described attempts to model trust between the partners in a supply chain, and Professor Umit Bititci, who asked how we can establish standards for trust in the same way as quality standards for products. On Day 1, Dr Chen Jian also shared his ideas on how to optimise supply chain performance, focusing on how to

reconcile different partners attitudes to risk. Innovation was a major theme on both days. Professor Chen Jin started by discussing open innovation, and how the benefits of openness (to customers and business partners as well as internal employees) can tail off over time for certain companies, while others do better the more open they are, based on his recent research. George Boag then discussed innovation in Scotland, and the relationship between academics, government and entrepreneurs, followed by Professor Gao Xudong, who stressed the need for Chinas major companies to innovate and stop depending on external partners, with telecoms and petrochemical companies the most likely to succeed in the short term. Professor Jane Bower then discussed technical innovation systems in Scotland, describing the kind of environment which tends to encourage inventors and entrepreneurs, while Professor Ian Hunt focused on how to get new innovative products from concept to market. Finally, Professor Jeff Haywood and Professor Arthur Trew provided insights into campus information systems and the use of supercomputers in simulation the next frontier in science.

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums Although most speakers focused on more esoteric aspects of business and science, there were common themes which linked their different disciplines. For example, both Scotland and China are struggling to find new solutions for power and protect the environment. They are also searching for new ways to boost innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit. Mathematicians in both countries are also concerned about how to make accurate forecasts and analyse risk, as well as understand the human factors influencing business performance. In fact, the methods used to model more technical subjects also have a role to play in seemingly more abstract human dimensions, for example how to measure innovation and trust between partners in business. Because so many speakers appear to have mutual concerns, close collaboration as witnessed in botany over the years is the logical next step for business and scientists in the two countries, if they learn the lessons of the RSE/ NSFC Workshop. DAY 1 The changing face of Chinese agriculture Dr Cheng Guoqiang (Deputy Director-General and Senior Fellow, Institute of Market Economy, Development Research Center of the State Council of China) To open the workshop, Dr Cheng provided some valuable insights into Chinas recent agricultural policies, focusing on some of the major developments in rural areas, including the migration of 200 million people to the cities over the last 30 years, drawn by higher earnings in the manufacturing, industrial and services sectors. Dr Cheng began by putting China in perspective. It possesses about 9% of the worlds arable land but has 21% of the worlds population. Even though people in China are now getting richer and becoming increasingly urban, agriculture still employs 320 million workers, and still has the challenge of how to feed one billion people. China is also the worlds fourth-biggest importer of agricultural products, after the US, Europe and Japan, and has one of the worlds lowest tariffs on imports and no subsidies for exports. In 1978, said Dr Cheng, agriculture accounted for about 28% of Chinas economy and 70% of employment. In 2006, this had

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fallen to less than 12% of the economy and 42.6% of jobs. From 1979 to 2006, agricultural production has increased by 4.6% per year, with crops down from 80 % to 51% of the total and livestock more than doubling to 32% and aquatic products up from 1.6% to 10%. Average income in rural areas has doubled in less than ten years, from about RMB 2,200 to RMB 4,400, while in the cities it has climbed from about RMB 5,800 to RMB 13,800. Meanwhile, average consumption of meat has doubled from 10 to 20 kg in the cities and from 17 to 24 kg in rural areas (19832006), putting greater strain not just on livestock itself but also on grain production (e.g. the amount of grain fed to US livestock is enough to feed over 800 million people). In policy terms, China is now stressing give more, take less and liberalisation, focusing on income growth for farmers, strengthening production capacity and constructing the new countryside. The give more means setting minimum prices for rice, for example, whilst the take less means reducing the level of taxes. According to Dr Cheng, Priorities have shifted from increasing production (e.g. grains) to rural income support as well as new environmental concerns and

balanced development. He also said the government was trying to address the ruralurban divide, as well as health-care and educational and social developments. The botanical links between China and Scotland Dr Mark Watson (Sino-Himalayan Floristics Researcher) Setting the tone for the rest of the workshop, Dr Watson talked about the 100-year relationship between botanists in China and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, whose mission is to explore and explain the world of plants. According to Dr Watson, there are more than 31,000 different plants in China, compared to only 1,500 in the UK, largely due to Chinas great diversity in terms of its geology and habitats from tropical jungle to the worlds highest mountains. This biodiversity is the focus of a study called Flora of China, which documents all the plants in China. Originally 126 volumes, written in Chinese, the work has been distilled to 25 volumes of text and 25 volumes of illustrations, and is also now available online, with the RBGE providing extensive editorial input. Dr Watson also described a more recent RBGE study of the Taxus genus (yew trees) which is used to produce the anti-cancer drug Taxol.

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums The links between the RBGE and China date back to the early 20th century, and one of its bestknown collectors, George Forrest, who went there in 1904, worked very closely with the Institute of Botany in Beijing. Some of Forrests specimens are still being studied today. In the 1930s, several Chinese botanists came to Scotland to study, and in the 1980s these links were restored, including joint fieldwork and botanical research. In 1991, the RBGE was twinned with the Kunming Institute of Botany, to consolidate the links via joint research, sharing of knowledge and staff exchanges. Gathering specimens in one of the worlds most bio-diverse areas David Long (Cryptogamic Plants and Fungi Section at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh) David described The Biotic Survey of Gaoligong Shan one of the most ambitious of its kind ever undertaken in China, collecting and documenting over 25,000 plant specimens, as well as countless insects and other invertebrates. The Gaoligong Shan is a 585kmlong mountain range on the border of Yunnan Province and Myanmar which rises to heights of over 6,000 metres, including subtropical and temperate forests as well as spectacular alpine

environments. The attraction of the range (declared a World Heritage Site in 2003) is its biodiversity, largely protected by the mountains remoteness and rugged terrain, which makes exploration (and exploitation) so hard. The five-year survey is now complete, and the team of researchers from China, the US and Scotland are now focusing on scientific description and distribution of the specimens and data to scientists worldwide. David explained that the primary aim of the survey is to help protect the biodiversity, now under pressure from development (including new roads and energy projects). For David, a specialist in mosses and liverworts, the project has clearly been a labour of love, including the discovery of many new species of ferns, orchids and beetles and possibly even new genera. It also continues the tradition of the RBGE in exploration and collecting specimens in China. New alpine garden to protect local plant life David Paterson (Chartered Environmentalist, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh) Continuing the theme of collaboration between Scotland and China in horticulture, David described the work of the UK Joint Scientific Laboratory (JSL) in

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Yunnan Province, a joint venture between the RBGE and the Kunming Institute of Botany. The Jade Dragon Field Station in Lijiang was set up to facilitate the conservation of plants and habitats through capacity building projects that aim to bring about more sustainable land management practices, with support from both the British (including Scottish) and Chinese governments, plus 400,000-worth of funding from sponsors such as BP, Tiso, BA and BHP Billiton. Located on the Yulong mountain, the field station is an alpine botanic garden and nature reserve which seeks to protect and conserve the indigenous plant life and wildlife, and enable more sustainable use of the land, including the reduction of deforestation. The local people also have their special needs, and David explained the importance of understanding the birthright of the people who live on the mountain, at the same time as doing their best to protect local plants which in turn provide an economic benefit. According to David, the project also has a role to play in traditional Chinese medicine, including the sustainable harvesting of medicinal plants, so these rare species do not disappear because of rapidly growing demand from the better-off regions of China.

Asked about how the project gets buy-in from local people, David explained how his team seeks to work very closely with local people and balance the needs of different communities for example, cultivating medicinal plants, both to generate profits and protect certain species. How to optimise supply chain performance Dr Chen Jian (Professor and Chairman of Management Science Department, Director of Research Center for Contemporary Management, Tsinghua University) Professor Chen explained how Chinas changing economic landscape is affecting supply chain management and the different problems caused by decentralisation. The major issue is how to optimise the performance of the supply chain so that everyone finds the right partners and comes out a winner, in a more decentralised business environment. When trying to identify a suitable agent, a company should ask if the potential partner is averse to risk, neutral towards risk or riskseeking as an organisation. Different organisations have different attitudes to risk, yet the channel behaves as if everyone shares the same attitude, so greater flexibility and openmindedness will be needed in future.

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums Usually, companies are riskneutral when it comes to contracts, but globalisation makes this harder to manage, said Professor Chen. Therefore, he asked, how do you change the contract to take account of greater risk-seeking? The objective of Dr Chens research project is to help supply chain partners draw up the right kind of revenue-sharing contract by understanding the risk preferences of different partners, to increase profit margins and balance supply and demand. He also said that this would have an impact on the companies ability to innovate. Ultimately, this marriage of different risk attitudes will optimise the profitability of the whole supply chain, achieving the same results for decentralisation that used to be achieved with more centralised management. Intelligent risk analysis Dr Tim Bedford (Professor of Decision and Risk Analysis, University of Strathclyde) The title of Dr Bedfords talk was Partial specification of risk models, and he explained how his methods can be used across a range of different disciplines, from nuclear power stations to agricultural planning. According to Dr Bedford, risk models require the specification of many parameters, including

in principle joint probability distributions. Unfortunately data even from experts is only available in limited form, so methods are used to extend partial specifications of joint probability distributions, and show how the entropy principle can be used to help specify such joint uncertainties in complex models. For those in the audience who struggled to grasp this, he also talked about how there are lots of uncertainties in every decision, and how we have to take account of these uncertainties to develop new methods of rational decision making, especially when only part of the data is available. He also said that one of the most difficult problems in statistical modelling is how to elicit subjective probabilities, and how to develop an empirical basis to account for experts personal bias. Also, how do we extract consistent data from experts so the experts do not contradict themselves? Dr Bedford then discussed the use of cupolas in statistical modelling, and the need to find a practical and interactive way to get data from experts so that the model does not constrain the experts.

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New research in econometrics Dr Jiazhun Pan (Department of Statistics and Modelling Science, University of Strathclyde) Like his colleagues at Strathclyde, Dr Pan was concerned with the problems as well as the benefits of statistical modelling for example, the difficulties of dealing with low-frequency and highfrequency data. His talk focused on his recent research in financial econometrics, including factor analysis and heavy-tailed time series models, statistical analysis of panel data and how to reduce dimensionality. Stochastic vs deterministic statistics Dr Xuerong Mao (Department of Statistics and Modelling Science, University of Strathclyde) Dr Mao described the evolution from deterministic statistical modelling methods to more modern stochastic techniques, over the last 50 years. The basic idea is that when we try to forecast what will happen in the future, we have to take random change into account, rather than depend on inflexible models, rigidly based on historical data and obvious trends. For example, he said: Classical financial models dont work in current conditions, because human behaviour and extraordinary or unexpected events can make any prediction redundant.

If you dont take stochastics into account, he added, you end up with inadequate models, which fail to account for the noise in the real world. But if you take uncertainty into account, then you can avoid errors. A simple example of the benefits and the complexity of stochastic techniques is how it helps to model population growth. If we look at population statistics and we notice an increase in recent years, then as soon as we try to predict population, we forecast continuous growth theoretically, all the way to infinity. Similarly, a decrease would suggest eventual extinction. In the real world, however, we know this is not very likely to happen just because Scotlands population doubled in the last 100 years, does not mean it will double again in the next 100 years. Catastrophic events such as a plague or an earthquake can make any forecasts redundant, and nature also has a way of correcting the problems caused by over-population, since there may not be enough resources to support large populations in particular places at particular times. Therefore, when we look at any economic or business issue, stochastic techniques will enable much better predictions, because they will take random change and uncertainty into account.

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums Open innovation Professor Chen Jin (Professor of Management at College of Public Administration, Zhejiang University) How much does openness affect the innovation performance of Chinese companies, and how do we measure how open these companies are? Can too much openness be counter-productive or simply too costly? These were the key questions posed by Professor Chen, who started off by saying that companies who dont innovate will fail before cautioning that most innovations are failures. Open innovation, according to Professor Chen, means using external as well as internal ideas to come up with new ideas. It can speed up innovation and improve creativity, as well as target markets more precisely and reduce uncertainty. It also means R&D working more closely with other departments as well as innovative users, to increase the number of new ideas bouncing around. All employees, including the sales team and customer service, can be inno-creative, and this is a strategy used by Chinese companies like Haier (now the worlds 4th largest white goods manufacturer) and Boasteel, who regard every member of the team as strategic business units (SBUs) and innovators, as they strive to develop new products and/or services. But open innovation can also have a negative impact, he added, depending on the nature of the business. Every activity involves an opportunity cost as well as an actual financial cost, and sometimes there can be too much information to process leading to a lack of focus, indecision and delays. Openness also varies from company to company, as Professor Chen discovered in a survey of over 200 Chinese organisations, looking at the ratio of new to old products and the frequency of new product introductions. Dividing companies into two categories science & technology driven companies (STIs) and doing, using & interacting companies (DUIs) Professor Chens research showed that for STIs, the benefits of openness were curvilinear or tended to tail off over time, while for DUIs, the more open they were, the better they performed. Chinese companies may not have been open enough in the past, he concluded, but they are already beginning to progress from closed innovation to R&D-based innovation, and the next step will be open innovation networks.


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How to measure innovation George Boag (CEO of Targeting Innovation Limited TIL) Innovation in Scotland how do we support it through government policy and how do we measure it? In his professional life, George Boag lives and breathes innovation and his talk also touched upon similar issues in China, and how far it has come in a short space of time in terms of innovation performance. For Mr Boag, innovation is not just concerned with new products, but how to make money from new ideas, new partnerships, new services, new forms of communication and new ways to market. He also stressed the fact that innovation isnt easy, and suggested that in Scotland, we need to do more to encourage new ideas, and provide tools which enable new ideas to flourish. According to Mr Boag, only 10 per cent of our most innovative businesses have any interaction with research institutions. Out of 197 spin-outs from universities, 26 per cent have closed, 56 have fewer than 10 employees and only one per cent employ over 100 people. Even though Scotland has more mathematics and computer science graduates per million people than the US, Japan, Germany or Sweden, we have a lot of work to do to realise our national potential.

We need a step change, said Mr Boag, in our attitudes to innovation, and that is what he and his organisation are attempting to drive with his innovation dashboard a tool which measures Scotlands performance in areas such as research and development, academia, finance, industry, skills and economic growth, comparing Scotland with the rest of the UK and Europe. Scotlands USP (unique selling point) has always been its human capital, said Mr Boag, who has been involved in over 100 initiatives in Scotland, bidding to get new ideas to market not just looking at the role of academia and government and how to commercialise research, but also how to inject more confidence into new business ventures. The innovators most likely to succeed Professor Gao Xudong (School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University) China is about to enter a new stage of technological development, with indigenous innovators leading the way, and companies becoming developers rather than buyers of new technology. China has a huge trade surplus at present, and relatively low interest rates, but Professor Gao wondered if strong economic growth could continue, without a radical change in attitudes to innovation,

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums and greater internationalisation of business to promote Chinas brand names. It is no longer enough to buy new products, absorb new technologies and then try to add on innovation. Companies will need to be much more original. Professor Gao identified five types of innovators in China: 1. Companies who import or buy innovations 2. Joint-venture innovators (e.g. car manufacturers) 3. Companies who make products based on dominant standards (e.g. laptop computers) 4. Integrators (e.g. DVD manufacturers who license technologies) 5. Developers of proprietary products. Of all these groups, the Chinese companies most likely to succeed are those who develop proprietary technologies, including telecoms and oil & gas companies. In the highly competitive, globalised market we live in today, profit margins will shrink even more unless companies become more innovative. For example, manufacturers of TV sets in China are finding it hard to compete with their rivals in Korea and Japan (e.g. Samsung and Sony), and either cant afford to licence the technology or cant reach agreement to do so. In the automobile industry, China has learned a lot

from its foreign partners in terms of manufacturing capabilities, but learned almost nothing about design. Some Chinese companies have made zero contribution to their MNC partners, Professor Gao added. According to Professor Gao, the companies who innovate and use their own technology are doing better and competing globally. Examples: ZTE in telecoms (40,000 employees including 10,000 graduates), and CPNC in petrochemicals. In many cases, success has come because the companies have been forced to innovate, and this should be a lesson for the future, said Professor Gao. There are many opportunities for Chinese companies in emerging technologies, or in reinventing mature technologies. The challenges are not money or technical capabilities but in developing a sense of urgency, providing the right kind of incentives and instilling confidence. Technical innovation systems Professor Jane Bower (Visiting Fellow at Edinburgh Universitys ESRC INNOGEN Centre) Scotland used to be a leader in technical innovation, but towards the end of the 20th century, there was increasing concern we were falling behind, so academics, government and business decided it was time to do something

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about it. This was the background to Professor Bowers talk about Universities and the technical innovation system in Scotland, and how the system has evolved over the last 15 years, leading to successful spin-outs from academia into the business world. According to Professor Bower, for technical innovation to flourish, we need key ingredients working together, including knowledge creators, demanding clients, specialist finance suppliers, complementary expertise (e.g. in law and IP) and status for entrepreneurs. In modern times, Silicon Valley has been a good model, with a geographical clustering of academic researchers, large companies and venture capitalists, plus legal and other professionals used to dealing with start-ups and access to major industrial buyers. These innovative networks didnt happen overnight but have built up over 50 years, explained Professor Bower, adding that entrepreneurs are also accorded more status in that part of the world. Academicindustrial links are essential, she said, and sometimes this can happen quite informally, with conversations that may lead to future new products or business relationships simply because people are living and working in the same place. In the 1990s, Scotland had lots of

knowledge creators but there wasnt much other support. Since then, we have gained much more experience (including returning expatriates) and developed new ideas such as angel finance and entrepreneurial mentors for startups, gradually changing not just the image but the culture of Scottish business. The RSE has also played a major role, awarding research grants and encouraging new ventures via Fellowship programmes and other initiatives. Professor Bower said that there were ongoing problems in Scotland, such as a lack of industrial buyers and limited status for entrepreneurs, but with support from government including R&D finance, spin-out firms (growing out of large firms or universities) continue to notch up a string of successes. DAY 2 Can you measure trust in business? Dr Wang Dan (Associate Professor of the School of Management at Harbin Institute of Technology) There is a trust crisis in the supply chain today, said Dr Wang, and her job is to diagnose the factors involved, to enable different partners to establish trust and thus gain mutual advantage. Trust is a critical factor in business, but there are also many parallels in our personal lives. Diagnosing problems and

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums building trust between business partners is like a marriage counsellor, using statistical modelling methods rather than intuition and experience, to understand each partners strengths and weakness, hopes and dreams, and reach agreement on the ultimate aim of the relationship. According to Dr Wang, surveys of large-scale enterprises in China show that there is a lack of partnership in the real sense, so she is now developing an intelligent theory and model to evaluate trust, diagnose problems and come up with practical business solutions. Sometimes, lack of trust comes from informational asymmetry or lack of legal infrastructure, and Dr Wang believes there is an urgent need to monitor trust status during negotiations, to set off alarm bells and help the partners modify their behaviour, so they can collaborate better. There are different definitions of trust, she said, and sometimes it is very hard to measure, but our studies are making good progress. The factors to consider in analysis of trust include legal, regulatory and contractual issues, technological and financial capabilities, as well as human or subjective factors like goodwill, intentions, experience, knowledge, perception and sense of obligation. Dr Wang then adds these factors together and develops an intelligent model to help understand the processes involved. The model of collaborative trust has not been applied in the real world to date, but Dr Wang and her colleagues are confident that it will be a highly useful tool in future, building a bridge between organisations and helping the supply chain to function more efficiently, for the benefit of all the partners involved. Raising the standards of trust Professor Umit Bititci (Director of The Strathclyde Institute for Operations Management & Professor of Technology and Enterprise Management at the University of Strathclyde) What are the forces driving business today? How can we establish standards for trust in the same way as quality standards for products? How do we manage creativity? These were just some of the questions posed by Professor Bititci. After reviewing some of the work done by his department, including more than 100 interventions involving companies of all shapes and sizes, he described how industry has moved from being product-driven in the early 20th century to market- and customerdriven today. Among the major factors influencing business today are openness, collaborative agreements (to create competitive

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advantage), mutual trust rather than using the law (to protect intellectual property), social and environmental responsibility and global networks and communities as opposed to individual companies acting alone to pursue their self-interest. In addition, said Professor Bititci, innovation is a key strategic weapon, and value comes from personalisation of services and creative design. Because all companies can use the same tools such as lean manufacturing, JIT or 6-Sigma, etc. their competitive edge can soon be eroded (or cancelled out), and this means gaining fresh advantage in other directions, from strategic excellence, innovation, learning and networking. Many companies innovate once and are very successful, he said. But that success may be a happy one-off accident. The challenge is to build the capacity for ongoing excellence, to seed new, good ideas and manage them through to commercial success. Professor Bititci also asked: What prevents companies adopting high-value, and what is high value? How do we manage creativity? Why do companies fail? And his answer was to aim to for strategic, commercial, cultural and operational synergy among different partners in the supply chain modelling aims and objectives, etc. to ensure there are complementary capabili248

ties and mutual advantage. Most companies want to do business with themselves, he said, suggesting that they should look for difference not sameness in the search for new partners. Finally, Professor Bititci talked about his departments involvement in a Europe-wide project to study the future SME (small to medium-sized enterprise) for example, looking at the opportunities for collaborative R&D. The innovation overspill Professor Zhang Zongyi (VicePresident of Chongqing University) Do innovations overflow from one place and one region to another, creating clusters of inventors who can bounce their ideas around and drive each other on to create more new products? Using data based on patent applications per 10,000 people in 29 provinces in China from 1985 (when the new patent laws were first introduced) to 2004, Professor Zhang has studied the Spatial Overflows and Convergence of Innovation Outputs in China. And in the process, he has reached some very interesting conclusions which may help to spread innovation around and reverse the brain drain in less economically successful provinces. Because he is measuring innovation in terms of new patents in specific locations, Professor Zhang

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums also pointed out that the data can have limitations. For example, the success of Linux software has been built around a global network of inventors and developers openly sharing ideas, instead of seeking to protect their intellectual property in order to keep all the profits. In addition, the data in China can sometimes be distorted by extraordinary local conditions e.g. there are relatively few patents awarded in Shanghai, largely due to the large number of multinational corporations based there whose innovations are usually registered in their home countries. From 1985 to 1996, Professor Zhang revealed, the distribution of new patents was unequal in China, and innovation depended much more on geography, focused on the major economic and industrial centres. Since then, this pattern has changed and patent growth has started to cluster. His conclusion is that before 1996, innovation tended to converge on major centres, but that since then it has been more divergent. One major factor, he revealed, is decentralisation, which has tended to encourage more widespread innovation. For example, by creating new innovation centres in the west of the country (the Professors home region), he believes innovation will spread out to the provinces, and help to halt the migration of graduates to more established centres like Guangdong. Fear of flying (and statistics) Dr Lesley Walls (Head of the Management Science Department at the University of Strathclyde) The new A380 Airbus was due to land in London on its first commercial flight, that same afternoon, soon after Dr Lesley Walls delivered her talk on Reliability informed design in aerospace product development a process which has also had a critical impact on the new superjumbo. Dr Walls explained that the focus on safety and reliability in the aerospace industry has changed in recent years, as more and more airlines lease flying hours rather than buying their aircraft outright, shifting the emphasis in manufacturing by making spares replacement more a cost than an ongoing revenue source thus pushing manufacturers to seek new ways to improve the lifetime of various parts. To model this process and forecast probability of failure, for example, Dr Walls and her team try to learn from experience, including studying historical events, and speaking to the experts in the field as well as the engineers who design and develop components, then subjecting all the data to statistical analysis. Ultimately, this leads to safer and more profitable

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aircraft via better decision-making, better allocation of resources and better prioritisation, in the bid to improve the quality and reliability of the components, as well as the production process itself. According to Dr Walls, all innovations introduce new analytical problems (because they create new conditions), but using stochastic modelling methods, which take randomness into account, they can more accurately predict the performance of any component at any given time in the future, by interrogating the available data in different departments, including repair shops and the experts themselves who are interviewed individually as well as in groups. There are five key principles in the research, said Dr Walls: reproducibility, accountability, neutrality, fairness and empirical control. Engineers can be sceptical about expert judgement, she said, but the results prove it works our modelling techniques do help to manage reliability of innovations in product design and development. The next step, she said, was to validate the modelling methods through studies of historical data, checked against the forecasts including the performance of the A380, in the real world.

Modelling future energy needs Dr Wei Yi-Ming (Deputy DirectorGeneral of the CAS Institute of Policy and Management, Director of IPM-CAS and RIET-CNPC Joint Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research) Dr Weis talk spelled out the key challenges for Chinas energy policy makers and how new modelling techniques could help them make better decisions. First, he described Chinas huge appetite for energy, and the relationship between energy consumption and GDP, highlighting top-down factors (driven by the economy) and bottom-up factors (driven by technology). He also pointed out that growth in energy consumption has overtaken economic growth, and explained that sustainability was becoming a much bigger issue in China, adding to other issues such as security, the need to increase production to balance supply and demand, the need to improve efficiency and lower emissions, the impact of price fluctuations and the need to reduce dependence on imports of oil. Dr Wei then described how all these factors have to be taken into account in his model of Chinas energy needs looking at the relationships between Society, Energy, Environment, Economy and Technology (SE3T), and asking

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums questions such as how much energy will be needed in future, how to balance regional supply and demand, the need to manage coal supplies, oil price mechanisms, control of CO2 emissions, the impact on society and industry, etc. Ultimately, Dr Wei added, looking forward to the year 2020, the big issue is how to manage Chinas energy consumption at the same time as achieving sustainable economic growth, in a multi-regional nation where local conditions can vary dramatically. The SE3T model looks at five basic scenarios in eight different regions, across four different sectors, to see what pressures there would be with different rates of economic growth and changes in power production as well as changes caused by global warming. Modelling alternative energy networks Professor K L Lo (Head of Power System Analysis Research at the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde) Wind and other alternative sources of power (e.g. wave & tidal) promise to solve many problems, but how do we connect renewable energy sources to the national network, and how do we model the process to work out the best way to do it? That was the chief question posed by Professor

Lo, who also asked what China and Europe have in common, and what they can learn from each other, when it comes to renewable energy. In Europe, he said, the target is to grow from 34GW in 2004 to 180GW by 2020. The UK aims to increase its wind power from 10% of installed capacity in 2010 to 20% by 2020, with Scotland today contributing just over 50% of the total from wind, or 1.1GW. Germany is the most advanced wind generator in Europe, contributing over 40% of the total, or 28.5GW. China added 3GW of wind power to its national network in 2007 alone, Professor Lo continued making it the fastest-growing market for wind power in the world. China also plans to add 1,300 GW of power by 2020, with 2530% coming from clean and renewable sources. This compares to the 1,000 GW produced by the US today, and means that China will in effect build more capacity over the next 12 years than the US has built since the dawn of electricity. As well as facing difficult choices regarding the ideal design for wind turbines, trading costs against efficiency and using different types of turbines in different locations, power companies also face a number of economic and technical problems

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when it comes to connecting their turbines to the national grid with some problems common to Scotland and China. The key issue is to reduce fluctuations in voltage due to the nature of wind power, forcing generators to keep alternative sources such as coal in reserve, to maintain 500MW at all times in the network, thus increasing emissions and reducing overall efficiency. The lower the reserve, the more you save, and this is a key aim of energy planning. By dispersing wind farms throughout the network, fluctuations can be greatly reduced, Lo explained optimising the efficiency of wind power as a whole, at the same time as having a significant impact on prices. To achieve this aim, we therefore have to analyse (and model) the tolerable limits of the network, taking risks and probability into account e.g. forecasting weather conditions, and how often turbines are forced to shut down, as well as wear and tear. When problems occur, it is also important to isolate parts of the network, to stop problems spreading. And Professor Lo explained that his research models take into account all of these complex economic and technical factors.

Improving steel production scheduling Dr Tang Lixin (Chair Professor and Director of the Logistics Institute at Northeastern University) Production scheduling in the iron and steel industry was the focus of Dr Tangs presentation. Steel plays a critical role in Chinas economy, and the national steel industry has been the Number One producer in the world since 1996, feeding other sectors such as construction, automobile manufacturing and machinery. The major characteristics of the steel industry are a long and complex production schedule, combined with high energy and capital consumption, plus the need to optimise capacity and minimise downtime (delays between orders) and materials wastage. The questions facing Dr Tang and his team are therefore how to reduce energy consumption, how to cut production costs and how to keep the furnaces burning in other words, optimisation of production scheduling and logistics, for different production stages and processes. Steel-making continuous casting (SCC) has relied upon just-in-time (JIT) methods to optimise production scheduling, and Dr Tangs work focuses on using new modelling methods (including Lagrangian relaxation algorithms) to understand whats happening

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums at any stage during production and thus make better decisions. Unlike the machinery industry, production and logistics scheduling in the iron and steel industry involves extra complications like job grouping and precedence constraints, as well as high waiting costs. Working with major producers in China such as Boasteel and Tian Steelpipe, Dr Tangs modelling techniques have led to significant improvements in productivity and reduced bottlenecks, taking advantage of advanced mathematical and heuristic algorithms. Mind to market Professor Ian Hunt (Head of School of Engineering and Built Environment, Napier University) Professor Hunt focused on the work of his department in helping new products from concept to market, using recent examples including a device for measuring vibration in construction tools and a meter to monitor power consumption, designed for the home. His chief concern was taking the leap from design to production, and how this often means Scottish companies looking abroad to identify new manufacturing partners, particularly in Eastern Europe and the Asia Pacific. He also talked about the challenges which face designers and developers, including the critical role of the entrepreneur, innovation, the importance of fast and flexible response to market demand, and how to pull information back from customers in the modern global market. At Napier, Professor Hunts team engages in a diverse range of activities, including manufacturing planning and control, preparing and assessing prototypes, and advanced materials research, as well as simulation and seismic studies. Among the schools recent successes are the new HAV (Hand Arm Vibration) meter invented by REACTEC in Edinburgh, which is now being manufactured and distributed worldwide, and the award-winning Ewgeco energy management system, another new device prototyped at Napier, invented by Perth-based Tanya Ewing. IT at university Professor Jeff Haywood (VicePrincipal for Knowledge Management, Chief Information Officer and Librarian at the University of Edinburgh) Professor Haywood provided the workshop with a number of insights into the computing environment at the University of Edinburgh, focusing on the acquisition and integration of new information systems, and how to optimise performance something which depends on many different individual criteria,

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particularly the different perceptions of users and service providers. He also talked about the cultural tensions which can sometimes arise between academic and corporate stakeholders. The universitys network consists of research systems, learning and teaching systems, and corporate systems, and Professor Haywood noted that whatever we design must take account of what will change. For example, many systems (e-portfolio and online learning) which were considered highly innovative a short time ago are now essential systems which are taken for granted. Also, as the network evolves, there are fewer and fewer standalone systems (excluding supercomputers). It would be easy, said Professor Haywood, to start from scratch when you build a new campus network, but in reality the network usually has many legacy systems which must be connected and talk with each other. Increasingly, he added, the university must also reach agreement with the community of users when it introduces new systems, and comply with legal and procurement constraints. Some users need and demand different tools, but unless they can justify their individual requests, they must comply with university-wide standards. On the one hand, this can inhibit purchasing methods, but Haywood also believes it

forces people to ask the right questions about their requirements and reach a compromise which in the end benefits everyone to some degree by making the right decisions from the start. There is always a trade-off, he explained, between security and connectivity, for example, or cost of ownership versus agility. Professor Haywood also talked about the roller-coaster of user expectations when new systems go live how people often mourn the old system, as they struggle to come to terms with a new system, before they finally acknowledge the benefits. According to Haywood, this presents a challenge to service providers, who must ensure that users dont expect too much initially, to soften the blow of the inevitable disappointments and frustrations of using new systems. Its all about people and managing change, he said, as well as having very clear objectives, aligning expectations, listening to users and communicating clearly with stakeholders. Finally, he said, its not technology management but people management which matters the most.

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums Simulation in the real world Professor Arthur Trew (Director of the EPCC Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre) Professor Trew kicked off by describing the evolution of scientific research from theory to experiment and more recently to simulation a methodology pioneered in Edinburgh since the early 1980s. He said that the EPCC (founded in 1990) is now the major centre for computational research in Europe, and aims to rival similar facilities in the US. Although the centre emphasises academic research and technology transfer, and has worked with 75 major industry clients over the last three years, he also said, Its no good doing research if you dont train the next generation, adding that the university also provided a better environment for certain kinds of research than commercial facilities, by providing easy access to diverse academic resources. Even though Professor Trew said that people were the most important asset of the centre, he is also very proud of its computers, especially HECToR (High End Computing Terascale Resources), which is one of the most powerful computers in the world, capable of 60 Tflop/s. In fact, it is so powerful that it uses more power than 10,000 households, and its power plant is three times the size of the actual computer. To appreciate the progress made in computing over the years, Trew said that the universitys first supercomputer, purchased in 1982, was built around processors the equivalent of todays more advanced mobile phones and yet it was still smart enough to enable researchers to produce over 180 ground-breaking papers. With 100 million-worth of computer, the EPCC is capable of doing some challenging work, including computational fluid dynamics, which helps researchers improve the efficiency of the new generation of wind turbines, as well as research into nuclear fusion and production scheduling. One of the future challenges for the EPCC will be its work in what Trew described as the circle of life, doing research into biological systems, including molecular dynamics and population (e.g. looking at avian flu), as well as some mind-boggling problems in physics. Professor Trew concluded by saying that the key to success for the EPCC is the continuing links between academia and its hardware suppliers and industry partners.


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17 March 2008 - Visit by Ms Fiona Hyslop Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Ms Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning welcomed the delegation to Scotland and to Edinburgh. She reminded the meeting that the Deputy Director of the NSFC, Professor Zuoyan Zhu, had visited Scotland in 2007 to receive an honorary degree from the University of Aberdeen the first to be awarded to a scholar from mainland China. During the same visit he signed the bilateral agreement with the Royal Society of Edinburgh, which directly resulted in this workshop, which the Scottish Government was pleased to support. Ms Hyslop pointed out that Scotland is famous for its great thinkers and philosophers, including David Hume and Adam Smith and its great engineers, including Thomas Telford. Today it continues this tradition with a strong capability in Business and Management Sciences and also in Engineering. Another area of strength is Biological Sciences and many Chinese scientists have also participated in projects in this field through the RSE exchange programme. Energy is another key area for collaboration and partnership now, and will be in the future. Across the entire breadth of the research base,

important pooling of research in key disciplines is also being seen, particularly in areas such as life sciences, physics, chemistry and economics. There has been a general increase in collaboration between scientists in Scotland and China. As a pilot, in 2008 the Scottish Government with the British Council is funding an exchange of a small number of science and technology students with Chinese institutions, through the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE). In addition, it continues to support student activity through its own Scottish International Scholarship programme and individual Scottish institutions are engaged in many more programmes, both their own and UK initiatives. Ms Hyslop explained that her main responsibilities as Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning are education, skills, research and innovation. It is her role to ensure that Scottish people are successful learners and effective contributors to society and she was pleased to report that the Scottish science community is a fantastic ambassador for the rest of Scotland in all these respects. One of the areas of her portfolio, which the Scottish Government is keen to develop, is skills utilisa-

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums tion. School pupils are part of her responsibility and the Scottish Qualifications Authority has strong links with China. Increasing numbers of Chinese students have been coming to Scotland in recent years and bonds are being formed, not only in education but also of friendship. Ms Hyslop pointed out that the Scottish national poet, Robert Burns, with whom many Chinese are familiar, came from her birthplace. Scotland has a long and distinguished educational heritage, a healthy curiosity for making new discoveries, and a great appetite for dialogue with others from across the globe. In terms of innovation and leadership, something important is happening in Scotland Scottish institutions are collaborating, thus providing a single entry point for international partners. Scotland is and historically has been a Science Nation. Its world-class universities excel in research and innovation. It is first in the world in terms of citation rates for research papers and also has one of the worlds top impact factors for research citations per paper. But science is a truly international endeavour. Ms Hyslop said that the Scottish Government recognises that driving forward competitive science requires not only the commitment of those who work within the world-class research

base in Scotland, but also the building of strong international partnerships. Scottish institutions have always been outward looking, and China is becoming increasingly important as a world player. Scotland takes its relationship with China very seriously and needs to do even more to partner with China, to their mutual advantage. Ms Hyslop stated that everyone present at the meeting would play an important part in achieving the sustainable economic growth that is key to both their futures. Scotland and China already have a history of science collaboration through long-standing links with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh with its field station in Lijiang and its expertise in Chinese plants and conservation, discussed earlier in the workshop. Links continue to be established through institutions and companies in many areas of interest. Increasing numbers of Chinese students are choosing Scottish institutions and developing longlasting friendships with people in Scotland and the Scottish Government wishes to build on those links. The Scottish Government is currently progressing five science IAESTE scholarships, researcher exchanges through the RSE/ NSFC programme and exchanges through the SIPS exchanges, also funded by the Scottish Government.

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Ms Hyslop said she would be visiting China in April 2008 and intended to discuss education and science links. During the visit she will spend time in Beijing, Jinan and Shanghai and hopes to witness a signing ceremony in Beijing on a new agreement between Aberdeen University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences on a research centre for EcoEnvironmental Sciences. Ms Hyslop thanked delegates for their contributions. She said she was pleased with the level of interest in what is happening in Scotland, exemplified by their commitment to attend this event.

Ms Hyslop hoped that hearing about the Scottish experience would help the Chinese delegates to develop their thinking and that their trip would be both stimulating and productive. At the same time, she stated that Scotland is a learning nation and it was hoped that Scottish scientists had also been challenged by the visit. Finally she encouraged delegates to explore possible actions arising from the workshop, alongside continuing discussion with the RSE and with others.


Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums Cultural Flagships Discussion Forum Cultural Flagships: being a National Film 26 June 2008

The seminar was introduced by RSE Vice-President Professor Tariq Durrani, who then handed over to the event Chair, Professor John Caughie, Professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow. In introducing the debate, Professor Caughie observed that while it is always relatively easy to score the national contribution of the Scottish or British film industry in economic or commercial terms, it is much more difficult to define its cultural contribution. He said that the film industry in Scotland currently faces major issues, concerning both its general sustainability, and the impact of the forthcoming merger between Scottish Screen and the Scottish Arts Council, to form Creative Scotland. He said this raises questions about whether we are trying to create a Scottish film industry, or in the wider sense a Scottish film culture. Professor Caughie then introduced the four members of the panel. They were: Ginnie Atkinson, Managing Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival; Leslie Hills of Skyline Productions, a leading independ259

ent film producer based in Edinburgh and Chair of Edinburgh Filmhouse; Iain Smith OBE, the Scottish-born producer of major films ranging from Bill Douglas My Childhood to Local Hero and Cold Mountain, an EIFF board member, and current Chair of the UK Film Skills Strategy Committee; and Robin MacPherson, Director of Screen Academy Scotland, and Senior Lecturer in the School of Creative Industries at Napier University, Edinburgh. Ginnie Atkinson began by observing that film represents a meeting of art and commerce across a very wide range of production, in what is, in many ways, the most popular of all artforms. Film is a huge, diverse field, encompassing everything from blockbuster popular entertainment to complex experimental work, and a whole range of everchanging technologies hence the term moving image, increasingly used to embrace and express the complexity of the field. Ms Atkinson pointed out that when the Edinburgh International Film Festival was launched, it was one of only three major film

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festivals in Europe Venice, Cannes and Edinburgh. Now there are literally thousands of international festivals, and the survival of Edinburgh as a major event, under these conditions, is in itself an achievement. Excellence in programming and execution is essential for any festival to remain at the top of the heap, and Edinburgh is famous for the quality of its achievement in this area. The event also has an intimacy which makes it particularly enjoyable. So far as the Festivals role as a national flagship is concerned, Ms Atkinson suggested that being international implies, to some extent, being national, or having a sense of national identity and culture to bring to the table. She noted that none of the Edinburgh Festivals is actually designated a national arts company by the Scottish Government, unlike Scottish Opera and the National Theatre of Scotland, etc. Nonetheless, EIFF does provide an international showcase for Scottish film; the difficulty arises from the fact that it does not act as a showcase for every Scottish film, but only for those which are selected on merit, and this can cause upset and controversy. There is an element of Catch-22 in the relationship between EIFF and the Scottish film industry. On the one hand, it is the quality and high standard of Festival program-

ming that make the EIFF a prestigious showcase; on the other hand, that commitment to quality, and to coherence in the programming of the Festival, means that tough and sometimes hurtful choices have to be made. The Edinburgh Filmhouse, of which Ginnie Atkinson is also Chief Executive, has a different role in relation to the Scottish film community, as did the Glasgow Film Theatre; however, she did not explore that on this occasion, since it seemed appropriate to focus on the Film Festival for the purposes of this event. Leslie Hills began by observing that, as an independent filmmaker, she is not affiliated to any national cultural organisation. However, she said that she believes that the whole field of cultural activity in Scotland should be mutually supportive and seamless; she argued that national heritage and culture is indivisible, and is not just a matter for organisations designated as national cultural institutions. There should be space in the debate for a wide variety of independent voices. Ms Hills said that it is difficult to overstate the recent achievement of the live and visual arts in Scotland, and the quality of Scotlands living cultural scene today. She felt that there is a general sense of film being


Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums slightly different from other arts, or not quite part of this scene. There is a huge global film culture affecting our national self-image and self-perception, but it often seems to be a completely external force, beyond our control. Ms Hills describes herself as a relative newcomer to film production, as she has only been working in the industry for a little over 20 years. In that time, she has been responsible for producing lots of television, made for UK and European audiences. These were mainly drama series and documentary and current affairs series. Her work now consists mainly of 90-minute documentaries with high production values for theatrical release, made in coproduction with Germany. They are films on Scottish subjects, usually set in Scotland, and filmed around the world; but the main investment often comes from German broadcasters, film funds or distribution companies, with Scottish Screen the only Scottish resource for funding such projects. They are also often funded by public film funds from other European countries or the European Union. Ms Hills said that she feels that Scottish Screen is a body much more respected abroad than at home its muchmocked Scottie-dog logo is now recognised and respected worldwide. Ms Hills then reflected on the complex funding of some recent projects. Her own short film about the artist Alison Watt was partfunded by BBC Scotland, PPG, the Glenfiddich Company, and an American angel (or private backer) based in Prague. The film Stone of Destiny, shown at the EIFF, was financed by the Canadian Film Fund. Kenny Glenaans Summer was made possible by German production money. Death-Defying Acts, a film about Houdini in Scotland, is a Scottish story produced and filmed entirely outside Scotland. The nature of the modern industry, in other words, raises questions about the definition of a Scottish film. The industry is international, and it is worth noting that Scottishness is often a positive asset a blessing or an entre in dealing with the film industry in other parts of the world. Ms Hills next project will be about a Japanese sculptor working in the toe of Italy with the Italian architect Renzo PIaino but produced by a Scottish-based company. And this is how the film world will increasingly operate in future. On the matter of training, Ms Hills said that good training is indispensable, but that it is no substitute for an industry that enables people to work, to make movies, and to develop careers in Scotland, if they wish to do so. We need a film industry, not just a


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training structure. And we need training institutions which will attract students from all over the world, so that students here can begin to build the network of international relationships they will need. Ms Hills said that she often speaks to groups of film students working together at summer schools or special projects all over Europe, but that she has never seen a Scottish student at one of these events. This is a concern. In summing up, Ms Hills said that she feels national identity is very important in forming film cultures. She cited the current strength of, for example, the Rumanian film industry. She said that she feels film has a great role to play in articulating the relationship between modernity and tradition in Europe, and that both a strong national culture and a strong sense of internationalism are necessary for that task. She argued that while it would be great to fund films made in Scotland that would make money internationally and bring it back into our industry, it is also necessary for us to nurture our own identity and heritage. Currently, Scotland punches above its weight in the world of film; but Ms Hills is concerned that our film culture could lose out in the coming merger between Scottish Screen and the Scottish Arts Council if Creative Scotland is not

adequately funded for the complex and vital job it has to do. In introducing his talk, Iain Smith described himself as a detribalised Scot, meaning one who has spent most of his working life outside Scotland - nor, he said, has London been far enough for him. His life has been a journey into international film production, and it has taken him to Hollywood and beyond. He feels that the experience of living with such a powerful neighbour gives Scots in general an enormous sense of empathy, an ability to read and recognise the feelings of others that is a huge asset in negotiating the global film industry. Mr Smith said that he is always very suspicious of people who begin their pitch by saying what type of film they want to make an art film, or a commercial film, or a Scottish film. He said that this kind of category-thinking is usually an act of concealment, designed to obscure the fact that the film-maker does not have much of an idea, or much of a story to tell. He said that he thought there was an ongoing Scottish crisis of identity. Sir Walter Scott had been one of the greatest brand-masters of all time, with his sentimental creation of the kilted Highlander as the archetype of Scottishness, but it is a temporary solution with which Scots comply, rather than a real resolution of the issue.

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums The first feature films with Scottish content therefore followed the Sir Walter Scott/ Ivanhoe model, and that was not seriously challenged until Bill Douglas came along in the 1970s with his hate-filled vision of a very different Scotland. My Childhood (1972) was one of the very first truly Scottish films, in that it addresses aspects of Scotland that we would often rather not look at. Early Scottish film-makers were often making propaganda films for Films of Scotland or the Highlands and Islands Development Board, but in the 1980s things began to move forward, with the famous conference on Cinema In A Small Country, and the Film Bang events. Then there was Chariots Of Fire, and Bill Forsyth went to the Dolphin Arts Centre in Glasgow and decided, come what may, to make the film that was eventually called That Sinking Feeling, which led on to Gregorys Girl. That Sinking Feeling is one of those great films that has a strange feeling of familiarity about it the feeling that the film has existed forever, but you have just discovered it. Iain Smith concluded that the idea of national consciousness in film can very easily be abused see, for example, Braveheart, and its distorted but hugely influential external view of Scottish history and identity. This is something about which we have to be vigilant. As a member of the Creative Scotland transitional board, he welcomes the settingup of the new body, in that it seems to signal that governments increasingly recognise the importance of creativity. He talked briefly of his experience of film culture in Bengal, and said that in his view, Scotland is now gradually joining the great river of human selfexpression, and is gradually moving on from the time when the nation was self-inhibited by a confused national identity. Robin MacPherson began by posing himself two questions, asking why Scotland needs a National Film School, and what conditions would make such an institution into a national organisation. He suggested four criteria for a national institution: that it should have an ambition to operate at a national level; that it should achieve at a national level; that it should be designated as a national body; and, that there should be an expectation that it will contribute to national life. He feels that a national body should have some sense of being accountable to a wider national project and that all of these criteria apply to Screen Academy Scotland. He then turned to the question of why we need a National Film School in Scotland. After all, there is already a National Film and Television School outside London,

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at Beaconsfield, which has fostered a great deal of talent and, under the Directorship of Colin Young, has specifically encouraged Scottish filmmakers such as Lynne Ramsay. Mr MacPherson said that a good film school should foster talent, provide space for it to develop, encourage young artists to take risks, offer opportunities for them to meet others, give them the chance to learn about relevant technologies, and mentor them in finding the right path. And he said that if Scotland was a nation with a distinctive cultural identity, then there should be a chance for people to experience this learning process in Scotland, should they choose to do so. At the moment, Screen Academy Scotland is able to foster some elements of talent, among writers, producers, directors and animators; but is not able to teach or develop the other skills involved in film production at postgraduate level. (It is quite successful at undergraduate level and has been so for some 20 years). Mr MacPherson emphasised, though, that international currents in the film industry are of great importance, and talked about the development of an international network of film schools, to help students develop a global awareness. The European MEDIA programme has already supported Screen Academy

Scotland to mount events in Tallinn, Dublin and Edinburgh, designed to encourage this kind of awareness and networking, and to help students develop international creative projects. He believes that talent and craft could be developed in Scotland, or revisited in Scotland by those in mid-career. Career development for existing professionals is extremely important. And he pointed out that with the BBC and Channel 4 promising increased levels of television production in Scotland, we will need to develop the skills base to meet that growing demand. The discussion session began with a question about the poor quality of some films that claim to represent Scotland on screen. The questioner mentioned the EIFF premiere of Stone of Destiny, which she had not enjoyed, and asked how poor representations of Scottish history and culture could be avoided. Iain Smith commented that the general expectation in Hollywood is that only one script in 80 - or perhaps, more recently, one in 40 - will be successful at all, and that almost all films made are complete turkeys. Even in the best times for the British film industry, the strike rate has not been higher than one in 20. Its therefore not surprising that most of the films identified one way or another as Scottish are not much good; and


Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums governments need to take the long view. Another questioner asked about the plans for a new Edinburgh Filmhouse to replace the current run-down premises, wondering whether they were dead in the water. Leslie Hills, recently appointed Chair of the Board of Filmhouse, assured him that the plans are not dead, that funding is being actively sought, and that something has to be done about the housing of Filmhouse as the current situation cannot continue. On the question about the quality of Scottish films, Ms Hills said that the Scottish Government is definitely interested in the idea of nationhood and culture; and that although it is always necessary to guard against jingoism, this could be useful in beginning to get the ear of government, and campaigning for the resources that are needed to develop our film culture, and the economic base of our industry. Robin MacPherson affirmed that he thought it would be possible to build something positive over 10-15 years, including a National Film and Television School in Scotland. A questioner wondered whether people will still go to the cinema in future, as sophisticated new technologies for home and personal entertainment become ever more widespread. Iain Smith

said that new technologies might actually make possible the development of a new wave of boutique cinemas, with fans of particular periods or types of film able to download the programme of their choice electronically, in seconds, to small theatres across the country. He had noted that a development of this kind was already happening in Henley-onThames. Ginnie Atkinson said that she feels people will always have a need to congregate in groups to watch films, and that the prevalence of home entertainment actually adds to the value of festivals like the EIFF, which provide not only the chance to watch a huge range of films in theatre conditions, but also a live encounter with film artists, through personal appearances by directors, stars etc. Leslie Hills said that in the 21st century film world, the expert professional programming of festivals like EIFF has even more added value than before. Iain Smith pointed out that technologies are changing at breakneck speed, and said he has heard that teenagers are not bothering to go to see films like the recent blockbuster thriller Wanted built around a series of spectacular action sequences because the best bits have already been downloaded from trailers weeks ago, and circulated

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by mobile phone around the world. He said that rather than trying to hold back the tide, the film industry had better get very fresh-eyed about such developments, and try to seize every new opportunity. From the Chair, Professor Caughie said that he feels it is becoming very difficult to experience the history of cinema in theatre conditions. New releases still have an extensive theatre life, but people are expected to hire or buy old films on DVD, and watch them at home. An audience member asked for reassurance that there would be enough demand for the product of a National Film School in Scotland i.e. will there be work for all the graduates? Robin MacPherson said that there is a very strong business case for generating more talent in Scotland, and trying to keep production and profits in the country. The problem is that this kind of development has a long lead-time. It is unlikely that the results will be obvious in less than ten years or so, since it will take that long for a first generation of film school graduates to begin to emerge as feature-film-makers maybe even longer. And politicians investing resources tend to want quick results. Professor Caughie said that this reminds him of the saying that

the products of medical schools will keep you alive, but the products of film schools will make you glad to be alive. Scotland already had a world-class trackrecord in medical education perhaps it is time to prioritise film education, too. The final question from the audience was about the impact of National Lottery funding on British film culture, and whether it has been generally good or bad. Iain Smith said that at the National Film Council (UK) there had been a move to get rid of the Committee, and to appoint individual gatekeepers who would act as producers, giving green lights to projects, and taking responsibility for their own creative decisions, since committees notoriously cannot do this very well. He said that given the low proportion of successful films that can be achieved under any funding structure (see above), British Lottery funding has probably not done too badly. He cited The Potato Man, a British film which had been a disaster critically and at the box office, but which he saw as a good example of a film which had been trying to achieve something worthwhile in new British film-making, and had represented a risk worth taking.


Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums Conference Structures and Granular Solids 1 - 2 July 2008

The RSE and the University of Edinburgh staged a three-day International symposium on Structures and granular solids: from scientific principles to engineering applications. The symposium began with a public lecture by Professor J. Michael Rotter, FREng FRSE FICE FASCE FIEAust (see page 180). The symposium was conceived to celebrate the life and work of Professor Rotter. Professor Rotters work has placed equal emphasis on both fundamental scientific principles and how they are best applied to solve real engineering problems. Whilst his PhD research was on composite steel-concrete building construction, he has devoted most of his research career to the mechanics of granular solids and the buckling of thin shell structures. Michael has made major and pioneering contributions of lasting importance in all these areas. Michaels research has also led to many international collaborations on a wide range of topics over the last

three decades. His collaborators have included leading researchers from Hong Kong, Australia, Spain and Germany in the areas of structural mechanics, civil and structural engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, mathematics, physics and geology many of whom attended the symposium. The Symposium brought together a significant group of eminent researchers from around the world in the two related and interacting fields of structures and granular solids, with a unique theme of bridging the gap between the development of new scientific understanding and its application to solve practical engineering problems. A poster competition held throughout the symposium featured a number of promising students from the University of Edinburgh. After the first day of the event, delegates were treated to an evening of Scottish hospitality at Dalhousie Castle.

Structures and Granular Solids: From Scientific Principles to Engineering Application by J. Michael Rotter, J. F. Chen, J. G. Teng (Editor), Jian-Fei Chen (Editor), J. Y. Ooi (Editor). ISBN-13: 9780415475945. ISBN: 0415475945

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Conference Computer Predictions for Nature and Society: Should They be Trusted? 11 September 2008 Supported by the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) Computer simulations have long been used by scientists and engineers to help design better materials and machines. Increasingly computers are being used to predict the future for natural and social processes, such as epidemics, climate change, economic forecasting and earthquakes. But is this a reasonable leap to take? Physical systems, such as solids, liquids and gases, have the advantage of being well-understood at a fundamental level and highly repeatable. We may therefore expect computer predictions for physical structures to be accurate although even there, it is a fact of life that todays fastest computers might need several weeks to reproduce what nature can achieve in a nanosecond. Why then should we trust a computer prediction for the spread of an epidemic, or for the earths climate in fifty years time, where the fundamental processes involved may not be completely understood, or the predictions turn out to depend strongly on data that is not available to us (for example, detailed geographical information)? Is it sensible to base

government policy on such predictions? The aim of this RSE conference was to highlight precisely these issues in a public forum. The organisers, Professor Graeme Ackland FRSE and Dr Richard Blythe of Edinburgh University, brought together four leading computer modellers to outline their methods and findings, and to present their views on the benefits and limitations of modelling. Members of the audience were offered the opportunity to put their views and questions to the speakers and representatives of NANIA, (the interdisciplinary research collaboration on modelling complex systems), an offer that was accepted with alacrity, resulting in two lively discussion sessions. Keynote Speaker Neil Johnson, Professor of Complexity at Miami University Professor Johnson is author of Twos company, three is complexity and presenter of the televised 175th Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. Johnson proposed that the characteristic unpredictability of collective human behaviour

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums could be viewed from a modellers perspective as a benefit rather than a drawback. That is, perhaps such diverse contemporary challenges as chaotic traffic, market crashes and insurgent warfare are unpredictable in similar ways because all involve competition for a limited resource, whether that be space, money, power or territory. In his engaging talk, Johnson took the audience through the principles of these competitive acts: what each agent is trying to achieve and how they deal with information as it becomes available. His tour took in the minority game paradigm which describes the conflict that arises when all agents simultaneously attempt to choose the least popular of two options for example, to end up buying when everyone else decides to sell. Through a range of case studies, Johnson moved towards the conclusion that computer modelling of human behaviour is not only possible, but also allows prediction and even some form of control. Two particularly interesting and important ideas were raised in this first talk. The first is the issue of predicting freak events such as a global financial crisis when, by their very nature, the historical precedent for them is weak. Should we believe a model when it predicts an outcome that we

have seen never before? The second interesting idea was the use of a bag of models for the same process, and combining their results to get a feel for the spread of likely outcomes. Here Johnson commented on the intuition his neighbours in Florida have when using published cones of uncertainty that show possible paths of an impending hurricane, to decide whether to take evasive action, and suggested that perhaps all computer predictions should be treated in this way. Christl Donnelly (Professor of Statistical Epidemiology, Imperial College London) Professor Donnelly shared her experiences of working with the UK government on strategies to control the spread of a foot-andmouth disease (FMD) epidemic. She advocates the use of policies that are forward-looking and shaped by evidence, whereas in this case the evidence comes in part from models of disease spreading. The essential content of these models is the network of contacts between susceptible individuals, and how quickly the disease can spread from an infected individual to a nearby uninfected one. Once this is established, the modellers can use data for confirmed cases of infection to predict what effect specific interventions would have on the

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spread of the disease. For example, they can ask how many and which individuals should be vaccinated or culled to minimise the number of future cases. On this basis, a culling strategy was developed and implemented, and the number of new cases subsequently confirmed decreased over time in a pattern very similar to that predicted by the model. Nevertheless, aspects of the culling policy remain controversial, and a number of criticisms were expressed at the conference. This highlighted the need for good quality data to input into computer models, and the need to properly acknowledge risk and uncertainty to help build understanding, echoing Johnsons comments about hurricane cones. Peter Cox (Met Office Chair in Climate System Dynamics at the University of Exeter) Mr Cox provided some insight into weather and climate prediction. Weather forecasting has improved a lot over the years, due in large part to increasing computer power. Whether the forecast is correct is subjective, but on any measure the three-day forecast for 2008 was as reliable as the twoday forecast from 1998. The climate models are essentially lower resolution versions of numerical weather prediction models, run for decades rather than days. Increasing computer

power has enabled increasing spatial resolution in climate models, but even now typical grid boxes are of the order of 100 km by 100 km. How can we hope to predict climate change 100 years from now, when we find it difficult to predict weather ten days ahead? Fortunately climate modelling is a totally different problem to weather prediction: rather than tracking a trajectory in a chaotic attractor, its about mapping the whole attractor all the possible weathers. Weather forecasting errors largely arise from uncertainty in initial conditions, but century-timescale climate prediction is uncertain because of uncertainties in future greenhouse gas emissions and climate feedbacks. Tracing the history of greenhouse gas theory from Fourier and Arrhenius in the 1800s to the present, Cox showed that models including natural factors can approximately reproduce the observed warming up to the 1970s, but underestimate it now. Emphasising the unequivocal reliability of the measured data, additional factors are required to explain it and man-made emissions of aerosols and CO2 do just that, in Europe, North America and Asia (where mid-century cooling was less pronounced). Finally, Cox emphasised that increased warming is already inevitable, and the emphasis must

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums now shift to adaptation as well as mitigation. Even if observed warming is due to some unknown factor other than CO2 emission, it is unlikely that this mystery phenomenon will disappear, and our mitigation strategy would be doomed. So the focus of climate modelling is now shifting from a focus on mitigation (how bad would it get if we do nothing?) to a focus on adaptation (what climate change do we need to be prepared for?). Regional planning requires higher resolution modelling than a single-point Scotland, and accuracy on decadal timescales a hybrid of weather forecasting and climate prediction, which Cox called Climate Prediction of the Third Kind. Lenny Smith (Senior Research Fellow, Pembroke College) Dr Smith dealt with the confusable issues of chaos and unpredictability, and the quality of models. Smith also argued that the Greenhouse effect: more CO2 gives warmer, wetter winters with increased storminess was long established. From a practical viewpoint, this is all we need to know to drive policy, and insufficient to drive individual behaviour: he presented the example of his recently-flooded local pub, asking whether it was worth refurbishing given the risk of repeating this rare event. Smith was particularly critical of the mindset of forever tweaking individual climate models in all areas. The models are all highly complex nonlinear systems, and details will be sensitive to small changes in a possibly unpredictable way. Rather, he said, we should investigate how robust current climate models are by checking for consistencies among them. Smith pointed out that we cannot know whether proposed improvements to climate models higher resolutions, physics of clouds, etc will actually guide us towards a better understanding of how climate works. Testing a range of models with different (yet reasonable) assumptions is far more likely to tell us not only what we can predict, but perhaps more importantly where the design of the model itself gives uncertainty. Between them, the four speakers covered a wide range of applications, yet three themes ran consistently through them. If the model is wrong, you can reproduce known data, but no amount of fitting will help you predict. Input data is always insufficient, computed results come with uncertainty, but this uncertainty can be estimated. Extreme confidence in the output of a simulation provides a good test of charlatanism.


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Conference The Life and Culture of the Highlands and Islands 23 September 2008

The Conference covered a wide variety of topics affecting many areas of social, cultural and economic life in the Highlands and Islands past, present and future. Rather than being a region in irreversible decline, there was a broad consensus that it should be understood as a place of outstanding opportunity. Its role as a region at the edge of Scotland and the UK is ripe to be overturned, as its potential as a source of renewable energy, as a tourism destination and a hotbed for contemporary arts and creativity can put it at the very heart of national life. For this vision to be achieved, effective partnerships between government at all levels and local communities are needed. The model must be one in which people are provided with the tools they need to earn a good living and mould their own futures. The development of a University for the Highlands and Islands is a key factor in its future and one of the best ways of ensuring an abundance of young and talented people choose to live in the region and build a knowledge-based economy to suit 21st Century needs.

Key points from the Conference: - The Highlands and Islands is a region of great economic opportunity in exciting emerging areas such as medical and scientific research, renewable energy production and efficiency. - Support is needed for traditional sectors, such as sheep farming and crofting, to give them a sustainable future and help provide food security for the nation. - Public policy needs to concentrate on community empowerment by giving communities that are already used to being self-reliant the tools for further development. - Land reform has been, and can continue to be, a vital means of restoring self-confidence to communities and allowing them to take control of their own destinies, creating jobs and generating income. - The creative industries make a major contribution to the economy and cultural identity of the region and every effort

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums should be made to nurture them. - The natural environment, on land and at sea, is among the greatest resources of the Highlands and Islands and must be protected and managed in order to realise its economic potential. - Since its inception, the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) Millennium Institute has proved its potential as an engine for renewal and change providing education, research and employment opportunities that keep young people in the region and offer them viable careers. - Language, culture and history all play a vital role in the social and cultural identity of the region and should be cherished. - While depopulation has been slowed, and even reversed, there are still many issues to be addressed, as the region has an ageing population and a shortage of people of working age. - Small populations need not be a problem so long as the vital issues of employment, housing and fuel poverty are addressed so people have an environment in which they can make a decent living and enjoy a decent quality of life. - The past, especially the Clearances, has huge resonance in the Highlands and Islands. This is coupled with a perception that the area has been been neglected by policy makers when for better or worse the opposite has often been true. The conference was introduced by RSE President Sir Michael Atiyah, who emphasised the range of topics under discussion including the arts, sciences and economics and highlighted the importance of the Royal Societys Inquiry into issues affecting Scotlands hill and island areas. Michael Russell MSP, Scottish Government Minister for the Environment The people, culture and environment of the highlands and islands are its greatest assets and the key to its future prosperity. According to Mr Russell, the region is one that has too often been misunderstood and interfered with, having suffered historic injustices such as the Clearances and faced continued difficulties from depopulation and economic decline. The situation is now looking increasingly positive, with a growing population and lower than average unemployment based on a diverse economy. Government must apply three golden rules to help the region achieve its undoubted potential. These are the need for:

Review of the Session 2007-2008

- solidarity with the people, to uplift societys most disadvantaged; - cohesion to ensure that everyone shares in growing wealth; and - sustainability to protect and enhance its environment and heritage. Mr Russell said that the current administration is dedicated to a positive approach which empowers the region, its local government, communities and people to make decisions for themselves. In trying to secure a sustainable future for the Highlands and Islands we need to regard them not as perpetual drain on resources, not as a problem to be solved but as a place where by providing the right tools we can enable the people that live there to solve the problems that they face. Mr Russell emphasised the contribution and value of the agricultural sector and of community buy-outs of land. The government is concerned to find ways to reform crofting and ensure its continued contribution to the regions vitality and identity. It has contributed not just to the agricultural life of these areas but has contributed to the social life and environment of them as well. There is an argument to say that crofting is the most uniquely

successful way of keeping a population in a remote area. Professor Gavin McCrone, Chairman of the RSE Inquiry into Scotlands Hill and Island areas. Scotlands hill and island areas have immense potential to contribute to the national need to ensure food security, bio-diversity and a strong tourism industry. Professor McCrone explained that net farm income in sheep farming in the Less favoured Area in Scotland was only 1,500 last year and in all recent years was considerably exceeded by the subsidy paid. This meant that without support such farming would decline very rapidly. Yet it was the declared policy of the UK Government to urge the EU to end direct subsidies after 2013. The Inquiry rejected this, as they considered that it would be very damaging to the communities in the hill and islands areas, to biodiversity and to the landscape, which was important for tourism. He outlined a number of ways in which the support could be adjusted to meet the needs of these areas and at the same time deliver environmental benefit. He encouraged a new approach at all levels of government to encourage farming and to promote local produce pointing out that despite the large number of sheep farms, Scots eat less

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums lamb and mutton than the English and a great deal less than the Welsh. Allowing a free market to reign would create a risky dependence on imports from potentially unreliable foreign countries and could prove potentially unreliable at a moment when production in some parts of the world is threatened by climate change, the shift to biofuels and growing demand from swiftly expanding countries with rapidly growing economies, such as China. This is not the right time to address the food crisis in the world by allowing our own productivity to decline. If livestock farming in the hill and islands areas which are responsible for a large part of Scotlands output were to cease it would be difficult, if not impossible, to bring it back. The Inquiry, which took in areas such as the Southern Uplands as well as the Highlands and Islands, also calls for a stronger body to promote tourism complete with the ability to fund projects that will provide a top quality experience for visitors. This should build on the strengths of VisitScotland rather than abolish it and would also provide greater opportunities for each region to develop and promote itself. Professor McCrone believes that many sectors can contribute to the

development of tourism not least the excellence of Scottish regional food and drink and the countrys remarkable potential as a wildlife tourism destination. In order for the hills and islands to thrive, there is a need for a range of infrastructural developments, in particular the provision of affordable housing, improved ferry services and high-speed broadband connections. THEME 1: Economic Chair: Willy Roe, Chairman of Highland and Islands Enterprise In his opening remarks Mr Roe said the critical issue for the region is not the size of its population, but the need to attract and retain people of working age. The emergence of the UHI Millennium Institute is a key means to encourage some young adults to stay and bring in others. Mr Roe said he believed that the region has much to offer in terms of lifestyle and with career opportunities in everything from the creative industries to the life sciences. He called for the region to market itself as a place that welcomes ambitious incomers with a desire to succeed and a wish to enjoy an unbeatable environment.

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Beyond the shore: a sustainable marine economy for the Highlands and Islands Professor Laurence Mee, Director of the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), UHI Millennium Institute. The seas and shoreline of the Highlands and Islands are among its greatest and least understood resources. Traditionally exploited as a source of food, they are now being recognised as holding the key to many other needs. SAMS, based in Oban, is a European leader in researching how algae can be used to create new medicines and the potential of our oceans to provide biofuels. According to Professor Mee, the success of SAMS underlines the regions potential as a centre for advanced science and sustainable production. Among the most exciting developments will be in the energy sector, where the technology is becoming available to create offshore wind farms and exploit the tremendous potential of wave and tidal power. It is, he added, vital to ensure that our marine environment is managed carefully to balance competing interests and maximise economic benefits. This means ensuring that sustainability is a reality, not just a buzz-word, and recognises the needs of every sea user, whether it is for aquaculture,

commercial fishing or scuba diving. Protection of the marine environment is vital, but that does not mean we put it in a box. But we have to have specially protected areas. We have to protect our crown jewels. It is important for our economy and it is important for our sustainability. This, said Professor Mee, is underlined by the growing popularity of whale watching and other nature-based activities, as well as water sports like sailing, surfing and windsurfing, which already bring in millions of pounds to local economies. These are opportunities that can be taken much further. After all, these people dont mind if it rains, they just want wind, and my God weve got a lot of that. THEME 2: Higher Education, the UHI Millennium Institute and the Highlands and Islands Renaissance UHIs Role in the Renaissance of the Highlands and Islands Chair: Professor Robert Cormack FRSE, Principal of the UHI Millennium Institute In his introductory comments Professor Cormack outlined how the region has missed out on each of Scotlands three waves of university development from the Middle Ages to the present day. It

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums is, he argued, inequitable that Edinburgh, with a population of 470,000, has four universities, while a region of more than half a million has none. After outlining the UHIs development, including this years granting of taught degree-awarding powers, he said UHI is moving rapidly towards full University status. Professor Cormack believes that a University of the Highlands and Islands is critical to the regions ability to develop a knowledge-based economy, to keep talented young people and attract inward investment. The UHI is already attracting valuable research funding from the public and private sources. This includes an impressive 1 million from private sources for historical research alongside circa 52M over the next seven years from European sources, providing matched funds can be found. At the same time, it has exciting projects underway, such as the creation of a centre for diabetes research. The UHIs great success has been to bring together many colleges and centres, using modern technology such as video conferencing, giving students access to academic excellence no matter where they are. The result is that a student can already go to a small college like Orkney, for example, and move from an access course through every level of the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF) to a PhD. Low Carbon and Renewable Energy Built Environmental Research at UHI Dr Neil Finlayson, Director, Greenspace Research, Lews Castle College, UHI Millennium Institute Low-energy buildings are essential if we are going to be successful in confronting climate change. According to Dr Finlayson, there are 140 million buildings in Europe and every one of them has problems. As buildings in developed economies account for 40% to 60% of energy use, there is an urgent need to cut back on waste, and European regulations are now coming into effect which will force the pace of change. Greenspace, based in Stornoway, is doing much to contribute to this goal on a local and worldwide scale. Part of its research vision is to help transform the Hebrides from a high to a low carbon environment, whilst creating wider educational, scientific and commercial opportunities. It has already produced one spin-out company. By providing opportunities in this way, Dr Finlayson believes the UHI will be a driving force in the renaissance of the Highlands and Islands. Greenspace has a strong emphasis on software, on building material and on control systems. Among its aims are to create buildings which minimise energy use and waste, but require the

Review of the Session 2007-2008

minimum of effort to control. The progress being made at Greenspace, and throughout UHI, are already making it a force to be reckoned with. UHI has a lot of strengths in energy and environmental issues and I think it is very competitive at this point with the other Scottish universities, and getting more so, said Dr Finlayson. The North wind doth blow . A New Cultural Agenda for the Northern Isles Dr Donna Heddle, Director of the Centre for Nordic Studies, Orkney College UHI Millennium Institute The interdisciplinary Centre for Nordic Studies is an exciting and far-sighted initiative, led by Orkney in partnership with Shetland, to rediscover and celebrate the Nordic past and non-Gaelic indigenous cultures of Scotland. In a UK context where so much has tended to become concentrated in the south east of England, areas such as these have come to be seen as peripheral. They now need to be re-evaluated and policy decisions made regarding them need to be better informed. The Centre will provide a locus for this re-evaluation and materials to inform policy. According to Dr Heddle, the Northern Isles are centres of a vibrant Nordic world which made an enormous contribution to the

countrys history and culture that should be better understood and more widely appreciated. Scotland has explored its Gaelic heritage to a large extent and now it is time to look to its Nordic roots. Dr Heddle argued that the role of the Centre is not only to promote research but to allow it to take place at the focal points of Scotlands Nordic culture. The key aim is to give ownership of their cultural heritage back to the communities themselves: to educate, enable, and empower them for the future. The Centre provides activities at many levels to accomplish this aim. These range from workshops, seminars and lectures and summer schools to conferences, fellowships, taught postgraduate and research degrees. The Centre can benefit the local economy by helping develop the cultural tourism industry, satisfying the growing appetite for holiday destinations where people can pursue hobbies and interests. The Centre is creating multilayered cultural networks involving local groups and funders, along with academic institutions at home and abroad, which will take forward their aims for the region. Key aims are to explore the regions intangible cultural heritage and to promote a greater knowledge of the Nordic languages that were spoken by islanders.

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums It is time to cherish the linguistic heritage of Orkney and Shetland without our tongues we cannot speak for ourselves, said Dr Heddle. Diabetes Research in the Highlands: a radical approach Professor Ian Megson, Department of Diabetes, UHI Millennium Institute A distribution map of diabetes rates across Scotland shows startling differences between the Highlands and Islands and other areas. Some 30% plus of sufferers in the region have Type 1 diabetes, the form which tends to appear in childhood, compared to 819% in much of the lowlands. For this reason the UHI has been establishing a research centre to look into the causes of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes the latter tends to develop among older people and is frequently linked to obesity. According to Professor Megson, the distribution of Type 1 diabetes may prove vitally important in discovering its cause. Why are the rates so high? We want to know. An obvious explanation is genetic perhaps there is a Viking gene thats causing this. But the level is only 17% in Shetland, so it may not be that straightforward. One of the things we will be researching is genetic and environmental interaction. The study of Type 2 diabetes is also of great importance, as the Highlands and Islands have an ageing population. Professor Megson has a particular interest in the possible role of free radicals in the development of this form of the disease. Diabetes can be controlled, but no cure is yet available. One of the major difficulties is that it can lead to strokes and heart attacks; some patients also have to have limbs amputated, whilst others lose their sight. Even though the centre was just an empty room in 2006, it is already making exciting advances. Clinical trials have started for one new drug which could help prevent the blood clotting process that underlies many of these problems. The centre has a particular interest in the antioxidant properties of natural products, such as seaweed and berries, and how they can be used to provide therapies to prevent cardiovascular disease associated with diabetes.


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THEME 3: Highland History after the Clearances Chair: Professor Chris Whatley, Professor of Scottish History, VicePrincipal and Head, University of Dundee Professor Whatley pointed to the importance of the fascination with heritage among the regions communities where historical societies often have a high profile. He also described history as an important resource, often used for the benefit of the tourism industry and sometimes abused for the benefit of politicians. Highland History and the Conscience of Scotland Dr Ewen Cameron, Reader in Scottish History at the University of Edinburgh The history of the Highlands is a popular and hotly debated area of study. Dr Cameron said the intensity of argument is a bit like a shinty match with no quarter asked or given. His talk extended into historiography and demography and was underpinned by the observation that political policy towards the Highlands and Islands is often rooted in ideas about its history and a notion that it has been a neglected region. Dr Cameron argued that the opposite is true and that it has had a high profile among historians, politicians and others.

He added that there has been a strong emphasis on the impact of the Clearances and the ongoing significance of rises and falls in population. There has often also been tendency to forget the efforts of previous generations to right past wrongs and bring prosperity to the area, whether through the Crofters Bill of 1885 or the Highland Development Bill of 1965. Changes have taken place in public policy, with the land question drifting off the agenda in the late 1940s around the time of the Knoydart Land Raid, but returning more recently with developments such as the 2003 Land Reform Act. Dr Cameron argued that huge amounts of government money have been invested in the Highlands and Islands though not always having the intended results. There has also been a tendency to regard the region as unique, rather than recognise its similarities with other parts of the UK such as Wales and even south west England. Indeed there are close similarities between the forces that brought depopulation in the Highlands and those that created industrialisation and urbanisation in the lowlands. Historians have often been poor at pointing out the links between the Highlands and other areas, and there is a continued demand for popular works

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums with a romanticised and overlynostalgic view of its past. History has been incredibly important in the way government has thought about the Highlands we saw that again in the talk this morning from Mike Russell. There has also sometimes been a forgetting of history in the making of public policy towards the Highlands and this idea that the Highlands have been neglected and the Clearances are still something to be atoned for, said Dr Cameron. THEME 4: Turning the Tide: Community and Land Ownership, Population Growth and Regeneration in the Highlands and Islands Chair: Dr John Watt, Director of Strengthening Communities at the HIE Dr Watt introduced himself as the Chair of the session and as a man who was accused one year of being passive on the issue of land reform, then the next of leading Mugabe-style land raids. His opening remarks addressed the need to bring about community development by building the social capital lost through outward migration. Market failure and lack of economies of scale have meant that the region has often lost out. Conversely this has led to a culture in which communities do things for themselves. This approach has become

increasingly sophisticated, with the development of social enterprises and the acquisition of large areas of land into communal ownership. Further support of these kinds of process, he believes, will contribute much to repopulation and regeneration. The role of communities in the 21st Century Highlands and Islands David Cameron, North Harris Trust Depopulation of the Highlands and Islands is not just about the loss of people but of cultures which could never be revived. Mr Cameron said that while the problems that led to collapsing communities might be complex, the solutions could be remarkably simple. The North Harris Trust, like others, has transformed community prospects in the last 15 years after buying out 55,000 acres of land. This has allowed the 750 residents to take control of their own futures and harness the potential of the environment. Such successes need to be repeated elsewhere, and this can only be done by providing people with the means to generate a decent living. It is ironic that there are more and more calendars with pictures of places like Harris, yet it is more and more difficult to find a wellpaid job in these places for the whole year round, said Mr Cameron.

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There is, however, the possibility that we could be entering a golden era of renewal, with new communities being built on old roots. Initiatives like the North Harris Trust have shown the potential of community empowerment. Jobs and income have been created by building a jetty, running deer management courses, creating walking tracks and planting woodland. At the same time it is involved in wind turbine, biomass and hydroelectric projects. One outcome is that when the Trust seeks backing for projects, it is able to be the first rather than the last to put money on the table. It shows what can be done when communities are trusted to do things themselves and when you put people at the heart of decision making, said Mr Cameron. THEME 5: Environment and Landscape Chair: Amanda Bryan, Board Member of Scottish Natural Heritage Ms Bryan demonstrated the point that the Highlands and Islands and its environment and landscape are indistinguishable through some audience participation and a set of background slides of dramatic landscapes and iconic wildlife. The point was made that the Highlands and Islands are home to some of the

most precious environments in Europe and that this can be demonstrated by the significant number and density of conservation designations that the area has. The environment and landscape of the Highlands and Islands is closely linked to both the socio-cultural aspects of the area, and also provides a basis for a significant amount of economic activity including encouraging inmigration. Ms Bryan pointed to the immense contribution to the economy from tourism, with wild landscapes accounting for 19.9 million day visits a year, and in the Highland Region in 2003 they generated between 411m and 751m in expenditure and supported 20,600 fte jobs. Wildlife tourism alone generates 57 million, and the 1 million a year now earned from sea eagle watching in Mull illustrates how many opportunities there are to develop the economy in tandem with caring for the natural environment. A DVD, entitled The Sea Kingdom, was shown which examined environmental and economic issues on the islands of Argyll. Created by the Nadair Trust, it introduced members of island communities who talked about the relationship between their livelihoods, the environment and tourism, which is the mainstay of the local economy. These included efforts to allow wildlife and

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums adventure sports to co-exist on Tiree. On Colonsay it showed how man is having to restore the balance of nature through longterm projects to combat the spread of the rhododendron, which is threatening to overwhelm native species. The scenic value of the landscape with reference to the economic benefit of film and television in the Highlands and Islands Trish Shorthouse, Film Commissioner, Highlands and Islands Film Commission When the French makers of an Asterix movie were looking for somewhere to represent 1st century Gaul they found it in Durness. Ms Shorthouse said the Highlands and Islands have been highly successful in attracting movie, TV programme and advertisement makers because of fantastic scenery and a quality of light which directors adore. Their work demonstrates a clear link between having a high quality landscape and environment and economic benefits. Some examples were provided including the income of 15million that was generated in the community of Laggan over the seven-year filming period of Monarch of the Glen. In a keenly competitive environment, the Commission is highly responsive to film-makers needs, attracting growing numbers of enquiries, with a high conversion rate of over 40%. Ms Shorthouse said proactive marketing has included taking a slice of the Highlands to Cannes by promoting Moray as a location during the International Film Festival. One of the keys to attracting business, and making the most of it, is to be film-crew friendly by making sure they can enjoy great food, good accommodation and have all their needs catered for at any time of day or night. As time is money for film crews, they need to be up early and back late, and then want to enjoy themselves. Ms Shorthouse said: They work hard and play hard and are very happy to spend money if there are the right facilities. She added that there is enormous economic potential of film for the Highlands and Islands and outlined a wish list, which included post-production facilities, that would enable the region to become a thriving and sustainable production base.


Review of the Session 2007-2008

THEME 6: Culture and Arts: Popular Culture Broadcasting, Journalism and Publishing in the Highlands and Islands Gaelic and contemporary music in the Highlands and Islands Chair: Robert Livingston, Director of HI-Arts Music Introducing the final strand of the day, Mr Livingston said that Rockness is now Scotlands second largest popular music festival, reflecting the enormous energy of contemporary culture in the Highlands and Islands. Bands and musicians from the region are now celebrated worldwide, giving young people in the region a sense that they are at the heart rather than the periphery of the modern world. At the same time there has been a powerful revival in traditional Gaelic arts and music, which are seen as cool thanks to the Feis movement, which provides a noncompetitive arena in which excellence can flourish. There are now some 40 Feisean festivals around the country. According to Mr Livingston, the vibrancy of modern and traditional music is part of a wider flourishing of the regions arts. And while there are many reasons for the explosion in creative forces, he said that the unique coupling of economic and social remits within the Highlands and Islands Development Agency and its predecessor the HIDB

has been decisive in promoting and nurturing a cultural resurgence. Nonetheless, there are concerns for the future. While Mr Livingston felt that initiatives like the 2007 Year of Highland Culture had achieved a measure of success ,there is a danger that some people may feel its a case of job done and shift their focus elsewhere. This, he added, could pose a considerable threat to the cumulative growth and development of the past three decades. Culture Glenys Hughes, Director, St Magnus Festival The St Magnus Festival in Orkney has become a central feature of island life which attracts an audience from around the world. Founded in 1977 by composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, it has burgeoned into a large-scale annual event which features the very best in local, national and international talent. It is staged largely by volunteers, but aspires to achieve the same standard of administration that visitors would expect at, for example, the Edinburgh Festival. According to Ms Hughes, the benefits of the Festival flow in many directions. Performers from beyond the islands do not simply appear then leave, but frequently work with schools and the community to pass on their skills

Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums and enthusiasm to others. At the same time it is a showcase for local talent not least the Festival Chorus of 130 residents whose singing has achieved a standard unthinkable a decade ago. Preparations for the festival are now effectively a year-round business. Why should so many people put so much time and effort into something for no financial reward? I think it is because Orkney is an island community, people are used to being selfreliant, the festival a big event that people like to be part of, and most of all its their event, said Ms Hughes. A major event of the 2008 Festival was inspired by the journey of Norse adventurer, earl and saint Rognvald, with a spectacular array of performances featuring Turkish dancers, Viking warriors, jugglers, acrobats and other circus-style artists. The Festivals advantages are not simply cultural, as the festival provides economic benefits to hotels, restaurants and the islands many other visitor attractions. Ms Hughes added that there are challenges in maintaining the Festival: a new generation of volunteers must be found to take over the role of organising the event; and the Festivals identity needs to be constantly refreshed so that it continues to attract audiences by always offering something different from events found elsewhere.

Journalism and Broadcasting The Impact of Regional Print Media Roger Hutchinson, author and West Highland Free Press columnist Regional newspapers at their best have been powerful campaigners for social and political progress. Mr Hutchinson argued that they reflect the views of proprietors, editors and to a lesser extent reporters and columnists rather than being the voice of the community. But at their best they endeavour to champion community interests. The West Highland Free Press has a proud record of fighting for causes before they become fashionable. It has called for land reform, support of the Gaelic language and the development of renewable energy as well as consistently urging readers to vote Labour. These efforts have enjoyed some success, though the campaign in favour of plans for a large-scale Lewis wind farm were firmly rebutted and its voting recommendations completely ignored. Mr Hutchinson expressed fears that the growth of freesheets and the internet are bringing the decline of a local journalism which plays a positive role in community life, and exchanging it for media that will often try to get away with the bare minimum. He argued

Review of the Session 2007-2008

that the cover price on a paid-for title acted as the readers guarantor. The fact that sufficient people are prepared to fork out to buy a local newspaper every week means it has to get its act together in terms of the quality of people it employs to provide its editorial copy; it isnt solely dependent on the whims of advertisers. The Potential for Gaelic Broadcasting: its Role in Gaelics Linguistic and Cultural Revitalisation Dr Robert Dunbar, Reader in Law and Celtic, The University of Aberdeen, and Board Member of MG ALBA As one of the most powerful media ever invented by mankind, the TV has a vital role to play in the future of the Gaelic language. Dr Dunbar expressed his delight at the launch of the new seven-houra-day Gaelic digital channel by the BBC in collaboration with MG ALBA, though this was tempered by disappointment that there is no commitment to its availability on Freeview.

The strength of the language has always been in the home and the new channel, with 90 minutes of new programming a day, beams it straight into the living room. Just as important is that the station is cultivating an image that is youthful, vibrant and fun-loving. On the first day it was delightful to see that most of the presenters were young. In the past it has often seemed to present Gaels in very formalised circumstances, like church services. This service will give a better view of what Gaeldom is about and people will no longer see it as an old-fashioned and backward looking language. It will help turn the stereotypes on their heads. Dr Dunbar argued that the service must be part of a wider strategy to create more opportunities to speak Gaelic and so to strengthen and broaden its role in society. If this is done he believed the decline could be reversed as growing numbers of people saw learning the language as giving them access to a vibrant culture and even to career opportunities in the creative industries.


Conferences, Workshops, Symposia and Discussion Forums Doors Open Day 27 September 2008

On 27 September 2008 the Society once again took part in Edinburghs successful Doors Open Day event, and attracted more visitors than it could accommodate. Free guided tours did, however, enable almost 300 members of the public to view the building. The tours also provided an opportunity for visitors to learn

about the Societys history, its mission and role, and the many public benefit activities it provides through its Fellows. Doors Open Day is a celebration of Edinburghs architecture and heritage and has been organised by the Cockburn Association (Edinburghs Civic Trust) since 1991.


Proceedings A: Mathematics Six issues were published: Parts 137.5 & 137.6 (2007) and 138.1, 138.2, 138.3 and 138.4 (2008) Earth and Environmental Science Transactions Four issues were published: 97.4 (2008, for 2006) a Special Issue entitiled Plutons and Batholiths, published in memory of the eminent geologist, the late Wallace Pitcher, HonFRSE; 98.2 (2007); 98.3/4 (2008, for 2007) a Special Issue entitled Brachiopod Reseach into the Third Millennium, published in honour of the eminent palaeontologist, the late Sir Alwyn Williams, FRSE. ReSourcE - the RSEs Newsletter: Issues 19, 20 and 21. RSE Directory 2008 RSE Annual Review 2008 (April 2007March 2008). Other Publications: Avian Influenza: An Assessment of the Threat to Scotland A Report from the RSEs Working Party on Avian Influenza (revised December 2007). ISBN: 978 0 902198 50 0 The Future of Scotlands Hills and Islands Committee Inquiry Report (September 2008). ISBN: 978 0 902198 70 8 The Future of Scotlands Hills and Islands Committee Inquiry Summary Report (September 2008). ISBN: 978 0 902198 75 3


Strategic Research Opportunities for Scotland: Under contract to the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) to provide expert opinion on strategic research opportunities for Scotland, the RSE provided advice on rural policy research and Scotlands current position in research relevant to the creative industries. The advice included the extent and nature of Scotlands capability; current world leaders; the potential for collaboration; and how the SFC could add value to ongoing work. Bluetongue Working Group: In response to the spread of Bluetongue disease to the UK, the RSE set up a working group, under the Chairmanship of the General Secretary, to consider measures to control the spread of the disease, particularly for countries like Scotland, that are currently disease free but share land borders and or trade with countries where the disease occurs. Meetings were held with Fellows of the RSE and with the Scottish Governments Chief Vet, Professor Charles Milne. INQUIRIES The Future of Scotlands Hill and Island Areas During the 2007/2008 Session the Society completed and published the Report of its Inquiry into the Future of Scotlands Hills and Islands. The Inquiry Report called for a new commitment to

achieving rural community viability in Scotland noting that there was a critical need to integrate social, economic and environmental measures for rural areas and empower communities to act within an overall national strategy. The Reports 66 recommendations identified the need to achieve a sustainable future for the Hills and Islands with vibrant and viable human communities; an integrated diversity of land uses; well-managed natural systems and landscapes that also contribute to amelioration of climate change; development of other economic opportunities such as tourism, renewable energy and food; supported by appropriate financial mechanisms and services. The Report also suggested that Scotland: recognise that the continuing decline in hill and island agriculture has implications for biodiversity, landscape management and food security; develop a Strategic Land Use Policy Framework to provide a more integrated and coordinated basis for decision making; needs substantial shifts in decision making and delivery of public resources from centrallybased agencies to regionally-based structures; recognise the importance of tourism and stimulating economic growth and radically

Review of the Session 2007-2008

reform the support structures for tourism; halt the closure of rural post offices until a new, wider rationale is developed; has no possibility of achieving the forestry planting targets set by Scottish Government, (at present rates of planting forestry), but that an effective carbon trading scheme, which gives forestry benefit, could transform the industry; recognise that combating climate change now needs to be a major factor and that the EU should be urged to give credit to forestry investment in meeting emissions targets. During the session, the Inquiry team visited communities in Islay, Skye, Inverness, Aberdeenshire, Selkirk, Dumfries, Stornoway, Orkney and Shetland. They also visited Dublin to learn about the approaches taken in Ireland, and met with EU Commission officials in Brussels. SUBMISSIONS During the Session, the Society submitted comments on the following reports: October 2007 International Development Policy, The Scottish Government November 2007 Graduate Endowment Abolition Bill, Scottish Parliaments Educa292

tion, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee December 2007 Inquiry on Flooding and Flood Management, Scottish Parliaments Rural Affairs and Environment Committee April 2008 Curriculum for Excellence - draft experiences and outcomes for Numeracy, Mathematics and Science, Learning and Teaching Scotland The Purpose and Impact of Imprisonment in Contemporary Scotland, Scottish Prisons Commission Proposals for a Scottish Climate Change Bill, The Scottish Government General Principles of the Creative Scotland Bill, Scottish Parliaments Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee Meeting the Charity Test Draft Guidance, Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator May 2008 On Delivering More Effective Government: Proposed Government Institute/Commission Mergers, The Scottish Government The Marine Historic Environment, Historic Scotland

Policy Advice

June 2008 Curriculum for Excellence - draft experiences and outcomes for Literacy and English, for Expressive Arts and for Social Studies, Learning and Teaching Scotland Draft UK Marine Bill, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs The Economics of Renewable Energy, House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee July 2008 Introduction of Banding to the Renewables Obligation (Scotland), The Scottish Government August 2008 Inquiry into Scotlands Energy Future, Scottish Parliaments Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee September 2008 UK Renewable Energy Strategy, UK Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform The Interim Report of the Joint Future Thinking Taskforce on Universities Review of the Experience of Scottish Devolution, Commission on Scottish Devolution October 2008 Sustainable Seas for All: Proposals for Scotlands first Marine Bill, The Scottish Government PARLIAMENTARY LIAISON

The new Parliamentary Liaison Officer of the Society communicated the preceding policy advice papers to parliamentarians, securing reference to the work of the RSE on a number of occasions in parliamentary debates and the Society provided witnesses to parliamentary committees at Holyrood and Westminster. The most significant contribution that the Society made to policy in this session was probably with regard to the Curriculum for Excellence a major programme of reform for the school curriculum in Scotland. Whilst the Society was in agreement with the overall aims of the Curriculum for Excellence, significant concerns existed amongst the Fellowship on the underpinning knowledge base of several disciplines this was most acute in science and mathematics, but also applied to many other important disciplines. The Society played a key role in encouraging Learning and Teaching Scotland to review its proposals. The output of the Future of Scotlands Hill and Island Areas Inquiry Report was well received by many policy makers and presentations of the findings of the report were made in the Scottish Parliament, Westminster and the European Parliament. An expert group put together by the RSE gave an introductory

Review of the Session 2007-2008

briefing on energy to MSPs on the Economy, Energy & Tourism Committee of the Scottish Parliament this group included scientists, an engineer and an economist, and was led by the General Secretary. A series of informal discussion dinners between the RSE and MSPs was commenced and during

this Session dinners took place with representatives of three of the main political groupings at Holyrood. The Society also supported the establishment of a Cross-Party Group on Science and Technology in the Scottish Parliament, providing financial and logistical support, as well as speakers for the meetings.



Objectives and activities On 1 January 2008, the Scottish Bioinformatics Forum (SBF) began operating under the governance of the RSE Scotland Foundation. The SBF is funded by the Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Enterprise, and has the objective of establishing Scotland as a globally recognised and leading location for conducting cutting edge bioinformatics research and sustainable commercial activity. It achieves its aims by enhancing knowledge and understanding of bioinformatics technology in both the academic research base and commercial organisations in the informatics and life sciences communities. SBF actively promotes training and knowledge transfer of bioinformatics skills, including facilitating multi-centre collaborations, industry and academic joint ventures, partnering, knowledge transfer, and bioinformatics training. As such it performs an important role in promoting bioinformatics as a key enabling technology in Life Science research and development. Achievements and performance The SBF works hard at raising awareness of Scottish bioinformatics and it is now widely recognised as the leading body for coordinating bioinformatics networking, events, training, and collaborations in Scotland. Increasing international interest in Scottish bioinformatics is evidenced by the growing numbers of membership registrations from abroad, more international participation at meetings, and increasing numbers of direct interactions and discussions via the SBF with scientists based outside the UK. Scotlands research community is supported by the creation of network groups, training and development events, and vital coordination for multi-centre projects. During the Session SBF held 12 events [listed below] aimed at training and knowledge exchange, in locations across Scotland, some of which also involved partners from the European Bioinfomatics Institute. The SBF actively creates and supports Scotland-wide networking groups with international outreach, which explore the development of bioinformatics and related fields. Two thriving networks that have been created over the last year are the Next Generation Sequencing Network and the Scottish Biosystems Modelling Network. A successful internship programme has been created with the Translational Medicine Research Collaboration, the SBF Translational Informatics Studentship. Support of industry has resulted in a significant project between the Edinburgh Centre for Bioinformatics and a major Scottish company, involving human

Review of the Session 2007-2008

metabolomics, systems biology and mathematical modelling, which will increase the organisations capacity to discover novel biomarkers, a step towards personalised medicines, pharmaceuticals and biotech. SBF events SBF - European Bioinformatics Institute Training Event in Scotland. 15 January 2008 The detection of DNA-binding proteins by means of structural motifs. 24 January 2008 Simulation and Modelling of the MAP Kinase Pathway. 28 January 2008 Bioinformatics tools for a new generation of metabolomics. 1 February 2008 Bioinformatics for Next Generation Sequencing. 1 April 2008 (SPONSORSHIP ONLY) Symposium on Chemical and Translational Biology. 7 April 2008

Fifth Systems Biology Symposium at University of Aberdeen. 14 May 2008 Bioinformatics for Next Generation Sequencing. 3 June 2008 Comparative Genomics. 13 June 2008 Bioinformatics and Systems Biology in Scotland. 25 June 2008 (SPONSORSHIP ONLY) European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology. 29 June-4 July, 2008 9th Workshop on Membrane Computing, WMC9. 28 July 2008 Applications of Information Visualisation in Bioinformatics. 15 September 2008 Development of mathematical tools to understand and predict biological systems. 2 October 2008



RSE@Schools RSE@Schools talks are available for P6/P7 and all secondary school years. They aim to enthuse and excite students about a wide range of topics such as astronomy, chemistry, genetics, culture and the arts, and maths. A wide variety of speakers contribute to the programme, keen to share their enthusiasm for their subjects. In Session 2007-2008, the following talks were given: DNA profiling. Its use in famous cases. Dr Adrian Linacre, Bacteria Live in Communities. Dr Nicola Stanley Wall. Black Holes and White Rabbits. Professor John Brown. What has your Granny got in common with a Spaceman? Dr Val Mann. Serpents and Synthesisers. Professor Murray Campbell. Capturing Colour with Chemistry. Dr G Chisholm. Watching Genes. Dr Johnathon Chubb. Forensic Art. Miss Caroline Needham. Soap Bubbles and Membranes. Dr Cirian Ewins. Antarctica (You can go far with physics). Alison McLure. Mirrors Medicines and Metals. Dr Susan Armstrong. Identity: Facial Reconstruction. Dr Caroline Wilkinson. Throwing Light on the Human Genome. Dr Wendy Bickmore. How Sound Affects our Everyday L:ives blurring the boundaries between art and science. Professor Greated and Marianne Greated. Earthquakes at Home and Abroad. Alice Walker. Venues included Lanark, Clyde Valley, Linlithgow, Kilchuimen, Dollar, Ayr, Kilwinning, Greenock, Arbroath, Edinburgh, Perth, Inverurie, Pitlochry and Crieff. Christmas Lectures The 2007 Christmas Lecture entitled Wobbling on the Shoulders of Giants was presented by Johnny Ball (Broadcast Presenter and Author) and aimed to encourage young people to consider studies that will lead towards University career paths in maths, science and technology. He delivered three Schools Lectures in Edinburgh and Glasgow on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 December to over 900 school pupils, and gave an evening Lecture to nearly 300 members of the public at the University of Edinburgh. RSE Roadshows Two Roadshows, one in the Spring term and one in the Autumn term, were held in Arbroath. Roadshows include science, maths and cultural

Review of the Session 2007-2008

interactive workshops for primary and secondary school students. Topical lectures for secondary students and members of the general public are held in the evening. RSE@Arbroath The Arbroath 2008 programme was formally launched on Monday 25 February 2008 at Angus College. The Arbroath project developed activities with and for young people, and the wider public, and included the arts and humanities as well as science and technologybased subjects. Classes and workshops for both primary and secondary school students were held in various venues and a series of both school and public lectures on interdisciplinary topics was also delivered. The themes for the year were: - Identity and the people of Arbroath (January to March 2008) - Wealth creation in Arbroath (March to June 2008) - The Arts in Arbroath (June to August 2008) - Places in Arbroath (August to December 2008)

SET Summer Week S6 pupils from East and West Lothian schools attended HeriotWatt University and the Royal Society of Edinburghs Science, Engineering and Technology Summer Week which took place from Monday 28 July to Friday 1 August 2008. In addition, S5 pupils were provided with a twoday series of taster sessions on 24 and 25 July 2008. The aim of SET is to introduce higher students to university life. This year sixth form pupils participated in a range of activities, including workshops and talks on science, technology and maths subjects, as well as an interactive session at the RSE focusing on transferable skills and advice for those not sure about continuing into higher education. Startup Science Masterclasses The Startup Science Masterclasses take place on Saturday mornings in the form of workshops for S1/ S2 students and emphasise the role of science, engineering and technology in society. These workshops are run in partnership with universities throughout Scotland. This Session, Startup Science Masterclasses took place in both the Spring and Autumn terms at Dundee, St Andrews, Aberdeen, Glasgow and HeriotWatt Universities.



The following awards were made in Session 2007/2008

RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS BP Personal Dr Rachel Walcott. River basin dynamics - investigating the link between erosion and sedimentation. School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh. CRF European Visiting Professor Samantha Besson. Hannah Arendt and national and international constitutional theory. School of Law, University of Glasgow. Dr Roland Dannreuther. The Strategic Implications of Chinas Energy Needs - an Update. Department of Politics, Centre tudes Asie, Paris. Dr Jan Jozef Dumolyn. The production, circulation and consumption of ideologies in the Burgundian state. Department of History, University of Glasgow. Dr Jean-Francois Dunyach. Study on William Playfair (1759-1823), Scottish Statistician, inventor and publicist. Department of History, University of Strathclyde. Dr Susan Foran. Chivalry, romance and biography: John Barbours The Bruce, the court of Robert II and their European context. School of History and Classics, University of Edinburgh. Dr Tarcisio Gazzini. Sources of Rights and Obligations in Transnational Investment Law. International Law Section, Graduate Institute International Studies, Geneva. Professor Dina Iordanova. The French Festivals (part of large research project on International Film Festivals). Department of Film Studies, Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris 3). Professor C A Jeffery FRSE. The Regionalisation of Citizenship. Department of Political and Social Sciences, European University Institute, Florence. CRF Personal Dr Michelle Scott. Characterisation of the nucleolar protein interaction network. Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery, University of Dundee. Dr Sarah Catherine Trewick. DNA Repair in Heterochromatin and CENP-A Chromatin. Institute of Cell Biology, Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, The University of Edinburgh. Lloyds TSB Personal Dr Michelle Luciano. Gene-environment interactions in depression and related psychological traits in the aged. School of


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh. Lloyds TSB Support Dr Gillian Douce. Molecular characterisation of in-vivo induced genes of Clostridium difficile. Division of Infection and Immunity, University of Glasgow. Scottish Government Personal Dr Henry Bookey. Integrated Nonlinear Optics for Sensing Applications. School of EPS, Heriot-Watt University. Dr Arnaud Javelle. Characterization of the ubiquitous sulfate transporter from the SuIP family. Molecular and Environmental Microbiology, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee. Dr Nicholas Kamenos. Impacts of climatic variability on shallow water marine ecosystems and resources. Department of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow. Dr Stephen Moggach. Compression-Tuning of Porous Materials. Department of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh.

Dr Thomas Philbin. Quantum Forces - New Theory for a New Technological Age. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews. Dr Stuart Reid. The Universe seen through gravitational waves. Institute for Gravitational Research, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow. Scottish Government Support Dr Matt Clarke. Cleaner synthesis of pharmacologically-important amines. School of Chemistry, University of St Andrews. Professor A E Magurran FRSE. Biodiversity in a changing world: the consequences for Scotlands biota. School of Biology, University of St Andrews. Dr Patrick Meir. Understanding the tropical carbon cycle: enhanced expertise and new applications. School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh.


Research and Enterprise Awards

RESEARCH WORKSHOPS AND NETWORKS Arts & Humanities Networks Professor Graham Hair. Listening to Music: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Measurement, Analysis and Interpretation. Department of Music, University of Glasgow. Ms Patricia Whatley. Identity and Memory: An Interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral Research Network in Scotland. Centre for Archive and Information Studies, University of Dundee. Arts & Humanities Workshops Dr Monica Azzolini and Dr John Henry. Reading the Heavens:The Crawford Collection in the History of Astronomy at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh. School of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh. Dr Penny Fielding. Stevenson in the Twenty-First Century. Department of English Literature, University of Edinburgh. Dr James A Harris. Scottish Philosophy Then and Now. Department of Philosophy, University of St Andrews. Lloyds TSB Workshops Professor Ronald McQuaid. The Employability of Older People. Employment Research Institute, Napier University.

RESEARCH SCHOLARSHIPS AND PRIZES Cormack Postgraduate Prize Ms Jenny Richardson. University of Edinburgh. Cormack Undergraduate Prize Mr William Simpson. University of St Andrews. Cormack Vacation Scholarships Ms Lucy Clark. The Magnetic Properties of X-Ray Bright Points in the Solar Corona. University of St Andrews. Mr Blair Johnston. Tthe Origin of Solar Magnetic Fields. University of St Andrews. Ms Ciara Quinn. Sizing the Nurseries of Planets: a disk survey

of the Taurus star-forming region. University of St Andrews. Mr William Simpson. Are Coronal Null Points a Necessary Requirement for Solar Flares and Coronal Mass Ejections? University of St Andrews. Mr James Sinclair. Synthetic Photometry of Gas Giants and Brown Dwarfs. University of St Andrews. Mr Rafel Szepietowski. The Dynamical History of Globular Clusters in N-body Models of Galaxy Haloes. University of Edinburgh.

Review of the Session 2007-2008

Lessells Travel Scholarships Mr Derek Bennet. Emergent Behaviour in Swarm-Engineered Systems using Dynamical Systems Theory. Nihon University College of Science and Technology, Chiba, Japan. Mr Alasdair Clark. Extreme Sensitivity by Engineering Plasmon Resonance Sensors. Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley, USA. Mr Rory Hadden. Ignition of Forest Vegetation by Embers during Wildfires. Combustion Processes Laboratory, Dept of Mechanical Engineering, University of California. Mr Scott Heron. Surface Acoustic Waves for Sample Delivery to Mass Spectrometry. Department of

Medicinal Chemistry, University of Washington. Mr David Thomas. An Optical Investigation of Microbubble Response to Medical Imaging Ultrasound Pulses. Thorax Center Biomedical Engineering, Erasmus Medical Center, Netherlands. Ms Rebecca L Warren. The effect of mechanical forces on cell function and protein expression. Department of Physics, Gothenburg University/Chalmers Institute of Technology, Gothenberg. Lloyds TSB Studentship Mr Stephen McQuaker. A new way to reduce the oxidative damage of ageing. Chemistry Department, University of Glasgow.

ENTERPRISE FELLOWSHIPS BBSRC Dr Davidson Day Ateh. Bioengineered Therapeutics Delivery Platform for Neurological Diseases. Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London. Dr Nicholas Montague. Encapsidated Mimics as real-time PCR controls. Biological Chemistry, John Innes Centre, Norwich. Dr Caroline Pennington. Realtime validation of mammalian cell identity and gene expression

analysis. Biomedical Research Centre, University of East Anglia. Dr Zimei Rong. A sensor-based diffusion property tester. School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary University of London. SCOTTISH ENTERPRISE Mr Arfan Ali. Rapid, Non-Destructive Petrophysical Core Analysis from Magnetic Techniques. Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University.

Research and Enterprise Awards

Dr Graham Berry. Metal Nanodispersions in New Healthcare Products. EEP, University of Dundee. Mr Richard Boyle. Advanced Stethoscope. Department of Bioengineering, University of Strathclyde. Dr Xibei Jia. Quaid - a platform for improving data quality. The School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh. Dr Iva Navratilova. Kinetic Discovery. College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee. Dr Sau-Yin Sek. Synthetic Nanomachines. School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh.

Mr David Tonery. Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) Motor Engine Greenhouse Incubator. School of Computing, University of Dundee. Dr Bo Xiao. MOF Materials for the Delivery of Nitric Oxide for Therapeutic Applications. EaStChem School of Chemistry, University of St Andrews. STFC Dr Shin-Sung Kim. Piezo actuators with integrated extension sensor for precision fluidic applications. School of Engineering and Science, University of the West of Scotland.



Bicentenary Medal 9th Award 2007 Professor Gavin McCrone Professor Rona MacKie Professor Andrew Miller Neill Medal 64th Award 2007 Mr Ron Forrester Royal Medal 9th Award 2008 Professor Roger Fletcher Right Reverend Richard Holloway Professor Sir David Lane Gannochy Trust Innovation Award 6th Award 2008 Dr Colin Urquhart IEEE/RSE/Wolfson/James Clerk Maxwell Award 2nd Award 2007 Sir Timothy Berners-Lee CRF Prize Lectureship 19th Award 2007-2008 (Arts and Letters) No award made Bruce Preller Prize Lectureship 37th Award 2007 (Medical Sciences) Professor David Porteous Makdougall Brisbane Prize 72nd Award 2007 Professor Andrew Baker BP Prize Lectureship 9th Award 2007 Dr Graham Paul Foster Dr Deirdre Elizabeth Heddon Henry Dryerre Prize Lectureship 3rd Award 2007 Professor Veronica van Heyningen Gunning Victoria Jubilee Prize Lectureship 32nd Award 2008 Professor James Hough


The Grants Committee considered 27 applications and a sum of 16,486 was awarded. Approximately 59% of this sum was awarded as travel assistance. * Funds awarded to Professor B G J Upton and Professor R Watson were subsequently not required and no payment was made.

Travel Assistance Professor S Crampin. For travel to New Zealand. 750 Professor J C Eilbeck. For travel to China. 750 Professor W J Firth. For travel to the USA. 800 Professor J Hubbuck. For travel to Japan. 232 Professor P Humfrey. For travel to Russia. 400 Professor F A Huntingford. For travel to Japan. 900 Professor P Madden. For travel to the USA. 800 Professor X Mao. For travel to the USA. 900 Professor I Parsons. For travel to Canada. 900 Professor P N Pusey. For travel to Australia. 867 Dr H Ross. For travel to the Netherlands. 500 Dr A B Smith. For travel to Austria. 437 Professor J R L Webb. For travel to the USA. 600 Professor B G J Upton. For travel to Norway. 500 * Professor R Watson. For travel to the USA. 400 *

Support for Meetings Professor M R Blatt. Protein Complexes in Plant Signalling and Development. 700 Professor S Campo. Tenovus (Scotland) Symposium 2009. 700 Professor T Devine. Researching the History of History. 300 Professor A Duff. Law and Philosophy. 450 Professor N Gow. The European Conference on Fungal Genetics. 600 Professor C Greated. Colour in Art, Design and Nature. 750 Professor R Jarrett. The 13th Glasgow Virology Workshop. 400 Professor K Laland. The European Human Behaviour and Evolution Society . 700 Dr C Trevarthen. Communicative Musicality: Music, Language and the Brain. 500

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Research Visitor to Scotland Professor S M Barnett. To enable Professor Mark Killery of Hunter College of CUNY, New York, to visit Strathclyde and Heriot-Watt Universities. 900 Research Liaison within Scotland Professor I Ralston. For an experiment with Dr David Sanderson of the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre in East Kilbride. 250

Support for Publication Professor J MacQueen. For his publication The Latin Poems of Archibald Pitcairne. 500


Events 17 January 2008: The RSE hosted a reception in the Societys rooms to tie in with a conference organised by the University of St Andrews. The conference brought together leading figures from Pakistans top universities to finalise a new postgraduate PhD partnership. If successful the University of St Andrews hopes the model will allow other Scottish universities to forge similar partnerships with higher education institutions across Pakistan. 17-18 March 2008: The RSE and The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) signed an Agreement in 2007 to promote collaborative activities in areas of mutual interest between researchers in Scotland and China. In this context the NSFC brought a delegation to Scotland to participate in a two-day workshop on Management Science, Engineering and Public Policy. The Workshop was an opportunity for Scottish and Chinese researchers to identify areas of mutual interest, with the expectation of progressing collaborative research. (See report on p. 235) 8 May 2008: This years annual European lecture entitled The European Union Does it have a future? was given by Sir John Grant, Former UK Representative (Ambassador) to the EU. The lecture considered whether the

EU, which was conceived in a very different era, was still fit for purpose. See report on page 159. Visits 19 August 2008: The RSE was delighted to host a lunch for Mr Koichiro Matsuura, the Director General of UNESCO, in the Societys Rooms. Mr Matsuura was visiting Scotland to announce that Glasgows bid to become a UNESCO World Centre for Music had been successful. His visit to the RSE was an opportunity to meet with RSE Fellows and staff and learn about the RSEs international activities. Mr Matsuura was particularly interested in the RSEs work on language learning in Scotland. Relations with Sister Academies 8 November 2007: A Memorandum of Understanding with The Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS) was signed by the PAS President and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Dr Ishfaq Ahmad and the RSE President, Sir Michael Atiyah at the Societys Rooms. The signing took place during a three-day visit by Dr Ahmad to Scotland. 10 December 2007: The RSE signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Indian National Science Academy (INSA). The agreement was signed by the INSA President Dr R. A. Mashelkar and the RSE President, Sir Michael Atiyah at the Societys Rooms.

Review of the Session 2007-2008

June 2008: The RSE was pleased to sign, by correspondence, a Memorandum of Understanding with The Academy of Sciences Malaysia. All three agreements set out the commitment to facilitate, encourage and support research collaboration, and fund academic exchanges between the two countries through the International Exchange Bilateral Programme. 11 July 2008: Representatives of the National Science Council of Taiwan visited the RSE to conduct a review of the agreement signed by the RSE and the NSCT in 2001.

The review was completed successfully and both sides were pleased with the progress that is being made, and the academic exchanges that are being jointly funded. Other Activities Other activities this year include promotional workshops throughout Scotland, providing information on the RSEs international funding schemes, and continued membership of and involvement with Scotland Europa and ALLEA (All European Academies).



Exchanges Awarded during the Session China - Outgoing Dr Richard Fu, Heriot-Watt University. - Professor XinXin Li, Shanghai Institute of Microsystems and Information Technology Professor Helmut Geist, University of Aberdeen - Professor Jianchu Xu Kunming, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences Professor Rosemary Mander, University of Edinburgh - Professor Wei Fu, Hangzou Normal University Dr Huabing Yin, University of Glasgow - Professor Li Cui, Institute of Computing Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences Dr Zulin Zhang, Macaulay Institute - Professor Tong-Bin Chen, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences Czech Republic - Incoming Dr John Day, Scottish Association for Marine Science - Dr Pavel Pribyl, Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic Dr Barbora Skarabela, University of Edinburgh - Dr Filip Smolik, Institute of Psychology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic Hungary - Incoming Dr John Henry, University of Edinburgh - Dr Tamas Demeter, Institute of Philosophical Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Dr Alexander Konovalov, University of St Andrews - Dr Victor Bodi, University of Debrecen Professor I B M Ralston OBE FRSE, University of Edinburgh - Dr Laszlo Borhy, University Eotvos Lorand India - Incoming Professor Tim Bedford, University of Strathclyde - Dr Isha Dewan, Indian Statistical Institute Professor Stephen Bishop, Roslin Institute - Dr G Subramanya, University of Mysore Professor Michael Bonell, University of Dundee - Assistant Professor Jagdish Krishnaswamy, Suri Sehgal Centre for Conservation Science Professor H J Cooke FRSE, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh - Ms Lakshmi Kandukuri, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology Professor Purnendu Das, Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde - Professor Nisith Mandal, Indian Institute of Technology


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Dr Ajoy Kar, Heriot-Watt University - Professor C K Jayasankar, Sri Venkateswara University Professor Philip Taylor, University of Strathclyde - Associate Professor Ernesto Noronha, Indian Institute of Management India - Outgoing Professor C A Greated FRSE, University of Edinburgh - Professor K P J Reddy, Indian Institute of Science Professor Martin McCoustra, Heriot-Watt University - Professor T. Pradeep, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras Dr Paul McNamee, University of Aberdeen - Professor Akash Acharya, South Gujarat University Campus Dr Tapas Mallick, Heriot-Watt University - Dr P C Ghosh and Dr K Srinivas Reddy, Indian Institute of Technology - Professor Subhasis Neogi, Jadavpur University Open - Incoming Dr Roy Allen, University of Aberdeen - Dr Todd Horowitz, Harvard Medical School, USA Dr Emily Brady, University of Edinburgh - Dr Nathalie Blanc, Universite de Paris, France Dr Sarah Carpenter, University of Edinburgh - Professor Gordon Kipling, University of California, USA

Professor Purnendu Das, Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde - Professor Milan Holicky, Czech Technical University, Czech Republic Dr Nema Dean, University of Glasgow - Dr Rebecca Nugent, Carnegie Mellon University, USA Dr (Thomas) Nicholas Dixon, University of Edinburgh - Assistant Professor Tanya Peres Lemons, Middle Tennessee State University, USA Professor M F Ferreira FRSE, University of Edinburgh - Professor Charles Clifton, University of Massachusetts, USA Dr Andrew Flavell, University of Dundee at SCRI - Dr Petr Smykal, Agritec Plant Research, Czech Republic Professor Peter Hancock, University of Stirling - Gil Gibli, Globes Business Daily, Israel Professor D J Higham FRSE, University of Strathclyde - Dr Ernesto Estrada, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain Professor John Jones, Scottish Crop Research Institute - Dr Taisei Kikuchi, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan Dr Maria Kashtalyan, University of Aberdeen - Professor Jeremiah Rushchitsky, Timoshenko Institute of Mechanics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Ukraine


Dr Susan Klein, Robert Gordon University - Dr Rajesh Sagar, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India Dr Christian Lange, University of Edinburgh - Dr Deborah Tor, Bar-Ilan University, Israel Dr Mirella Lapata, University of Edinburgh - Dr Roberto Navigli, University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy Dr Rebecca Lunn, University of Strathclyde - Professor Jerry Fairley, University of Idaho, USA Dr Xiaoyu Luo, University of Glasgow - Dr Boyce Griffith, University of New York, USA Dr Alexander Morozov, University of Edinburgh - Professor Radhakrishna Sureshkumar, Washington University in Saint Louis, USA Professor D W H Rankin FRSE, University of Edinburgh - Dr Alexander Zakharov, Ivanovo State University of Chemistry and Technology, Russia Professor Richard Rose, University of Aberdeen - Professor Ali Carkoglu, Sabanci University, Turkey Professor W Sibbett CBE FRS FRSE, University of St Andrews - Dr Grigorii Sokolovskii, Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute, Russia Professor G L Taylor FRSE, University of St Andrews

- Dr Milton Kiefel, Griffith University, Australia Dr Mark Taylor, Scottish Crop Research Institute - Professor Cecil Stushnoff, Colorado State University, USA Professor M Wiercigroch FRSE, University of Aberdeen - Dr Oleg Gendelman, Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Israel Dr Marysia Zalewski, University of Aberdeen - Assistant Professor Helen Kinsella, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA Open - Outgoing Dr Ian Alsop, University of St Andrews - Professor Jan Piotrowski, University of Aarhus, Denmark Dr Mark Aspinwall, University of Edinburgh - Dr Lorena Ruano, Centre de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas, Mexico Dr Mark W Elliott, University of St Andrews - Christoph Dohmen, Andreas Merkt and Tobias Nicklas, Katholisch-Theologische Fakultat Universitat, Germany Dr Brian Fenton, Scottish Crop Research Institute - David Stern, Princeton University, USA

Review of the Session 2007-2008

Professor G M Gadd FRSE, University of Dundee - Dr Ek Sangvichien, Ramkhamhaeng University, Thailand - Dr Prakitsin Sihanonth and Dr Kallaya Suntornvongsagul, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand Professor P M Grant OBE FREng FRSE, University of Edinburgh - Professor C S Burrus, Rice University, USA Dr Vicky Gunn, University of Glasgow - Professor Jan Elen Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium Dr Ngan Huynh, University of Glasgow - Dr Silva Arribas, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain Dr Antonio Ioris, University of Aberdeen - Professor Ana Monteiro, Universidade do Oporto, Portugal Dr Gillean McCluskey, University of Edinburgh - Dr Mirriam Lephalala, University of South Africa, South Africa Professor B G M Main FRSE, University of Edinburgh - Professor David Larcker and Professor Charles OReilly, Stanford University, USA Dr Liam Morrison, University of Glasgow - Professor Steve Kemp, International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya

Dr Andrea Nightingale, University of Edinburgh - Dr Bharat Pokarel, Intercooperation Nepal, Nepal - Dr Bishnu Upreti, National Centre of Competence in Research North-South, Nepal Professor Yvonne Spielmann, University of the West of Scotland - Associate Professor Milagros Rivera, National University of Singapore, Singapore Dr Abel Usoro, University of the West of Scotland - Dr Eno Ottong and Dr Ernest Etteng, University of Calabar, Nigeria Professor Fran Wasoff, University of Edinburgh - Dr Christine Trost, University of California, USA Pakistan - Incoming Professor J P Attfield FRSE, University of Edinburgh - Assistant Professor Falak Sher, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences Poland - Incoming Dr David Kilpatrick, Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service - Assistant Professor Maciej Cedzynski and Assistant Professor Anna Swierzko, Centre of Medical Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences


Dr David McKee, University of Strathclyde - Assistant Professor Jacek Pizkozub, Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences Professor Jenny Ozga, University of Edinburgh - Dr Marta Moskal, Jagiellonian University Ms Sandra Sexton, University of Strathclyde - Dr Maciej Pokora, Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering, Polish Academy of Sciences Dr Eric Verspoor, Fisheries Research Services - Professor Roman Wenne, Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences Slovakia - Incoming Dr Valeria Arrighi, Heriot-Watt University - Dr Dieter Lath, Polymer Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences Slovenia - Outgoing Dr Valentina Bold, University of Glasgow at Crichton College - Dr Marjetka Golez-Kaucic, Institute of Ethnomusicology, Slovenian Academy of Arts and Sciences Professor Douglas Cairns, University of Edinburgh - Professor Marko Marincic, University of Ljubljana - Professor Svetlana Slapsak, Ljubljana Graduate School of Humanities

Taiwan - Incoming Professor Stuart Gibb, UHI Millennium Institute - Professor Chon-Lin Lee, National Sun Yat-Sen University - Professor Mei-Hui Li, National Taiwan University Professor R T Hay FRSE, University of Dundee - Dr Hsiu-Ming Shih, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica Dr Xianwen Kong, Heriot-Watt University - Professor Chin-Tien Huang, National Cheng Kung University Taiwan - Outgoing Dr Yi Ying Chang, University of Abertay Dundee - Professor Tung-Chun Huang, National Central University Dr Jessica Chen-Burger, University of Edinburgh - Dr Ching-Long Yeh, Tatung University - Dr Fang-Pang Lin, National Centre for High-Performance Computing Dr Luigi Del Debbio, University of Edinburgh - Dr Chi-Jen (David) Lin, National Chiao-Tung University Ms Margaret Martin, University of Glasgow - Dr Liu Yuan-Tsun, Taipei Municipal University of Education Dr Margery McMahon, University of Glasgow - Dr Liu Yuan-Tsun, Taipei Municipal University of Education


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Dr Michael Moeller, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh - Professor Wang Chun-Neng (Bruce), National Taiwan University Dr Francois Muller, Environmental Research Institute, UHI - Dr Tien-His Fang, National Taiwan Ocean University - Professor Chon-Lin Lee, National Sun Yat-Sen University NNSFC Joint Project Dr Colin Campbell, Macaulay Land Use Research Institute - Professor Huaiying Yao Yao, Zhejiang University Professor T S Durrani OBE FREng FRSE, University of Strathclyde - Associate Professor Jizhen Li, Tsinghua University Dr Ling Liu, University of Edinburgh - Dr Qing Miao, University of Zhejiang Professor K L Lo FRSE, University of Strathclyde - Professor Gengyin Li, North China Electric Power University

Professor Gary Loake, University of Edinburgh - Professor Yiqin Wang, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology Dr Jiazhu Pan, University of Strathclyde - Professor Yong Zhou, Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences Professor J I Prosser FRSE, University of Aberdeen - Professor Limei Zhang, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences Dr Wenmiao (Will) Shu, HeriotWatt University - Professor Dongsheng Liu, National Centre for Nanoscience and Technology Dr Jun Zou, University of Aberdeen - Professor Jun Chen, Institute of Hydrobiology, CAS



New Fellows Induction Day The New Fellows Induction and Admission Ceremony was held in the RSEs Rooms on Friday 2 May 2008. One new Honorary Fellow, three Corresponding Fellows and 49 Ordinary Fellows attended on the day, which started with an overview of the Societys activities given by Professor Andy Walker FRSE, the Fellowship Secretary. Lunch with Council followed, after which the Fellows were given tours of the Societys Rooms and had the opportunity to meet the RSE staff and view an exhibition of the Societys activities before the Admission Ceremony in the Wolfson Lecture Theatre. Each new Fellow present was invited to sign the Roll before being presented with a certificate. The addition of the new Fellows in 2008 brought the numbers in the Fellowship up to 1,500, comprising 69 Honorary Fellows, 47 Corresponding Fellows and 1,384 Ordinary Fellows. Discussion Dinners and Suppers A Discussion Dinner on Future Longevity: Limits to Knowledge with the Faculty of Actuaries was held on 8 April 2008. The evening featured presentations from Professor Tom Kirkwood, Director of the Institute for Ageing and Health at the University of Newcastle, and Douglas Anderson FIA, Actuary with Hymans and Robertson, Glasgow and the event was chaired by Sir Michael Atiyah.

A Discussion Dinner followed the Ordinary Meeting on Does God Play Dice? on Monday 1 September 2008. The discussion was led by Professor Miles Padgett FRSE, Professor of Physics, University of Glasgow and chaired by Professor David Saxon OBE FRSE. Triennial Dinner - 28 June 2008 During the dinner Bicentenary Medals were presented by RSE President Sir Michael Atiyah to Professor Rona MacKie CBE FRSE, for her service to the RSEs International Programme in the role of International Committee Convener from 2002 to 2006 and also her service on Council from 1994 to 1997 and 2004 to 2007; Professor Andrew Miller CBE FRSE, for his service as General Secretary from 2001 to 2005 and then again from March 2007 to October 2007, and his service on Council from 1997 to 2001, including a term as Convener of the International Committee; and Professor Gavin McCrone CB FRSE, particularly in relation to several major RSE Inquiries, and service on Council from 1998 to 2007, including terms as VicePresident and General Secretary. Prizes were also awarded to Professor Andrew Baker (Makdougall Brisbane Prize), Professor James Hough FRS FRSE (Gunning Victoria Jubilee Prize Lectureship), Dr Deirdre Heddon and Dr G Paul Foster (BP Prize Lectureship in the Humanities), Mr Ron Forrester

Review of the Session 2007-2008

(Neill Medal) and Professor Veronica van Heyningen FRS FRSE (Henry Dryerre Prize Lectureship). Fellows Coffee Meetings Weekly Coffee Meetings were held throughout the Winter and Spring months as follows: 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 victims 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.

The Royal Society Dining Club This Club was established on 3rd January 1820, with the view of promoting the objectives of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In Session 2007/2008 meetings were held as follows : 843rd Dinner - 3 December 2007 Praeses: The Rt Hon Lord Cameron of Lochbroom Croupier: Professor Fred Last 844th Dinner - 7 April 2008 Praeses: Lord Sutherland of Houndwood Croupier: Sir Gerald Elliot 845th Dinner - 2 June 2008 Praeses: Archbishop Mario Conti Croupier: Professor John Richardson 846th Dinner - 13 October 2008 Praeses: Professor Ian Sword Croupier: Professor David Ingram Fellows Golf Stewart Cup The 2008 Fellows' Golf Challenge was held at Scotscraig, Tayport. The Stewart Cup was won by Professor Brian Burchell. Sector Group Match The Golf House Club, Elie. 1 May 2008. The winners - from the Life Sciences Group - were Professor Brian Burchell and his team-mate, Professor Nicholas Wade.


Royal Society of Edinburgh Schedule of Investments- movements at valuation. Year Ended 31 March 2008 Opening Market Value Purchase Cost Sales Proceeds Gain/(Loss) on Sale Revaluation for Year Closing Market Value

Investment Current Holdings

Closing No.

Gilts Treasury 7.25% 2007 Treasury 5.75% 2009 Treasury 5% 2012 Treasury 5.5% 2008/12 Treasury 5% 2014 Treasury 4.75% 2015 4,788 107,819 129,197 130,064 129,743 128,020 4,632 (156) 2,354 6,453 825 7,987 7,596

105,000 130,000 130,000 130,000 130,000

110,173 135,650 130,889 137,730 135,616

Other Fixed Interest R B of Scotland 7.387% 2010/49 European Inv't Bank 4.75% 2018 73,112 132,753

70,000 135,000

(4,226) 1,936

68,886 134,689

Investment & Unit Trusts Aberdeen Asian Income Fund Aberforth Geared Cap & Int Trust 155,400 54,225 44,897

140,000 45,000

3,500 (3,262)

158,900 50,963


39,250 152,190 152,913 177,192 130,080 185,723 28,415 98,295 85,251 97,845 108,120 78,400 35,760 99,200

Aberforth Smaller Co Trust plc Dunedin Income Growth Inv Trust Henderson Far East Income Trust Murray International Trust Scottish Mortgage & Trust

12,500 57,000 65,000 24,000


(13,522) (26,362) 15,437 13,920

70,625 125,828 168,350 144,000

Financials Barclays HSBC Holdings Ord US$ 0.50 Land Securities Group Legal & General Group Ord 2.5p Lloyds TSB Group Prudential Royal Bank of Scotland Ord 25p

7,883 11,000 5,900 68,000 14,000 4,984 15,000

(21,126) (6,545) (9,264) (22,168) (15,260) (2,591) (48,612)

35,710 91,300 89,031 85,952 63,140 33,169 50,588

Royal Society of Edinburgh Schedule of Investments- movements at valuation. Year Ended 31 March 2008 Opening Market Value Purchase Cost Sales Proceeds Gain/(Loss) on Sale Revaluation for Year Closing Market Value

Investment Current Holdings

Closing No.

Consumer Diageo Unilever Ord 1.4p 5,400 3,213 82,360 49,191 28,504 1,737 (729) 5,398

54,864 54,589

Review of the Session 2007-2008

Pharmaceuticals Astrazeneca Glaxo Smith Kline Ord 25p 886 9,700 35,109 24,223 97,790 (7,531) (28,804)

16,692 104,095

Services Firstgroup Ord 0.50 Experian Group Ord $0.10 Northgate Ord 5p Rank Group 5,500 2,300 9,536 (11,347) 25,583 37,203 24,817 20,883 31,531 28,216 26,340 2,633 (10,863)

28,000 39,000 60,750 52,845 17,802 7,446 59,382 1,900 9,200 25,237 29,944 -

(538) (11,776) 0

30,993 13,041 -

Teleommunications BT Group Ord 0.50 Vodafone Group Ord $

(17,722) 6,006

60,830 58,851

Utilities National Grid Transco



Industrials Johnson Matthey Ord 1 Redrow Ord 0.10

8,151 4,571

38,095 29,808

Royal Society of Edinburgh Schedule of Investments- movements at valuation. Year Ended 31 March 2008 Opening Market Value Purchase Cost Sales Proceeds Gain/(Loss) on Sale Revaluation for Year Closing Market Value

Investment Current Holdings

Closing No.

Resources BP Amoco Ord US$0.25 Rio Tinto Royal Dutch Shell 'B' 0.07 (UK list) Total SA 20,000 1,200 6,400 2,600 29,002 5,786 110,400 58,040 108,224 92,605 (8,000) 27,972 320 4,724

102,400 62,796 108,544 97,329



3,135,562 (3,680)






Schedule of Investments


The Society is grateful to the following organisations for their continuing support during the Session:

BBSRC BP Research Fellowship Trust Caledonian Research Foundation Lessells Trust

Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland Gannochy Trust Scottish Enterprise Scottish Government

and also to the following for their support for specific events and activities:

Adams & Co Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Highlands & Islands Enterprise Institute of Physics LifeScan Scotland Ltd Lisbet Rausing Estate Microsoft Research Ltd Northern Lighthouse Board Perth & Kinross Council RBS Group

Royal Scottish Geographical Society Scottish Forestry Trust Scottish Funding Council Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) Scottish Universities Physics Alliance South of Scotland Alliance UHI Millennium Institute



Fellows John Stuart Archer James Robert Atkinson John Christopher Bartholomew Christopher John Bartlett Stanley Hay Umphray Bowie Brian Laurence Burtt Philip Steven Corbet Rex Ernest Coupland Henry Richard Dowson Abraham Goldberg James Cameron Gould Douglas Mackay Henderson Peter Norman Hobson Andrew Ronald Mitchell George Edward Paget John Richmond Heinz Rudolph Schaffer Walter Eric Spear Colin Edward Thompson Thomas Forsyth Torrance John Anthony Usher Eldred Wright Walls Herbert Rees Wilson Corresponding Fellows Anders Hjorth Hald Honorary Fellows Vladimir Aleksandrovitch Engelhardt Willis Eugene Lamb

Fellows Stephen Derek Albon David Hearnshaw Barlow John Baxter Frank Bechhofer Michael James Benton James Drummond Bone Ian Alexander Douglas Bonnell Mark Bradley John David Brewer Janet Marjorie Brown Christopher Michael Clarke Robert John Cormack Jonathan Nicholas Crook David Gerard Dritschel Norman Walker Drummond Gordon Duff Malcolm Graham Dunlop Alison Janet Elliot Frederick Anderson Goodwin Gerard John Graham


Review of the Session 2007-2008

Kenneth David Maclean Harris Daniel Thomas Haydon John Duncan Hayes Gordon Hewitt Kenneth James Hunt Larry W Hurtado Ian James Jackson Matthew Howard Kaufman Kevin Neville Laland Nigel James Leask John Leighton James Allan McColl David Whyte MacDonald Ian Kenneth McEwan Iain Blair McInnes John Joseph Valentine McMurray Colin Neil MacRae Xuerong Mao

Robert Peter Millar Russell Edward Morris George Newlands Josephine Mary Pemberton Christopher Paul Philo John Peter Renwick James Frances Robertson Sheila Rowan Helen Sang Hamish Marshall Scott Walter Scott Stephen John Senn Iain William Stewart Jose Luis Torero Cullen Alexander Robin Swann Wallace Malcolm Frederick White Philip John Woods

Corresponding Fellows Russell Julian Hemley Johannes Huber Dusa Margaret McDuff John Donald Scott Frank Sinclair Walsh Ian Andrew Wilson Honorary Fellows HRH Bin Talal El Hassan Robin Main Hochstrasser Peter Hamilton Raven (James) Fraser Stoddart



Arrivals Mr Gordon Adam, Director of Business Development Ms Sandra Borthwick, Administrator, Scottish Bioinformatics Forum Miss Catriona Hart, Events/ Education Assistant Dr Chris Janssen, Director, Scottish Bioinformatics Forum Miss Angela Nicholson, Records Management Officer Departures Ms Lyndsey Hume, Conference Centre Co-ordinator Mrs Carolann Stewart, Admin/ Receptionist

Other Staff in post throughout the Session Ms Christel Baudre, HR Officer Mr Stuart Brown, PR and Communications Manager Ms Koren Calder, Education Outreach Officer Mrs Risn Calvert-Elliott, Events Manager Ms Jennifer Cameron, Office Services and IT Support Manager Dr Lesley Campbell, Fellowship, Policy, and Journals Manager Ms Morven Chisholm, International Relations Officer Mr Andy Curran, Property Services Officer Dr William Duncan, Chief Executive Miss Kate Ellis, Director of Finance Mrs Anne Fraser, Research Awards and International Manager Mrs Jean Geoghegan, Accounts Officer Mrs Vicki Hammond, Journals and Archive Officer Mr William Hardie, Consultations Officer Mrs Isabel Hastie, Admin/Receptionist Mr Graeme Herbert, Director of Corporate Services and Deputy Chief Executive Mr Robert Hunter, Evening Caretaker Mr Robert Lachlan, Accounts Officer Mrs Jenny Liddell, Communications Officer Mr Bristow Muldoon, Parliamentary Liaison Officer Mr George Pendleton, Conference Centre Assistant Dr Marc Rands, Evidence and Advice Manager Ms Tracy Rickard, Research Awards Co-ordinator Mr Brian Scott, Technical Support Assistant Mrs Sheila Stuart, Admin/Receptionist

Review of the Session 2007-2008

Ms Claire Swatton, Conference Centre Co-ordinator (Events Assistant to December 07) Ms Susan Walker, Events Officer

Mrs Doreen Waterland, PA to Chief Executive and Officers Mr Duncan Welsh, Events Officer


Stanley Hay Umphray Bowie .................................................................. 330 Walter Douglas Munn ........................................................................... 334 Sir Lewis Robertson ............................................................................... 336 Walter Eric Spear ................................................................................... 340 George Morgan Thomson .................................................................... 346 Herbert Rees Wilson .............................................................................. 351 Index of Obituary Notices published 2000-2009 ................................. 355


The Royal Society of Edinburgh

Stanley Hay Umphray Bowie 24 March 1917 - 3 September 2008

Stanley Bowie was one of the most outstanding Assistant Directors of the Institute of Geological Sciences (IGS) (now the British Geological Survey, BGS) of the last fifty years. Not only was he a scientist of international standing himself, but he also established and led the highly successful Geochemical Division of the IGS, which became a model for similar divisions in Geological Surveys throughout the world. He and his staff made major contributions in isotope geology, fluid-inclusion studies, traceelement geochemistry (including high-resolution geochemical mapping), ore mineralogy, economic geology and analytical chemistry. The first inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer was developed by Alan Gray of the University of Surrey and Alan Date in the IGS with funding from the European Commission, negotiated by Stanley Bowie. Born in 1917 in Bixter, Shetland, Stanley Hay Umphray (SHU) Bowie was the fourth son of Dr James Cameron, a medical practitioner, and Mary Bowie. His primary education was in Bixter and he always attributed his interest in mineralogy and geology to a local excursion with his class to look at the local

garnet-mica schist, when he became fascinated by the large well-formed crystals of garnet in the rock. His secondary education was at the Anderson Educational Institute, Lerwick and later at Aberdeen Grammar School. Stanley entered the University of Aberdeen in 1937 to study chemistry, geology and physics, and graduated in 1941 with a first-class honours degree in geology. He was awarded the Mitchell Prize for the best Honours Geology student and the Senior Kilgour Research Scholarship. In January 1942 he joined the Meteorological Branch of the Royal Air Force and was commissioned Flying Officer one year later. He was stationed with Bomber Command in East Anglia, which was later the base for the first American B17 squadron stationed in Britain. In June 1946 he joined the Geological Survey of Great Britain (GSGB) with the Special Investigations Unit (renamed the Atomic Energy Division, AED, in 1951). This was the Unit that had been responsible for advising the British Government on the availability of uranium supplies for the Manhattan Project during the

Obituary Notices

Second World War, and subsequently provided geological information for the UKs atomic weapons and nuclear energy programmes. It was Britains knowledge and ownership of uranium reserves that ensured that Britain remained in the American-led Nuclear Club after 1945. Between 1946 and 1955 he was responsible for all the laboratory work of the Unit. He started work on autoradiography studies of uranium and thorium minerals in thin and polished sections, and in collaboration with the Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE) at Harwell, he began a programme of instrument development for uranium exploration that helped to develop Geiger-Mller counters for use in uranium exploration, borehole logging and aeroradiometric surveys. He also developed an index of radioactive minerals, which remained classified until 1976. He travelled widely at this time in North America, Europe and Africa studying uranium deposits, and demonstrating British exploration equipment. It was during this period that he used gammaactivity studies to help to prove that the Piltdown man was a forgery. In 1948 he met and married the beautiful Helen Pocock, daughter of District Geologist, Roy Pocock, DSc, who had been working as a

draughtswoman at the GSGB following the end of the war. Helen was an artist and sculptress, who went on to exhibit at the Royal Academy. They were to be together for 59 years, Helen dying five weeks before Stanley. In 1955 Stanley was promoted to Chief Geologist of the AED. Between 1955 and 1968 he represented the UK at international conferences on atomic energy, and helped to develop more advanced radiometric instrumentation. It was also during this period that he developed, with K Taylor, a new system of opaquemineral identification based on the measurement of indentation hardness and reflectance. Representing a major advance over the complex system of ore-mineral identification previously developed by Paul Ramdohr, the Bowie-Taylor system gave Britain an important lead in economic geology. Stanley and his colleagues used the system to describe, understand and document uranium deposits throughout the free world, and it remained in use by most ore mineralogists until the advent of the electron microprobe. In 1968 he was appointed Assistant Director and Chief Geochemist of the IGS by the then Director, Kingsley Dunham FRS. He immediately set to work to attract substantial outside funding for his new division, and from 1968

The Royal Society of Edinburgh

to 1973 he led a uranium reconnaissance programme on behalf of the UKAEA, using many of the instrumental methods developed earlier in his career, as well as newer geochemical methods based on the delayed-neutron method of analysis. In 1970 he was appointed by NASA as a principal investigator for returned lunar samples. His work with Peter Simpson on the ore mineralogy of these samples, and with Clive Rice on the distribution of uranium using fission-track analysis, made an important contribution to understanding the lunar surface. In 1972 he was successful in obtaining funding from the DTI for two substantial programmes: a Mineral Reconnaissance of Great Britain, which continued until 2004, and a programme of systematic geochemical mapping, which is scheduled to be completed in 2010. The important Foss barite deposit in Scotland and many promising gold prospects were identified by this work. These and other discoveries have continued to attract funding and further exploration and development from the private sector. There was further instrument development under Stanleys leadership during this period, including the portable XRF analyser for use in the field and the first towed seabed gamma spectrometer. In 1974 he took

over the NERC study group on stable isotopes. Stanley served on the council of the Mineralogical Society between 1954 and 1957. In 1959 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Royal Society of Arts. In 1970 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 1976 he became President of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and in the same year was elected FRS. In 1977 he resigned from the IGS in protest at the ill-informed decision to remove all field work from his Division, turning it essentially into a laboratory service for the rest of the IGS a decision that was subsequently reversed when Malcolm Brown FRS was appointed Director of the IGS in 1979. In view of Stanleys outstanding personal scientific achievements, his scientific leadership and his national and international scientific reputation, it is difficult to understand why he was not appointed Director of the IGS on Dunhams retirement in 1976. After his departure from the IGS, Stanley worked as a consultant for the EEC, British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL), the Central Electricity Generating Board, Hunting Geology and Geophysics Ltd and Leigh Interests Ltd. In June 1984 he was appointed Chairman of the Research Advisory Group established by the DoE to advise


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on research for the safe disposal of radioactive waste, which reported in 1985. In 1984 a new platinum-group mineral was named bowieite by the United States Geological Survey in recognition of his contribution to ore mineralogy. He was Visiting Professor at Strathclyde University until 1985 and Visiting Professor at Imperial College from 1985 to 1989, and he served on the Commission of Ore Mineralogy of the International Mineralogical Association until 1987. During this period he also followed his early interest in rare breeds, especially those of Shetland, and he and Helen reared several breeds on their farm in Somerset. In 1978 he became a member of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and later served as their representative on the council of the Shetland Cattle Herdbook Society. In 1992 he was appointed Vice-President of the

Shetland Sheep Breeders Group. He published an authoritative book on Shetland breeds in 2005, which attracted considerable interest. Stanley Bowie was a charming man, well able to engage people with his stories of Shetland and Scotland and with a great knowledge of malt whiskies. He continued working to the end of his life, frequently writing to Government Ministers, particularly in relation to the need for nuclear power. It was entirely characteristic of him that, as the ambulance was approaching his house to take him to hospital where he died the following day, he said to his son Anthony, I think you had better cancel the ambulance. I have too much work to do. He is survived by his two sons, Roderick and Anthony, and by his two grandchildren. Jane Plant

Stanley Hay Umphray Bowie BSc, DSc (Aberdeen), FRS, FREng, HonFIMM, FMSA, FSAScot. Born 24 March 1917; Elected FRSE 4 March 1963; Died 3 September 2008.


The Royal Society of Edinburgh

Walter Douglas Munn 24 April 1929 - 26 October 2008

Douglas Munn (he seldom aired his other Christian name) was born in Troon and educated at Marr College. His father, who died when Douglas was 16, worked on the railways; his mother was a teacher. Both parents were talented painters, in watercolours and oils. In Glasgow University his MA with First Class Honours in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy was especially remarkable, for his choice of outside subjects were Music and English. By then he was an accomplished pianist, and had even composed some pieces for piano. There is a long tradition that talented young Scots migrate southwards, usually to one or other of the ancient universities, and it was to Cambridge that Douglas arrived in 1951. He bypassed the convention that Scots graduates were encouraged to begin by studying for Parts 2 and 3 of the Tripos, and immediately began some orginal work. His PhD was awarded in 1955. There was another hurdle to conquer, for those were the days of National Service. Fortunately, for Douglas, there was no question of two years square-bashing at Catterick: the powers that be sent him to GCHQ in Cheltenham.

What he did there we are not allowed even to speculate, but he enjoyed the experience, and when he returned to academic life he did from time to time (mostly when facing a huge load of examination papers to mark) comment that he might have been better to stay there. It is clear that he would have been welcomed back, for in the event he remained a consultant for several years. But return he did in1956, to Glasgow University, as a junior member of the mathematics department, and his very substantial output of mathematical research began. While Douglas never strayed far from the theory of semigroups, it is possible to discern certain phases in his mathematical output. His original interest, arising out of his PhD work, was in semigroup algebras and matrix representations. By the mid sixties he was concerned primarily with inverse and regular semigroups. The explicit description of the minimum group congruence on an inverse semigroup, and what is now called the Munn semigroup of a semilattice, opened a complete new chapter in the study of inverse semigroups. In 1974 he published his hugely influential paper on free inverse semigroups, laying the foundations of a

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graphical approach that is now part of the essential armoury of the modern practitioner. Throughout the seventies he continued to make crucial contributions to the understanding of regular and inverse semigroups. His discovery of Passmans books on infinite group rings brought about another change in the main thrust of his work, and in the eighties and nineties, while still writing the occasional paper on pure semigroup theory, he returned to the study of semigroup algebras, publishing a series of remarkable papers linking semigroup properties to ring-theoretic properties to their algebras. All these papers were worked on with draft after draft: everything Douglas wrote for publication was a masterpiece of careful exposition. One lady mathematician, who perhaps had better remain anonymous, declared that she had fallen in love with Professor Munn long before she met him, just by reading his papers! Ten years of creative work at Glasgow did not go unnoticed, and in 1966 he was appointed to the Chair of Mathematics in the fledgling University of Stirling. I followed him a year later, and for

Session 196768 we were the mathematics department. We were the music department as well: no provision had been made for music, and the two of us had to take action. Douglas, leading from the front, gave great encouragement to talented students in organising chamber music; I conducted a choir with Douglas as one of my basses. In 1973 Douglas returned to Glasgow to the Thomas Muir Chair of Mathematics, a post he held with distinction until his retirement. He received many invitations to speak at the international conference merry-go-round, and his originality and clear expositions have been a major influence in the work of younger mathematicians in many parts of the world. He enjoyed the musical life of Glasgow, and his friends, who had feared he would die a bachelor, were delighted in 1980 when he could share that musical life with his new wife Clare, also an accomplished musician. In retirement he continued with mathematical research, and he showed great courage in his final illness. John M. Howie

Walter Douglas Munn, MA, DSc, PhD. Born 24 April 1929. Elected FRSE, March 1965. Died 26 October 2008;


The Royal Society of Edinburgh

Sir Lewis Robertson 28 November 1922 - 24 November 2008

Lewis Robertson was born in Dundee in 1922, second son of J F Robertson, merchant and manufacturer. He completed his schooling at Trinity College, Glenalmond and was an apprentice Chartered Accountant with a firm founded by his grandfather. He joined the RAF in 1942 without completing his training, and on the basis of his language skill was selected for work at Bletchley on enemy codes and ciphers. After the War he entered the family jute firm and became Managing Director at the age of 32. By a process of takeovers and acquisition the firm (and his responsibilities) expanded greatly until he parted from it in 1970. By that time he had already begun a separate career in public service. This lasted well past the year 1981 - which marked the beginning of a new phase of his life as what he called a corporate recovery specialist. He died in Edinburgh in November 2008. As this summary indicates, Lewis blossomed early as an industrialist, and he was still young when his name began to appear on the lists of those who could be approached for public appointments. He became a member of

the Eastern Regional Hospitals Board in 1958 and was its Chairman from 1960 to 1970. During this period he chaired the Planning Committee for the new Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. This was in many ways a pioneering exercise, and he looked back on it in later years with particular satisfaction. He sat on the Monopolies Commission for seven years, and in 1975 he became the first Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive of the Scottish Development Agency. He created the Agencys structure and established it as a major force in the support and expansion of Scottish industry. At various times he was a member of the Restrictive Practices Court, the Scottish Post Office Board and the Scottish Economic Council. With the exception of the SDA posts, these were commitments taken on in the midst of a busy business life. He was Chief Executive of Grampian Holdings for five years and a non-executive director of Scottish and Newcastle Breweries and a number of other companies. It is not surprising that with this formidable CV he was from 1981 much sought after by institutional shareholders and clearing banks to take charge of companies in

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difficulties with a view to their redemption. Steel manufacture, heavy engineering, food processing, construction, shop fitting, hotels, etc - it constituted a steep learning curve for Lewis, and the same could be said for many of those who in these circumstances were for the first time confronted by his formidable presence. Such firms as Lloyds, Triplex, Borthwick, Lilley and Stakis, famous names in their day, were subject to the Robertson treatment - analytical, measured and fair. He was not a man for ruthless sackings or other manifestations of managerial terrorism. In each case he applied the same technique after making it a condition that he should be in complete control. He established or re-established lines of communication and set out to ensure that the bankers would have the same confidence in the firm as he had in his ability to put things right. The records of all this are in the vast archive which he has committed to the National Library of Scotland. This archive will be at the same time an account of work done and a demonstration of Lewis obsession (his word) with record keeping. List making was one of the recreations he included in his Whos Who entry. This went far beyond the business and email addresses, telephone

numbers, birthdays, etc which appear in most diaries. The black books were the source of holiday advice for friends, records of chats over the lunch table, names built up over the years of people who might be helpful to someone seeking Lewis advice. Such advice could range from assessments of the suitability of individuals for major posts to how to run the AGM of a small charity (4 minutes should be enough). In 1963 he became a Trustee of the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, and he was its Chairman for 13 years, his retirement marking the end of 40 years on the Trust. It was a responsibility from which he derived particular pleasure. From 2003 the Robertson Medal has been awarded annually to the top Carnegie Scholar the medal itself is engraved with the names of Lewis and his wife, Elspeth, around the edge. He sat on the Court of Dundee University, but he never went to university - except to receive honorary degrees. He was Chairman of the Scottish Arts Council and a member of the Board of the British Council. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1978 and served the Society as a Council member and, at an exciting and challenging time, as Treasurer. He


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was delighted to receive one of the Societys Bicentenary Medals. He was appointed CBE in 1969, and knighted in 1991. This catalogue of activity and his pride in his reputation as a manager and a methodical man paint a very incomplete picture of Lewis Robertson. He was a big man in style and physique. His voice was deep and his speech was measured and magisterial. He commanded respect, but the command was qualified by a gentlemanly charm which could readily erupt into laughter. He was a man of high standards, and this was reflected in many ways - including his unapologetic enjoyment of the good things in life. He did not waste time. His knowledge was vast. He read quickly and effectively in several languages: the TV in the house was acquired for his wife, and it lay dormant after her death. He was a member of the Advisory Board for the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley novels. He travelled widely and was especially happy in Italian surroundings. Lewis was a generous supporter of various charities, particularly cultural bodies in Scotland. He greatly enjoyed his links with the National Galleries and Museum. His musical interests were reflected in the record of his benefactions: attendance at any performance of the works of

Richard Strauss constituted a priority in his diary. He commissioned an anthem by James Macmillan - Tremunt videntes angeli - in memory of his wife, Elspeth. Outside the cultural field he was associated with the Foundation for Skin Research: for most of his life Lewis suffered from psoriasis. He rejoiced in a wide circle of friends. He loved, and was a regular communicant at, the traditional services of the Scottish Episcopal Church; but he maintained a fastidious reserve towards the noisy and disputatious aspects of public Christianity. This however did not stand in the way of his serving on numerous committees and councils of the Scottish Episcopal Church. He was a Trustee of the Foundation for the Study of Christianity and Society. At the service which commemorated Elspeths life (she died seven years before him), their son read the passage from Proverbs about the price of a virtuous woman being above rubies. It was an appropriate tribute to a very fine lady: she was Lewis mainstay in a life which contained tragedy and disappointment as well as achievement. His friends wondered how, after her death, he could manage to live on his own, such had been Elspeths support. The fact that he did manage to do so in face of increasing ill-health

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was in its way a demonstration of that strength and determination which characterised so much of his life.

I am grateful to John Robertson and Richard Holloway for their help in preparing this note. W K Fraser

Lewis Robertson CBE, Kt, LlD(Aberdeen, Dundee), DUniv (Glasgow, Stirling),DBA(Napier), Hon FRCSEd, CIMgt. Born 28 November 1922; Elected FRSE 6 March 1978: Died 24 November 2008.


The Royal Society of Edinburgh

Walter Eric Spear 20 January 1921 - 21 February 2008

Walter Spear, whose work laid the foundations for thin film displays and large area electronics, died on 21st February 2008 in Dundee. He was born on 20th January 1921 in Frankfurt-on-Main. His father, who came from an old-established Jewish family in the Odenwald, not far from Heidelberg, was a graphic artist who eventually turned towards photography, pioneering colour photography and processing. His mother, the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, was a professional violinist, a well-known soloist and teacher in Frankfurt. He grew up in an atmosphere of musical activity which led to a lifelong love of chamber music. He began violoncello lessons on a half-size instrument at the age of eight. A few years later he inherited a beautiful seventeenth century Italian cello which he played and cherished all his life. By the time he had completed his final school examinations in 1938, the Nazi persecution of Jewish and partly Jewish persons made life extremely difficult for his family. Through the generous efforts of friends and relatives in Britain, the family was able to join them and escape imminent arrest and deportation.

Walter arrived in London with his suitcase and cello. He was determined to follow a scientific career and as a first step, he attended evening classes to work for the Entrance Examination of the University of London, which he duly attained. At that point all members of the family were briefly interned on the Isle of Man. By 1940 he had joined the Pioneer Corps, later transferring to the Royal Artillery. He was demobilised in 1946 with the rank of Bombardier and returned to London where he enrolled for an External London University Physics degree at the Regent Street Polytechnic, supported by a modest Further Education Grant. In 1947 he was accepted by Professor J.D. Bernal of Birkbeck College, University of London, to work for a PhD degree in the newly established Crystallography Research Laboratory. His supervisor was Werner Ehrenberg and his project was in the field of electron optics, aimed at investigating and developing a compact electrostatic focusing system to produce an intense, fine electron focus with applications in a fine focus X-ray tube, which could open up new possibilities in crystallographic studies of complex organic molecules and virus structures. At

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that time, like many of his contemporaries, because of lack of finance, basic apparatus had to be constructed from ex-MOD stock and from captured German equipment. By 1949 he had designed and built an elegant demountable all-metal X-ray tube using the small but very effective electron optical system he had developed. This development played an important role in the discovery of the DNA structure. In 1950 Bernal gave one of his X-ray tubes to Maurice Wilkins of Kings College London, for work on the DNA structure. Diffraction patterns were obtained with this X-ray tube that provided important experimental evidence for the eventual double helix interpretation of the DNA structure. He graduated with a PhD in 1950 and obtained a College Fellowship which enabled him to continue research and lecture at Birkbeck College. In 1952 he married Hilda King who at that time was doing postgraduate work in English Literature at Birkbeck College. It was to be a happy marriage with many common interests. In 1953 he left Birkbeck College to take up a lectureship at the then University College of Leicester. Initially he managed to gather enough equipment to continue the work he had started at Birkbeck after his PhD, and he investigated the electron bom341

bardment of dielectric layers. The most interesting results that he obtained in this work came from the study of amorphous selenium films. He recognised that this material was an electronic system with two mobile carriers and remarkably long lifetimes for excess electrons and holes. This gave him the idea of extending the investigation into the timeresolved domain, which proved a fruitful approach for much of his subsequent research on transport properties. Typical transit times of carriers in amorphous selenium were in the microsecond range, much shorter than the dielectric relaxation time of the highly insulating material; in this respect the approach differed fundamentally from the well-known Shockley-Haynes experiment in crystalline semiconductors. He interpreted the results of these experiments in terms of a multitrapping transport. Although this was received with considerable doubt at the time, it turned out to be correct. During his period at Leicester he established a successful research group specifically for the study of low-mobility amorphous and crystalline solids. Throughout this time the Xerox Corporation was greatly interested in his work and appointed him as a consultant, providing funding support for research of common interest. He was also a consultant for EMI,

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where he was involved in Vidicon image tube development. In the 1960s he embarked on a number of successful new research projects. These included work on the transient interaction of generated excess electrons (and holes) with acoustic phonons in CdS and ZnS crystals with his research student and eventually his long-time research colleague, Peter LeComber. A detailed study of transport mechanisms in orthorhombic sulphur crystals, where the results fitted Holsteins small polaron transport theory was also made, as well as a study of the fundamental relation between transport and band structure where simple solids such as rare gas crystals of argon, krypton and xenon were ideal materials. In 1968, after fourteen years at Leicester, he was appointed to the Harris Chair of Physics at the University of Dundee, where he was offered the Jute Shed, a large refurbished old stone building, as his research area. This had been a former jute store that was located in the Geddes Quadrangle of the University opposite the main Carnegie Physics Building. In 1972 he was elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh. This period of his research was to prove the most productive and significant in both fundamental research and potential applica-

tions in consumer electronics. He decided with Peter LeComber that one of the main research aims in the new laboratory should be to obtain meaningful experimental tests of Motts electronic models of the non-crystalline state. They had been in close contact with Nevill Mott throughout the 1960s through their common interest in the physics of the non-crystalline state. It was decided that a study of amorphous silicon (a-Si) would be a suitable model material, and comparison of optical and electrical properties with the crystalline counterpart would be informative. It was soon found that deposition of a-Si films from silane in a radio frequency glow discharge had considerable potential in the study of the basic electronic properties of disordered semiconductors by comparison with films prepared by other techniques, where structural defects obscured phenomena associated with structural disorder relevant to Motts work. In his 1977 Nobel Lecture, Mott was later to highlight the brilliant experimental work of Walter and Peter on amorphous silicon deposited from SiH4 in a glow discharge. The early work by his research group on a-Si showed clearly that the density and distribution of localised states in the forbidden gap of an amorphous semiconductor is of crucial importance in


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determining its properties. The first field effect studies of a-Si were also carried out during this time, and gave an indication of the state distribution in the gap of a-Si. This work also laid the foundations for the subsequent aSi field effect transistor development. The next development, and perhaps the most important breakthrough in the field, was achieved in 1975 when, contrary to the prevailing opinion, the Dundee group was able to demonstrate that r.f. plasmadeposited a-Si (and a-Ge) could be doped very effectively and accurately from the gas phase during deposition. Measurements on the first amorphous electronic device, an a-Si p-n junction, were then published by the Dundee team. Photovoltaic activity of the devices was reported, and at this time the group also took part in the worldwide investigation of the potential large area photovoltaic applications of a-Si. Throughout the 1970s Walter and his group began to extend the range of experimental work to enhance understanding of a-Si. These included studies of the effect of n-type doping on the movement of the Fermi energy; thermoelectric power studies of a-Si and a-Ge with temperature, doping and deposition conditions; study of electronic properties as a function of hydrogen content in a-Si; and the

investigation of the Hall effect in n- and p- type a-Si, where Peter LeComber and David Jones discovered a curious double reversal in the sign of the Hall coefficient negative for p-type samples and positive for n-type material, opposite to that expected from classical theory. The theoretical work of Friedman, based on small polaron theory, had shown that that the interpretation of the Hall effect in a solid lacking long-range order is fundamentally different from that in the crystalline material. He predicted a single sign reversal (the p-n anomaly) and indeed a straightforward satisfactory explanation of the observed double reversal still poses theoretical problems. By the late 1970s Walters achievements became more widely recognised. In 1976 he was awarded the European Physical Society Europhysics Prize; , in 1977 he was awarded the Max Born Medal by the Institute of Physics and the German Physical Society. In 1980 he was elected to the Royal Society and in that same year the Royal Society of Edinburgh presented him with its Makdougall-Brisbane Medal for his work in the field of amorphous semiconductors. In 1988 he was awarded the Rank Prize in Optoelectronics. During the 1980s his fundamental studies of amorphous

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materials continued. Mobility measurements in a-Si were extended to higher and also lower temperatures, and transport in compensated a-Si was studied. At about this time, Japanese researchers had found that by modifying the plasma preparation conditions, nanocrystalline silicon films could be prepared, and an investigation was made of the electronic properties of nanocrystalline silicon as a function of crystallite size. The anomalous sign of the Hall effect was found to revert to that predicted by classical theory at crystallite sizes of 2-3 nm. His interest in device applications, particularly of a-Si, increased during this period. It was clear that the doping in the amorphous phase had opened up exciting new possibilities for plasmadeposited device structures. Thin layers composed of p, n and i sections, as well as SiNx and SiCx insulating regions, could be produced in a continuous deposition process on a range of substrate materials. There was no fundamental limit to the size of the deposited films; a factor which would be important in large area applications. At this point, as the leading laboratory in this field, the group were approached by an increasing number of UK and European industrial laboratories for help and collaboration on new device ideas.

In the applied field, two important developments were pioneered by Walter and his colleagues, Peter LeComber and Tony Snell in the 1980s. The first was the a-Si field effect transistor. The fabrication of minute arrays of these FETs at Dundee was the forerunner of the matrix of millions of these devices that now form the vital pixel switching elements in the now ubiquitous large-area liquidcrystal colour displays. This development was the critical step in spawning a multi-billion pound industry. The second device development arose from collaboration with Alan Owen and colleagues at the University of Edinburgh. It was based on the discovery that certain metal/a-Si junctions, such as a Cr-p+-ni-Cr, behaved, after forming, as an electronically nonvolatile element. This device was found to exist in two states that differ in electrical conductivity by several orders of magnitude, the state remaining unchanged if the supply voltage was removed. Small voltage pulses of opposite polarity, a few nanoseconds in duration, could change the memory state. The initial work indicated that in terms of speed, retention time and stability, these thin film memory elements compared very favourably with crystalline devices used for nonvolatile, programmable storage available at that time. The first


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joint paper on this work by collaborating groups was awarded the 1981-1982 Maxwell Premium of the IEE. A further joint project involved the application of these memory elements in artificial neural networks. In 1988 he was invited to present the Royal Society Bakerian Lecture on Amorphous Semiconductors: a new generation of electronic materials. Two years later he was awarded the Rumford Medal of the Royal Society. He retired soon after this, in 1990. In his retirement he enjoyed the freedom to become involved in many of the activities he had not had time for during an active scientific career. Walter and Hilda decided that they should move from their large family house. They split up their large garden and built a smaller modern house which they designed themselves. Walter installed some of the customised electrical fittings and did the

internal carpentry. During his retirement he returned to his early love, chamber music. He met regularly with several pianist friends and enjoyed the classical cello sonata repertoire. He also enjoyed reading British, German and French literature. Walter and Hilda also enjoyed visits from their two grandchildren who lived close to their home. Walter Spear was a true experimentalist who enjoyed working with equipment and interpreting the complexities of the movement of charge carriers through disordered materials. He was also a gifted teacher, and he was proud that many of his students went on to form important research groups across Europe and the USA. He is survived by Hilda, his two daughters, Gillian and Kathryn and his two grandchildren. Alexander G Fitzgerald

Walter Eric Spear, BSc, PhD, DSc, FRS, FInstP. Born 20 January 1921; Elected FRSE, March 1972; Died 21 February 2008.


The Royal Society of Edinburgh

George Morgan Thomson 16 January 1921 - 3 October 2008

Lord Thomson of Monifieth (George) was born in Stirling but moved when quite young to Monifieth near Dundee and attended Grove Academy. He proved to be an excellent scholar, but left school at 16 to become a local reporter with DC Thomson in Dundee. This well-established firm published a range of newspapers in Scotland but were also famous as the originators of the comics The Dandy and The Beano which then had circulations of over 400,000. George became the deputy editor of The Dandy and then editor for a brief period when he was only 18. In 1940 he enlisted in the Royal Air Force and served as ground crew for Fighter Command (defective eyesight precluded a role in the flight crew). On returning in 1946 to DC Thomson, he came into conflict with the management over his right to join a trade union and he left them to become Deputy Editor in Glasgow of Forward, an independent weekly socialist newspaper founded by the future Secretary of State for Scotland, Tom Johnston, and edited by him until 1940. When George joined the newspaper, the Editor was Emrys Hughes, the Labour MP for South Ayrshire, who was a pacifist and very much on the left wing of

the Labour party. Since George was more middle of the road in terms of his politics, this partnership must have been strained. George became the Editor in 1948 when Hughes resigned because of ill health. At this time he was known as Morgan Thomson (to distinguish him from two other journalists also called George Thomson), and in the same year he married Grace Jenkins who remained his spouse and political ally for the next 60 years. Both George and Grace had become heavily involved in proselytising activities with groups such as Young Forward, and the Iona Community where the Rev

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George McLeod was the leading light. 1950 saw his first entry into formal politics when he was adopted as the Labour candidate for Glasgow Hillhead in a byelection. This was a Conservative seat and although he polled a respectable vote, the Tory candidate (Commander TGD Galbraith) was duly elected. This experience of the hustings stood him in good stead when he was selected to stand in his home city of Dundee in a by-election, caused by the death in a car accident of Tom Cook, the sitting MP. Thus, in 1952, he entered Parliament as the Member for Dundee East and remained so for the next 20 years. He made his mark early as an impressive parliamentarian and was encouraged by his fellow MP for Dundee West, the Old Etonian John Strachey, who had served in the Attlee government of 194550. He also ensured that his family (now with two daughters Caroline and Ailsa) were not neglected, and rented a house in Harlow New Town and moved later to Herne Hill in south London. George soon demonstrated his radical side by supporting Sidney Silvermans Bill on the abolition of capital punishment and, in 1956, by vigorously opposing the Suez adventure of Anthony Eden. On the other hand, he allied himself to those Labour MPs who campaigned for the centre-right, such as Dennis Healey and James

Callaghan. One of his first commitments in Westminster was to education, and he became the Parliamentary representative for the Education Institute of Scotland, and one of the leading members and later Chairman of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth. His skills as a debater were soon recognised by the Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell, and in 1959 he was made the Opposition Spokesman for the Colonies and the Commonwealth. In 1960, at the time of the CND marches, he derided the whole concept of nuclear disarmament and in so doing incurred the wrath of some of the activists in Dundee East Labour Party. This antagonism of a minority remained a constant sore until he resigned as an MP in 1972. On the return of a Labour government in 1964, George joined the Foreign Office as a Minister of State and in 1966 became the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster with responsibility for relations with Europe and the Common Market - thus beginning his long association with European affairs and the battles that ensued on the desirability of the UK joining. In August 1967, he entered the Cabinet as Commonwealth Secretary and was soon embroiled in trying to deal with the declaration of UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence) made by Ian Smith and the white


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minority in Northern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). In spite of his efforts to find a compromise with Smith at a famous rendezvous on HMS Fearless in Gibraltar, he eventually had to admit that the only way to deal with the situation was to impose sanctions on the colony. Other major problems that had to be tackled included the civil war in Nigeria (with a breakaway Biafra) and the withdrawal of British troops from Aden. When the Commonwealth Office was integrated into the Foreign Office in 1968, George became a Minister Without Portfolio and was asked by Harold Wilson to be responsible for the implementation of the Radcliffe-Maud Report on local government. In 1970, when the Wilson government lost office, he became the shadow Defence Secretary. The government of Edward Heath had now decided to push forward negotiations to join the EEC (European Economic Community), based to a significant extent on the soundings made earlier by George. This provoked considerable schisms within the Parliamentary Labour Party. As a result, Harold Wilson decided that the next Labour Government would hold a referendum on whether to join the Community and, in disagreement, George resigned from the Shadow Cabinet (along with Roy Jenkins) and became the Chairman of the

Labour Committee for Europe. Along with 68 other Labour MPs, he also voted in the Commons in favour of Edward Heaths proposal to join the EEC. It was not surprising therefore that he was asked by Edward Heath to become, along with Christopher Soames, the first Labour European Commissioner. Thus in January 1973 George began a new phase in his life - he resigned as an MP and moved into the very different world of European politics at Brussels and Strasbourg. He soon gained a reputation as a strong team player and as such was immensely respected by his colleagues. This no doubt helped him in his task of creating an effective regional policy, and it is widely accepted that this would not have happened without his determination and skill in winning over French, German and Dutch opposition. As a result, some of the poorer regions in the community, such as in Sicily and the Scottish Highlands, were able to obtain special EEC funding. During his time at Brussels, the Labour Government under Harold Wilson was still deeply split on the European issue and, in 1975, a referendum on staying within the EEC was held and Wilson allowed his ministers to campaign on either side. George played a prominent part in campaigning for the proEuropean lobby, and


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in the event there was a two to one majority for staying in Europe. In 1977, at the end of his fouryear term at Brussels, he was created a life peer (Lord Thomson of Monifieth) and was asked to chair the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). In the same year George, having received an honorary degree in 1973, became the Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University - a post he held for the next 14 years. As a boy who had never gone to university this gave him special pleasure, as did the receipt of honorary degrees from Dundee, Abertay and Aston universities in later years. Another essentially Scottish honour which he cherished was being made a Knight of the Thistle in 1981. His tenure at the ASA had been considered a successful one, and he was asked in 1980 by the Conservative Home Secretary William Whitelaw to take on the much more difficult task of chairing the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA). Two new TV channels, Channel 4 and TVAM, were being launched and George was soon involved in controversy with the government over reporting of the Falklands war and the filming of the death of IRA suspects in Gibraltar. He also came into conflict with Mrs Mary Whitehouse and her Viewers and Listeners Panel on a number of occasions. The IBA during his tenure had a reputation for being

critical when necessary, but was very protective of the freedom of the media. George left the IBA in 1988 and officially joined the Liberal Democrats - until that time he thought it appropriate to remain aloof from party politics and he sat on the cross-benches in the House of Lords. His decision to leave the Labour Party was not taken lightly considering his 40 or more years membership. He was probably influenced by the constant turmoil in the Labour Party - at that time Neil Kinnock had been battling with the Militant faction, and also by the fact that both his daughters had wed prominent Liberal and Social Democrats. In the Lords he became the party spokesman on Foreign Affairs and Broadcasting. His wide expertise in both politics and administration was recognised by the private sector and he joined various Boards including the Boards of ICI, The Royal Bank of Scotland and the Woolwich Equitable Insurance Company. Other posts which gave him particular satisfaction were being a Trustee of Leeds Castle (a plebeian Scot being laird of a castle!), and a Trustee of the charity The Pilgrim Trust. In spite of this impressive rise through the establishment, George was not snobbish in any way and never lost his ability to relate to individuals. He was always courteous and

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friendly - a trait which stood him in good stead when negotiating either complex political problems or dealing with awkward constituents. George never lost his characteristic Dundee accent and its

sonorous cadences will be sadly missed by his many friends and colleagues. He is survived by his wife Grace and his daughters Caroline and Ailsa. Willie Russell

George Morgan Thomson, Baron Thomson of Monifieth KT, PC, HonDLitt (Heriot-Watt), HonLLD (Dundee), HonDSc (Aston), Hon Fellow (Abertay), FEIS, FRTS . Born 16 January 1921; Elected FRSE 1 March 1982; Died 3 October 2008.


Obituary Notices

Herbert Rees Wilson 28 January 1929 - 22 May 2008

On a circular plaque just inside the main entrance to Kings College on the Strand in London there are the names of five scientists and the inscription says DNA X-ray diffraction studies 1953. One of these names is that of Herbert Rees Wilson who was born on 28th January 1929 on his grandfathers farm in Nefyn on the Llyn peninsula in north Wales. His father, Thomas, was a ships captain, and his mother Jennie was staying with her parents because her husband was away at sea for long periods. When Herberts brother John was born, the family moved into their own house, Summer Hill, in the town. Herbert was educated at Nefyn school, Pwllheli Grammar School and UCNW (University College of North Wales) Bangor, where he was awarded a first class honours BSc in Physics in 1949, and a PhD in 1952. His PhD work involved using X-ray diffraction techniques under the supervision of Prof. Edwin A. Owen, the title of his thesis being the Effect of coldwork on metals at ordinary temperatures. As he neared the end of his PhD, Herbert wondered what he might do next, and to quote him directly

he was keen to change from solid-state physics to biophysics. He took advice from his supervisor and, after a number of interviews and discussions, joined Maurice Wilkins in 1952 to work on X-ray diffraction studies of DNA at Kings College in London. This group provided much of the evidence that led Francis Crick and James Watson to postulate their now-famous double-helix structure for deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA), making their crucial contribution to our understanding of the transmission of genetic information. Few discoveries can have been as important as this to an understanding of the physical and chemical basis of how heredity works. In the same issue of Nature (no. 2356, 25 April 1953) in which Watson and Crick first postulated their structure of DNA, there were two other papers from the Kings College X-ray group, one by M.H.F. Wilkins, A.R. Stokes and H.R. Wilson and the other by Rosalind E Franklin and R.G. Gosling; these papers gave experimental support to the model which Watson and Crick had built. It is these five researchers who are commemorated on the plaque mentioned above, which was unveiled at Kings College on the 40th anniversary of

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the double-helix discovery. After the double-helix model had been proposed, it needed a great deal of further very accurate X-ray diffraction work for the rigorous testing of the model, and the group from Kings College played a major role in that work over the next few years. Herbert remained at Kings College, initially on a University of Wales Fellowship and later on a British Empire Cancer Campaign grant; his work there was concerned with X-ray diffraction studies of DNA and nucleoproteins. In the summer of 1957 Herbert left Kings College to take up a lectureship at Queens College Dundee, which was then part of St. Andrews University and subsequently became the University of Dundee. There he successively rose to be Senior Lecturer (1964) and Reader (1973). There are many very happy memories of that period; family times, many, many holidays in Wales usually surrounded by friends and family. There was a memorable, if stormy, crossing of the Atlantic for the whole family to New York in the Queen Mary. They were en route to Boston and, for Herbert, some months in 1962 at the Childrens Cancer Research Hospital there. In Dundee, Herbert worked together with Patrick Tollin, Douglas Young and John Low and determined the structures of many

nucleic acid components and their analogues to analyse their preferred conformations. After he returned from his sabbatical in Boston, the Dundee group also started structural studies of flexuous plant viruses, the virus studies being stimulated by the work of Donald Caspar and Aaron Klug who were writing their classic paper on the theory of virus structure at the Childrens Cancer Research Foundation during Herberts time there. Many of the virus studies were carried out in collaboration with the virology group of the Scottish Crop Research Institute in Invergowrie. It was during his time at Dundee that Herbert wrote his book on Diffraction of X-rays by Proteins, Nucleic Acids and Viruses, which was published (by Edward Arnold) in 1966, with a Japanese edition being published in 1969. It was a landmark book that was concise and instructive, and of great value to people entering this field at that time. The final stage of Herberts academic career brought him to Stirling University where, in 1983, he was appointed Head of the Department of Physics, and where he continued his research on the structures of plant viruses. This was at a time when small Physics departments throughout the UK were being placed under severe pressures, and Stirlings Physics staffing levels were, as national

Obituary Notices

peer bodies were beginning to suggest, below the minimum viable size. It was a daunting task that he faced, but the staff quickly realised that they had a sincere and trustworthy leader. His enthusiasm and buoyant optimism quickly rubbed off, and morale began to rise rapidly. The Department introduced an Honours programme in which the third-year students studied at the University of California, Santa Barbara! This programme kept going for five years, producing many fine young graduates in the process. It was a tough time for the Department but, largely due to Herberts influence, it was also one of the happiest. His final year unit on biophysics included details of his own research interests, and one artistic physics student encapsulated some aspects of this, including an image of a protein molecule and people in the Physics Department into a painting that now forms part of the Universitys Art Collection. In due course, staff/student ratio and unit cost considerations had taken a firm hold throughout UK universities, and, eventually, even Herbert was unable to prevent the rundown of the physics teaching programme to service levels. As research funding was withdrawn, Herberts interest and encouragement enabled staff to establish fruitful collaborations with other universities, as he himself had done throughout his

time at Stirling. He retired from Stirling in 1991, but, as Professor Emeritus, he kept a fatherly interest in the few Physics and Astronomy units that were being taught by the remaining two staff, and also represented the Royal Society of Edinburgh on the General Convocation of Stirling University. Herbert was immensely proud of the honours bestowed on him in his native Wales. He was made an honorary member of the Order of the White Robe of the Gorsedd of Bards; this was conferred on him at the Eisteddfod at Newport in 2003. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Wales and an Honorary Fellowship by Bangor University, both in 2005. Romance started early in Herberts life! What started as a mild dalliance in the sixth form developed when Beti and Herbert were both undergraduates together at university in Bangor, and they graduated together on the same day in 1949. They were married in 1952 - a marriage which lasted 55 years. With Beti having taken a degree in philosophy and Herbert in physics, this led to a lifetime of informed discussion and lively debate about the relative merits of the humanities and the sciences! While they were living in London, their first two children, Iola and Neil, were born; sadly Neil died in 1996. Their third child, Helen, was born in Dundee.

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Herbert will be greatly missed by Beti, Iola and Helen and their partners Richard and George, grandchildren Francesca and Andy, and also by countless colleagues and friends.

I am grateful to Beti Wilson and Jack Woolsey for providing me with some of the material for this Notice. Arthur P. Cracknell

Herbert Rees Wilson BSc, PhD(UCNW), HonDSc (University of Wales), Hon FUWB, CPhys, FInstP, Hon Mem Gorsedd of Bards. Born 28 January 1929; Elected FRSE 3 March 1975; Died 22 May 2008.


Obituary Notices


Fellow ........................................................................ Review/Yearbook Kenneth (John Wilson) ALEXANDER .................................................. 2006 Frank ALEXANDER ............................................................................. 2000 John Graham Comrie ANDERSON ..................................................... 2006 Edward Raymond ANDREW .............................................................. 2006 John Stuart ARCHER ......................................................................... 2008 David Gilford ARMSTRONG .............................................................. 2001 F.V ATKINSON .................................................................................... 2006 John (William) ATWELL ...................................................................... 2000 Terence George BAKER ..................................................................... 2006 John Swanson BECK ......................................................................... 2008 Cecil Arnold BEEVERS ....................................................................... 2006 John BERRY ....................................................................................... 2006 Stanley Hay Umphray BOWIE ............................................................ 2009 John Morton BOYD ........................................................................... 2000 Leslie Maurice BROWN ...................................................................... 2000 Hermann Alexander BRCK .............................................................. 2006 John (Harrison) BURNETT .................................................................. 2008 Alexander (Kirkland) CAIRNCROSS .................................................... 2000 Malcolm Murray CAMPBELL .............................................................. 2006 Neil CAMPBELL .................................................................................. 2000 John (Dutton) CLERK of PENICUIK ..................................................... 2007 William COCHRAN ............................................................................ 2007 John Terence COPPOCK .................................................................... 2001 Robert Craigie CROSS ....................................................................... 2001 Alexander Stuart DOUGLAS .............................................................. 2000 Morrell Henry DRAPER ...................................................................... 2007 Alan James DUNCAN ........................................................................ 2000 George EASON .................................................................................. 2000 Henry John EVANS ............................................................................. 2008 Victor Colin FARMER ......................................................................... 2007 William Ewart John FARVIS ................................................................ 2006 Anne FERGUSON ............................................................................... 2001 Charles Arthur FEWSON .................................................................... 2007 John Robert Stanley FINCHAM .......................................................... 2006 William Whigham FLETCHER ............................................................. 2006 Kenneth Boyd FRASER ....................................................................... 2006 (James) Campbell FRASER ................................................................. 2008

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Ian FRASER ........................................................................................ 2001 Abraham GOLDBERG ........................................................................ 2008 James Kerr GRANT ............................................................................ 2007 James Shaw GRANT .......................................................................... 2001 David Cunningham GREIG ................................................................ 2001 John (Currie) GUNN ........................................................................... 2006 Anders Hjorth HALD .......................................................................... 2008 Henry Joseph HEANEY ....................................................................... 2008 Douglas Mackay HENDERSON ........................................................... 2008 John HESLOP-HARRISON ................................................................... 2000 Derrick Ernest HOARE ....................................................................... 2000 Richard Milne HOGG ........................................................................ 2008 Neil HOOD ........................................................................................ 2006 Ian Simpson HUGHES ....................................................................... 2007 Thomas Oliver HUTCHISON ............................................................... 2001 Violet Rosemary Strachan HUTTON ................................................... 2007 George Scott JOHNSTONE ................................................................ 2007 Charles KEMBALL .............................................................................. 2000 Robert Maximilian KENEDI ................................................................ 2000 John William Beaufoy KING .............................................................. 2007 Martin David KRUSKAL ...................................................................... 2008 Peter LADEFOGED ............................................................................. 2008 Eric Duncan Grant LANGMUIR .......................................................... 2006 Frank Matthews LESLIE ...................................................................... 2001 Albert George LONG ......................................................................... 2000 Reginald Douglas LORD .................................................................... 2000 David Nicoll LOWE ............................................................................. 2001 Cyril (Edward) LUCAS ........................................................................ 2006 William Hepburn Russell LUMSDEN .................................................. 2006 Charles William McCOMBIE .............................................................. 2006 William (Hunter) McCREA ................................................................. 2000 Douglas MacLean Clark MacEWAN ................................................... 2001 Ian (Alexander) McGREGOR .............................................................. 2007 John McINTYRE ................................................................................. 2008 Robert Cameron MACKENZIE ........................................................... 2001 (Alexander John) MACKENZIE-STUART of DEAN ............................... 2001 Magnus MAGNUSSON ..................................................................... 2007 William Barr MARTIN ........................................................................ 2007 John Drake MATTHEWS .................................................................... 2007 Basil Richardson Stanley MEGAW ..................................................... 2007 Hans Anton MEIDNER ....................................................................... 2007 Harry (Work) MELVILLE ....................................................................... 2006

Obituary Notices

James (Woodham) MENTER .............................................................. 2007 Christina Cruickshank MILLER ........................................................... 2006 Stewart Crichton MILLER ................................................................... 2001 Andrew Ronald MITCHELL ................................................................ 2008 Henry Gemmell MORGAN ................................................................ 2007 Alberto MORROCCO ........................................................................ 2000 Ian Robert Mackenzie MOWAT ......................................................... 2006 Walter Douglas MUNN ...................................................................... 2009 Hamish Nisbet MUNRO ..................................................................... 1996 Kashinath NANDY ............................................................................. 2000 Mary Jessie McDonald NOBLE ........................................................... 2006 Cecil Wilfred NUTT ............................................................................ 2006 John Stewart ORR ............................................................................. 2006 Alan Ernest OWEN ............................................................................ 2000 Thomas Diery PATTEN ........................................................................ 2001 Wallace Spencer PITCHER .................................................................. 2008 (Henry Alexander Hepburne-Scott) POLWARTH ................................. 2006 Guido PONTECORVO ........................................................................ 2001 Hubert Lloyd David PUGH ................................................................. 2006 John Ross RAEBURN ......................................................................... 2007 John Alan RICHARDSON ................................................................... 2006 Robert Hugh Stannus ROBERTSON ................................................... 2000 Noel Farnie ROBERTSON ................................................................... 2000 Lewis ROBERTSON ............................................................................ 2009 William Devigne RUSSELL-HUNTER .................................................... 2007 James Henderson SANG .................................................................... 2006 Sheila (Patricia Violet) SHERLOCK ...................................................... 2006 Norman Willison SIMMONDS ........................................................... 2006 David Cumming SIMPSON ................................................................ 2007 Walter Eric SPEAR .............................................................................. 2009 Thomas Stevens STEVENS .................................................................. 2006 Frederick (Henry) STEWART ................................................................ 2006 Norman TEBBLE ................................................................................. 2000 Harold James THOMAS ..................................................................... 2007 Samuel James THOMSON ................................................................. 2007 (George Morgan) THOMSON of MONIFIETH ..................................... 2009 Patrick TOLLIN ................................................................................... 2007 John Norman Stuart Buchan TWEEDSMUIR ...................................... 2000 Peter Martin Brabazon WALKER ........................................................ 2007 Robert WALMSLEY ............................................................................ 2000 Andrew Rodger WATERSTON ............................................................ 2000 Donald Elmslie Robertson WATT ....................................................... 2007

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Paul Egerton WEATHERLEY ................................................................ 2006 Geoffrey WEBB .................................................................................. 2008 Lionel Gordon WHITBY ..................................................................... 2001 Peter Albert Laing WIGHT ................................................................. 2000 Maurice Hugh Frederick WILKINS ...................................................... 2006 Alwyn WILLIAMS ............................................................................... 2006 Herbert Rees WILSON ........................................................................ 2009 Thomas WILSON ............................................................................... 2006 Peter Northcote WILSON ................................................................... 2006



STRUCTURE, GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT The RSE Council, chaired by the President, comprises twelve Trustees, including three VicePresidents, the General Secretary, the Treasurer, the Fellowship Secretary and five ordinary members. Subject to annual reelection, Council members serve for three years, except the General Secretary and Treasurer, who may serve for up to four years. All of the Trustees are unpaid. The Council is responsible for the strategic direction and policies of the RSE, and normally meets quarterly. An Executive Board has delegated responsibility from the Council for the delivery of the RSEs activities. It is chaired by the General Secretary, and also has as its members, the Treasurer, the Convenors of the main operational committees and the Curator, as well as the Chair of the RSE Scotland Foundation and senior executive staff. The Board meets quarterly and reports to the Council. The Council members and the office-bearers serving on the Executive Board are all elected annually by the Fellowship in a postal ballot. New members of Council and the Executive Board are given an extensive briefing pack and an induction to the RSE activities through discussions with the Chief Executive and senior staff. Reporting to the Council through the Executive Board are several operational committees, including the International Committee, various Research Awards Committees, the Meetings Committee and the Young Peoples Committee. These Committees largely, but not exclusively, comprise Fellows of the RSE and are concerned with the operational delivery of the RSEs activities. All Fellows are actively encouraged to participate in the RSEs activities. Two other charitable trusts founded by and closely connected to the RSE, the BP Research Fellowships Trust (the BP Trust) and the RSE Scotland Foundation (the Foundation), are included in the consolidated accounts. The Foundation plays a leading role in the RSEs public outreach activities and manages the premises in George Street. Its Trustees are appointed for three years by the RSE Council. The BP Trust was created following a donation of 2m in 1988 from BP to support a scheme of three-year postdoctoral research fellowships in specified subjects and which are awarded at the sole discretion of the RSE. The RSE President, General Secretary and Treasurer are the BP Trustees, ex officiis.


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STATEMENT OF COUNCILS RESPONSIBILITIES Under charities legislation applicable in Scotland, the Council is required to prepare accounts for each financial year which give a true and fair view of the RSEs financial activities during the year and of its financial position at the end of the year. The Council is responsible for preparing the annual report and the financial statements in accordance with applicable Law and United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (UK GAAP). In preparing accounts giving a true and fair view, the Council should follow best practice and: select suitable accounting policies and apply them consistently; make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent; state whether applicable accounting standards and statements of recommended practice have been followed, subject to any departures disclosed and explained in the accounts; prepare the accounts on a going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the RSE will continue in operation.

The Council is responsible for keeping accounting records which disclose with reasonable accuracy the financial position of the RSE and which enable it to ensure that the accounts comply with the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005, the Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 2006 and the RSEs Laws. It is also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the RSE and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities. RISK MANAGEMENT The Audit and Risk Committee, operating on a joint basis with the Foundation and the BP Trust, reports directly to Council, the Foundation and the BP Trust. Its Chair, if not an ordinary member of RSE Council, is invited to attend Council meetings as an observer. Its remit includes keeping under review the effectiveness of internal control and risk management systems in the RSE and its connected charities. The Council believes that the existing systems and the structure of decisiontaking and reporting through the staff management group, Executive Board and Council continues to provide assurance that risks are properly assessed and carefully managed.


Trustees Report and Accounts to 31 March 2008

OBJECTIVES AND ACTIVITIES Mission and Role In keeping with its Royal Charter, the mission of the RSE is to provide public benefit through the continued advancement of learning and useful knowledge. To fulfil this, it promotes learning and puts the multidisciplinary expertise of its Fellows to work for the good of Scotland and its people. Its role is to: promote and recognise excellence in, and its application to, all areas of learning be a source of independent and expert advice on matters affecting the wellbeing of Scotland and its people advance public discussion on matters of national and international importance. The difference the RSE aims to make All of the RSEs activities aim to contribute to the following public benefit outcomes: increasing the number of worldclass science and culture researchers working in Scotland increasing Scotlands research and development connections internationally improving connections between business and academia increasing the number of people in Scotland who adopt science as a career

enhancing the publics appreciation and understanding of science and culture issues informing and influencing public policy decisions Strategic Priorities The RSE seeks to make a difference through its programmes of Core Public Benefit, Fellowship and Support services. Overarching these are the following strategic priorities: developing partnerships and connections with others providing independent advice on major issues affecting public policy developing arts and humanities activities and their interface with science broadening public engagement diversifying funding sources Overview This section describes the main achievements of the RSE, the Foundation and the BP Trust, reflecting the fact that the Financial Statements are presented on a consolidated basis. The highlights in what was a successful year and which are detailed in the report include: The second stage of the development phase of the new Arts & Humanities awards leading to the award of two Research Network grants and three Research Workshop grants.

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An event to celebrate the successes over the past two decades of the BP Research Fellowship Awards attended by senior BP staff and many past recipients of the awards. A visit by Jan Figel the EU Commissioner for Education Training Culture and Youth, during which he delivered the annual EU lecture entitled Reforming Europes Universities Why and How? Significant growth in the RSEs international activities, including new agreements signed with National Academies in India and Pakistan and with the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and an increase in numbers of international exchanges. A joint event with the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC) in March 2008 on Management Science, Engineering and Public Policy, providing opportunity for academics from Scotland to interact with the Chinese visitors with the expectation of progressing collaborative research. The announcement, at a celebration event addressed by Sir Tom Hunter to mark ten years of the successful RSE/ Scottish Enterprise Fellowships scheme, of a new 4.4 m funding package for up to 60 awards.

The fifth Gannochy Innovation Award presented to Dr Andrew Mearns Spragg in October 2007 for his work in developing the potential of marine biotechnology. The Gannochy Trust has extended the funding of this prestigious award for a further three years. RSE@Arbroath. A year-long programme of wide-ranging public outreach activities was launched in February 2008 as a pilot scheme working closely with schools and the local community. A conference to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of the civil engineer Thomas Telford concluding with a summer soire at Telford College. The presentation at Telford College, by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, of the Royal Medals for the year and one of the inaugural IEEE/RSE/Wolfson, James Clerk Maxwell Awards to Dr Andrew Viterbi. Dr Irwin Jacobs received his Award on a separate occasion. Mock Trial Are our civil liberties being unduly eroded? An enthralling debate held in November 2007 chaired by Dr Magnus Linklater where Baroness Helena Kennedy QC and Lord Charles Falconer QC were joined by six leading witnesses.

Trustees Report and Accounts to 31 March 2008

The project to erect a statue of James Clerk Maxwell in George Street progressed apace and it is expected to be completed and installed in Autumn 2008. Inquiry into the Future of Scotlands Hill and Island Areas launched in May 2007, to find ways to help secure a prosperous and environmentallysustainable future for Scotlands rural areas. The financial outcome for the year was satisfactory; the consolidated financial results for the year were net incoming resources of 174,000 in a year when income was expectedto fall or remain static. The position was assisted by a positive contribution from property and investment income as well as the receipts for the James Clerk Maxwell statue. The net assets at 31 March 2008 were affected by the impact of the turbulent stock markets on investment values, but overall returns on investments remain ahead of benchmarks. Performance Monitoring The performance of the RSE and its connected charities, relative to the detailed output targets set in the Operational Plan, is reported quarterly to the Executive Board, and thereafter to RSE Council and to the Trustees of the connected bodies. The overwhelming majority (>95%) of the targets were reached or exceeded; those

that were not arose either through external factors or through not being able to secure or apply the necessary resources.Further progress was made during the year in establishing outcomes flowing from the output targets in the Operational Plan. This is being further developed during 2008/09 to ensure the measurement of short, medium and long-term outcomes is an integral part of the Societys performance monitoring systems. ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE YEAR Increasing the number of world-class science and culture researchers working in Scotland The RSEs Research Awards continued to support some of the most outstanding young scientists and innovators working in Scotland today. The benefits of their research are far-reaching, with work in areas such as healthcare, IT, electronics, engineering, arts and humanities, and improving the quality of life of our ageing population. All are playing their part in advancing the social and economic well-being of Scotland. It is only through valuable partnerships with key bodies such as BP, the Caledonian Research Foundation, the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland and the Scottish Government that we are able to provide these awards. To each of these partners, we offer our sincere thanks for their continuing support.

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The year started with a very successful event, on 13 April 2007, to celebrate the success of the BP Trust Research Fellowships. This event also provided an opportunity for senior BP staff, including its then Chief Executive, Lord Browne, to hear more about the research the BP Research Fellows, past and present, were working on and what they had achieved. The RSE/BP Trust Research Fellowships were established in 1988, when British Petroleum generously provided an endowment of 2 million. Since then, 30 BP Research Fellowships have been awarded by the RSE, across a range of subject areas agreed with BP. Many past and present BP Research Fellows attended this event, giving them the opportunity to highlight to BP the significant impact and importance the Fellowships have had on their careers. The event included an overview of the scheme by Professor Peter Holmes with a response from Lord Browne, followed by presentations from Professor Miles Padgett, FRSE, and Professor Roger Watt, FRSE, both former BP Research Fellows. Each year the RSE holds a Reception, for an invited audience, including funders and policy makers, to announce the Research Awards. In 2007 it was held at the RSE and combined the announcement of the 2007 Awards with

the opportunity for Fellows and researchers to meet and discuss the research currently being funded over poster presentations. The following awards were made during 20072008: two BP Personal Research Fellowships three Scottish Government Personal Research Fellowships three Scottish Government Support Fellowships one Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland PhD Studentship one Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland Personal Research Fellowship one Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland Support Research Fellowship one Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland Research Workshop eight CRF European Visiting Research Fellowships in Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences three Arts & Humanities Research Workshops two Arts & Humanities Research Networks Cormack Prizes: one Undergraduate Prize, one Postgraduate Prize and six Vacation Research Scholarships, plus one Piazzi Smyth Vacation Scholarship Four Lessells Travel Scholarships Evaluation training and communication skills training are also now being provided for the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland Research

Trustees Report and Accounts to 31 March 2008

Fellows and Students. In addition the RSE organised a successful Workshop as part of the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland Annual Forum: this year Professor John Speakman, Dr Linda Ferrington and Mr Charles Duffy gave presentations about their research work and answered questions from the audience. Poster presentations were provided by some Personal Research Fellows and Students. Following the success of the Societys pilot scheme in Arts and Humanities in 2007, the development phase of this new scheme was progressed with funding from the RSE Development Fund to include the introduction of Research Networks. The programme of Research Networks is designed to create and/or to consolidate collaborative partnerships over a two-year period. Partnerships are defined in a range of ways, and may involve collaboration between colleagues in different disciplines (which may extend into areas beyond the arts and humanities), in different HEIs, and/or in HEIs and Scottish Cultural Institutions. Two Network awards were made in early 2008, along with three Workshop awards. The Society plans to continue the development of this award scheme by providing small research grants in 2008/09. The Royal Medals of the Royal Society of Edinburgh are its most

prestigious award recognising research excellence and scholarship. The 2007 medals were awarded to Sir Thomas McKillop, for his outstanding contribution to business and public service in Scotland and internationally, particularly in the fields of biotechnology and finance; to Professor John Laver CBE for his outstanding contributions to the Humanities and Social Sciences, particularly in the field of phonetics, and his inspired academic leadership; and, to Professor Sir David Carter, for his outstanding contribution to Life Sciences as a Surgeon, a clinical academic and a leader in the field both nationally and internationally. Increasing Scotlands research and development connections internationally The RSEs International Programme has once again developed and expanded. New agreements to facilitate research collaboration were signed with the National Natural Science Foundation of China in July, the Pakistan Academy of Sciences in November and the Indian National Science Academy in December. Discussions also took place on a number of other agreements due to be signed during 2008/09. The International Exchange Programme continued to be very successful. Visits totalling 97 person-weeks took place through

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the RSEs Bilateral Programme, run with sister academies in India, Pakistan, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Taiwan (an increase from 69.5 personweeks in the previous year). Interest in the Open Programme remained high; visits totalling 139 person-weeks took place, with visits to and from Australia, Belarus, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the USA. During the year the RSE also ran the second round of its Joint Project scheme with the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC), which facilitates international collaboration between researchers based in Scotland and China over a twoyear period. Interest in this scheme increased significantly, and the RSE was pleased to have been able to make five awards, to researchers based at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, the University of Edinburgh, HeriotWatt University and two research groups at the University of Aberdeen. In order to promote the RSEs international activities and funding schemes, promotion workshops were held in HEIs around Scotland. These have provided an opportunity for academics, researchers and

administrative staff to discover more about the RSEs funding schemes, and as a result there has been an increase in enquiries and applications for them. The RSE was also involved in several other high-profile international events, including: A joint event with the NNSFC on Management Science, Engineering and Public Policy. The NNSFC brought a delegation to Scotland comprising eight senior academics and three NNSFC staff members to explore opportunities for research cooperation. The two-day workshop gave opportunities to colleagues from Scotland to interact with the Chinese visitors and to identify areas of mutual interest with the expectation of progressing collaborative research. The event was attended by Fiona Hyslop MSP, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning. Annual EU lecture, given this year by Jan Figel, Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, on the subject of Reforming Europes Universities Why and How? An important reception to tie in with a conference at St Andrews University. The Conference brought together Scottish academics and ViceChancellors of five Pakistan

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universities to discuss academic capacity building. The reception was an opportunity for Scottish-based academics to meet with their Pakistan-based counterparts and discuss possible areas for collaboration. Improving connections between business and academia The Enterprise Fellowship schemes run by the RSE are designed to foster commercialisation of technology-based ideas from academic institutions into spinout companies. This activity helps create sustainable companies with high-value jobs and contributes to the Scottish economy in the medium term. The RSE administers three Enterprise Fellowship Schemes, funded separately by Scottish Enterprise (SE), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC, formerly PPARC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). Following a very positive independent review of the Scottish Enterprise Fellowships programme, by Ernst & Young, the Board of Scottish Enterprise agreed to provide 4.4m to fund the programme for another five years, making a total of sixty new Fellowships available. An event to celebrate ten years of the SE Enterprise Fellowships and to launch Phase III of the programme was held in the Mitchell Library, Glasgow, on 19 March 2008. The

keynote speaker was Sir Tom Hunter who encouraged the Enterprise Fellows present by telling them Scotland needs you! An exhibition of nineteen photographs of Enterprise Fellows, commissioned by Scottish Enterprise, ran throughout the evening. The Research Council schemes operate on a UK-wide basis. The BBSRC scheme attracted an encouraging number of applications and following a rigorous selection process, four BBSRC Enterprise Fellows took up post in October 2007. One STFC Enterprise Fellowship was awarded to start in October 2008. The Gannochy Trust Innovation Award of the Royal Society of Edinburgh is Scotlands highest accolade for individual achievement in innovation. It was created in 2003, in partnership with the Gannochy Trust, to encourage and reward Scotlands young innovators for work that benefits Scotlands well-being. The purpose of the award is to encourage younger people to pursue careers in fields of research that promote Scotlands inventiveness internationally, and to recognise outstanding individual achievement that contributes to the common good of Scotland. In 2007 the award was presented to Dr Andrew Mearns Spragg of Aquapharm Bio-discovery Ltd,

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Oban, for his innovative development of antibiotics, from marine micro-organisms, to target chronic multi-drug-resistant infections, including MRSA. The award was presented to Dr Mearns Spragg by Sir Michael Atiyah PRSE at the Royal Museum of Scotland in October 2007. The Gannochy Trust has confirmed its commitment to continue to fund the award for a further three years and the RSE is extremely grateful for this continuing support. The 2007 IEEE / RSE / Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award was given jointly to Dr Irwin Jacobs and Dr Andrew Viterbi, cofounders of Qualcomm Incorporated for fundamental contributions, innovation and leadership, that enabled the growth of wireless communications. Dr Viterbi was presented with his award at the Fellows Summer Soire at Telford College in July 2007. Dr Jacobs received his Award prior to his lecture following the RSEs Annual Statutory Meeting. Increasing the number of people in Scotland who adopt science as a career The Young Peoples Programme covered the length and breadth of Scotland with: 20 RSE@Schools Lectures. Lecturers visited schools throughout Scotland, from Dumfries to the Highlands, and covered diverse topics, including

forensic science, astronomy, genetics, physics, biology, the chemistry used in common medicines and the science behind computers. Ten RSE Maths Masterclasses. Maths Masterclasses involve Saturday morning games and puzzles for P6/7 students to encourage an interest in mathematics. This year the classes were held in the spring term in partnership with Professor Jack and Teresa Carr, Aberdeen City Council and the University of Dundee. Five School Energy Talks/ Debates. These talks/ discussions took place in the Spring term led by Dr. Malcolm Kennedy, Professor Maxwell Irvine and Professor Roger Crofts. S5 and S6 students debated and discussed the following topics: energy sources, energy efficiency and the role of Government and the public. Primary School Resource. A primary school resource which included a series of activities celebrating Thomas Telford was produced for pupils and teachers and distributed to Primary schools in support of the Thomas Telford conference held in July 2007. Two week-long Science, Engineering and Technology Summer Schools. These took place in July and August 2007

Trustees Report and Accounts to 31 March 2008

in partnership with Heriot-Watt University and give Highers students a hands-on insight into university life. 51 RSE Startup Science Masterclasses. The Startup Science Masterclasses take place on Saturday mornings in the form of workshops for S1/S2 students and emphasise the role of science, engineering and technology in society. These workshops ran in partnership with Dundee, St Andrews, Aberdeen, Glasgow and HeriotWatt Universities in Spring 2007, Autumn 2007 and Spring 2008. Secondary School Resource. A secondary school resource Tall Tales about the Mind and Brain was produced and distributed to all participating secondary schools as part of the Tall Tales conference which took place in September 2007. The Annual Inspiration Awards. In October 2007, Professor Anthony Busuttil, Dr Bruce Davies, Mr Bob Kibble, Dr Val Mann and Dr Susan Armstrong were given prizes as part of the Annual Inspiration Awards ceremony recognising their contributions to the RSEs education outreach programme. Science Inside Computers. 13,380 computer career brochures were distributed to all Secondary Schools in

Scotland by the RSE in conjunction with Glasgow University in November 2007. RSE Roadshows. The Autumn Roadshow took place in Falkirk in November 2007 and the Spring Roadshow in Arbroath in February 2008. The two-day events included a variety of bridge building, maths and whats in a name? workshops for primary school pupils; a forensic science workshop and talks for secondary school students and a physics talk Does God play Dice? by Professor Miles Padgett for the wider community. The Christmas Lecture. The 2007 RSE Christmas Lecture was given by Johnny Ball, broadcaster and author, and took place at the University of Edinburgh on 17 December and the University of Glasgow on 18 December. The lecture was entitled Wobbling on the Shoulders of Giants and was presented during the day to local school students and to the general public on the evening of 17 December, in Edinburgh. RSE@Arbroath. The RSE@Arbroath 2008 year-long programme of outreach activities was launched in February 2008 and the first theme entitled Identity and the People of Arbroath included the Spring Roadshow and two evening lectures for the general public.

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This is a pilot venture in which the RSE is focusing on one geographical area, beyond the central belt. Working collaboratively, key organisations in and around the town are teaming up to celebrate and explore the achievements and cultural diversity of Arbroath. The activities are being delivered by drawing upon a combination of local and outside expertise, including RSE Fellows, Arbroath Primary and Secondary schools, Angus College, youth and drama groups, businesses, the local Council and the tourist board. The opportunity for the RSE to join forces with these community organisations arose from the enthusiastic reception that visiting RSE Speaker, Professor Sue Black OBE, FRSE received when she gave talks in Arbroath Academy on Identity, and Forensic Anthropology in 2004. RSE@Arbroath encompasses the arts and humanities, as well as science and technology-based subjects. The programme will culminate with the RSE Christmas Lecture in December 2008, to be given by Professor Anne Glover FRSE, the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Scottish Government, who also hails from Arbroath.

Enhancing the publics appreciation and understanding of science and culture issues Communications The RSE website was updated regularly and provided information for Fellows and the public. Details of all the activities supported by the RSE were posted on the site, as were reports from events and press releases. The majority of application forms for Research Awards and Exchange Fellowships submitted can be downloaded from the site and lecture tickets are increasingly being processed online. Media briefings and press releases were provided for all major events and launches and there was appreciable media coverage of many of the significant activities in the RSE programme. Several events were web-cast during the year; some were available to view live and all can now be viewed from the RSE website. Four issues of ReSourcE, the RSE newsletter were published and distributed to the Fellowship and around 2,000 others, including business leaders, journalists, research institutes, schools, MPs, MSPs and interested individuals. Fellows also received a monthly ebulletin, which enabled them to keep up to date with and, if appropriate, further disseminate information on the RSE and its work.


Trustees Report and Accounts to 31 March 2008

The sixth issue of Science Scotland (on Imaging) was published in June 2007. Science Scotland aims to promote the excellence of Scottish research, particularly to an overseas audience and this edition was translated into Chinese. The English and Chinese versions have been widely distributed and both are available on the RSE web site. Two more editions are currently being planned, one on Advances in Electronics and the other with a focus on Life Sciences. Journals The RSE continues its long tradition of publishing with its two journals, Transactions: Earth and Environmental Sciences and Proceedings A: Mathematics, which are published on behalf of the RSE by the Foundation. In 2007, Transactions was re-titled Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and re-launched, with a broader remit and a modern full-colour cover design. Copies of the journals are sent to over 300 University libraries, academies and institutions world wide, as part of the Societys longstanding exchange programme. The journals are highly regarded by academics as publication vehicles for their research, and they both maintained a respectably high impact factor in

comparison with similar journals in their fields. Cambridge University Press now handles the subscription fulfilment, distribution and marketing for both journals.Six issues of Proceedings A were published during the 2007/08 financial year on a regular bi-monthly schedule issues 137.2 to 138.1 inclusive. Three issues of Transactions were published Part 3 of volume 97 and Parts 1 and 2 of volume 98. Issue 98.1 was a Special Issue of invited papers entitled Holocene Environmental Change Lessons from Small Oceanic Islands chosen specifically to reflect the environmental theme. In addition, three further issues (one single and one double) were in press by the end of the financial year. The first of these, a Special Issue entitled Plutons and Batholiths (issue 97.4, comprising 15 papers) is a Memorial volume to the late Wallace Pitcher, a distinguished granite geologist and Honorary FRSE. The Special Issue entitled Brachiopod Research into the Third Millennium (issue 98.3/4, comprising 23 papers) is dedicated to the late Sir Alwyn Williams, distinguished palaeontologist and Past President of the RSE.


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Events The Events Team delivered a wide range of public events:Twenty-five public lectures were held, amongst which were: Optos: The Design Challenges and Business Tribulations by Mr Douglas Anderson, Executive Director, Optos plc (RAE/RSE Joint Lecture) Gannochy Trust Innovation Award Prize Lecture New Antibiotics from the Sea Bed to the Hospital Bed, by Dr Andrew Mearns Spragg, CEO, Aquapharm Bio-Discovery Ltd The Commandos from Arbroath. Famous Campaigns, by Captain Air and L.Cpl. A.J. Hare James Scott Prize Lecture Security, Insecurity, Paranoia and Quantum Mechanics, by Professor Stephen Barnett FRS FRSE, Professor of Quantum Optics, Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde IEEE/RSE/Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award lecture Reflections on the amazing and Ubiquitous Cellphone, by Dr Irwin Jacobs, Chairman, Qualcomm Tall Tales about the Mind and Brain, by Professor Michael C Corballis, Department of Psychology, University of Auckland and Professor James Alcock, Department of Psychology, University of York, Toronto

Henry Duncan Prize Lecture The Highlands: Scotlands Great Success Story, by Professor James Hunter CBE FRSE, Director, UHI Centre for History Architecture in Nano-Space, by Professor Sir Harry Kroto FRS HonFRSE, Royal Society Research Professor, School of Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Science, University of Sussex Caledonian Research Foundation Prize Lecture Can Information be Private?, By Baroness Onora ONeill of Bengarve, President, The British Academy The Unpredictability of Science and Its Consequences, by Sir John Meurig Thomas FRS HonFREng HonFRSE, Honorary Professor, Department of Materials Science, University of Cambridge and former Director, Royal Institution of Great Britain Several full proceedings have been published and are available in hard copy from the RSE, or on the RSE website. In addition, recordings and written summaries of most lectures are available on the web. The RSE lecture as part of the sixteenth series of The Edinburgh Lectures 2007/08 was on the theme of Inspiring People Changing Landscapes: Changing Planet. This was presented by The Royal Society of Edinburgh in association with the

Trustees Report and Accounts to 31 March 2008

Edinburgh Lectures Partnership, Careers Scotland and the Association of Space Explorers. The speakers were two Russian cosmonauts, Sergei Avdeev and Viktor Savinykh and Dr Jay Apt, a NASA astronaut. Four public discussion forums were held on: Global Horizons for UK Universities National Cultural Flagships: Music and Opera (the first in a series of seminars exploring what it takes to be a National cultural flagship) Speakers included: Mr Jonathan Mills, Festival Director and Chief Executive, Edinburgh International Festival and Mr Roy McEwan, Managing Director, Scottish Chamber Orchestra Mock Trial Are our Civil Liberties Being Unduly Eroded? Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Lord Charles Falconer QC and Magnus Linklater were joined by six leading witnesses The Ageing Population Part of the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland Annual Forum These all met with an encouraging response, with numbers attending being over target in most cases. Five public conferences were held: Caledonian Research Foundation Biomedical Conference Inflammation and Inflammatory Disease

Tall Tales about the Mind and Brain The 250th Anniversary of the Birth of Thomas Telford Union of 1707 Energy for Scotland: is there a consensus? Full reports of these conferences were published. In addition there were events primarily for Fellows, and these included the New Fellows Admission Ceremony and induction in May 2007; the Fellows Summer Reception in July 2007 and the Annual Statutory Meeting in October 2007. Informing and influencing public policy decisions In May 2007, the RSE launched an Inquiry into the Future of Scotlands Hill and Island Areas, to find ways to help secure a prosperous and environmentallysustainable future for Scotlands rural areas, especially the more economically-fragile communities. The Inquiry Report will make recommendations that seek to respond not only to threats posed by changes in agricultural support as a result of present and anticipated reform to the Common Agricultural Policy, but also to the opportunities for expansion in other parts of the economy, such as tourism and forestry, and measures to safeguard the environment. Over the course of the year, the Inquiry Committee,

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which is chaired by Professor Gavin McCrone, received 80 pieces of written evidence, and heard oral evidence from 25 organisations at the RSE, and from numerous stakeholders across the country during its visits to Islay, Mull, Skye, Selkirk, Dumfries, Inverness, the Western Isles, Orkney, Shetland and Aberdeenshire. The Inquiry is expected to report in late Summer 2008. We are grateful to the following organisations for their support for this work: Argyll and Bute Council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Highland Council, Lisbet Rausing Trust, MacRobert Trust, Orkney Islands Council, Perth and Kinross Council, Robertson Trust, Royal Highland and Agricultural Society Scotland, Scottish Enterprise Rural Group, Scottish Estates Business Group, Shetland Islands Council, Scottish Forestry Trust, South of Scotland Alliance, UPM Tilhill. In September 2007, the RSE published a Report from its Working Party on Avian Influenza, providing an assessment of the threat to Scotland. The report concluded that Avian Influenza viruses posed a significant threat to the poultry industry, but that the risk of a new human pandemic strain of virus evolving in Scotland or elsewhere in the UK was remote. The Reports 11 recommendations highlighted the

need for an improved wild bird surveillance programme for the presence of avian influenza viruses; the provision of biosecurity information to the poultry industry; and the use of vaccines in the prevention and control of avian influenza. Using the expertise of its Fellows, the RSE responded to various consultations and submitted evidence and advice to 11 parties, including the Scottish Parliament Rural Affairs and Environment Committees Inquiry on Flooding and Flood Management, The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee Inquiry into the Economic Impact of Immigration, and The House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committees Inquiry into Renewable Energy-Generation Technologies. These submissions are available on the RSE website. Most of these responses were carried out using small expert working groups. During the year the RSE and The Royal Society of Chemistry jointly appointed their first Scottishbased Parliamentary Liaison Officer, Bristow Muldoon. The post has been created to make it easier for MSPs and Researchers of all parties to tap into the wideranging knowledge and expertise both organisations offer. The Society encouraged the establishment of a Cross-Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on Science and Technology to stimulate

Trustees Report and Accounts to 31 March 2008

debate amongst MSPs on current issues of relevance and interest to policy makers. Formally recognised by the Parliament, the group elected Dr Elaine Murray MSP and Dr Bill Wilson MSP as Co-conveners. All political parties in the Parliament are represented, and a broad range of organisations with an interest in science have expressed an interest in supporting the group. The first main meeting took place in May 2008 on the topic of carbon capture and storage. THE FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMME The RSEs Fellowship includes men and women from all parts of Scotland, the UK and overseas, and encompasses the full range of disciplines, including science, engineering, social sciences, arts, humanities, law, education, business and industry. On March 3 2008, the RSE announced the election of four new Honorary Fellows, six new Corresponding Fellows and 55 new Ordinary Fellows. This followed the scrutiny in 2007 of 168 candidates through a four-stage committee process, culminating in the postal ballot in December to the entire Fellowship. The addition of new Fellows in 2008 brought the numbers in the Fellowship up to 1,500 69 Honorary Fellows; 47 Corresponding Fellows and 1,384 Ordinary Fellows. The discipline balance of the Fellowship is broadly repre375

sented by four cognate sectors. In the Ordinary Fellowship the current balance of these sectors is 35.9% ( A-Life Sciences), 37.1% (B-Physical Sciences, Maths and Informatic Sciences), 19.2% (CSocial Sciences, Arts and Humanities) and 7.8% (DEconomics, Business and Industry). This again represents a slight increase from last year in the representation of those from the latter two groups. The RSE hosted its annual Induction Day for the new Fellows. This provided an opportunity for them to meet with members of Council, the Executive Board and RSE staff, and to be formally admitted to the Society. One Honorary Fellow, three Corresponding Fellows and 49 Ordinary Fellows attended.The nomination and selection process for Fellowship is refined every year, and this year a major review of procedures was carried out. As a result, an additional Sectional committee in Sector D and changes to Sector C have been implemented for the 20082009 election cycle. RSE SCOTLAND FOUNDATION In addition to the publication of journals, the Foundation has been successfully facilitating the dissemination of useful knowledge through letting of the conference facilities in George Street. Gross income from this activity was higher than the previous year, through an increase

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in numbers of lettings and increased recovery of costs incurred. The Foundation is also responsible for letting surplus space to tenants; rooms are occupied by Universities Scotland, the Institute of Conservation (ICON) and Lakeland Ltd. The income generated from this supports public benefit programmes. On 1 January 2008, the Scottish Bioinformatics Forum (SBF) began operating under the governance of the Foundation. Two members of SBF staff joined the RSE on secondment from the University of Edinburgh and are based in George Street, where they continue to deliver the Forums work which initially began in 2006. The SBF is funded through the Scottish Bioinformatics Research Network and its aim is to enhance knowledge and understanding of bioinformatics technology in both the informatics and life sciences communities. This new activity for the Foundation further enables it to meet its primary charitable purpose of advancing science, engineering and technology. The Foundation has also continued to facilitate the construction and installation of the statue of James Clerk Maxwell commissioned from Alexander Stoddart, in a project championed by the RSE President Sir Michael Atiyah. Funds raised have been passed to the Foundation to disburse. The

project is progressing well, with the final plaster model now ready to be cast in Bronze, and its installation in George Street in Autumn 2008 is eagerly awaited. BP RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS TRUST The RSEs relationship with BP was reinforced following the BP Fellowships Reception in April 2007. Mr David Campbell, Technical Director at BP in Dyce, Aberdeen, has become the new BP Observer on the Selection Committee and the BP Trust is grateful for his commitment and support The Trust awarded two BP Fellowships in 2007/08 because the quality of applicants was exceptionally high. FUTURE PLANS Plans for 200809 have been developed in the context of the Strategic Framework covering 20072012. The RSE continues to aim to make a difference and all of its activities are planned with a view to contributing to its public benefit outcomes. The Operational Programmes for 2008/09 will continue to be: Core Public Benefits, the Fellowship and Support Services. NEW PRESIDENT In March 2008 it was announced that the next RSE President will be Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, Governor of Hong Kong from 1987 to 1992. He will take over as Presi-

Trustees Report and Accounts to 31 March 2008

dent when Sir Michael Atiyah demits office in October 2008. Lord Wilson has been a Fellow of the RSE since 2000 and served on Council in 20002001 and 2002 2004. He was Convenor of the International Committee from 2001 to 2002. FINANCIAL REVIEW AND POLICIES Investment powers and policy The management of the investment funds of the RSE and the BP Research Fellowships Trust is carried out by Speirs & Jeffrey & Co on a discretionary basis. The objectives set by the Council are first to ensure a sufficient level of income to meet the target set annually by the Council and thereafter to invest for capital growth. The Council has delegated the detailed monitoring of performance to an Investment Committee, which includes at least one ordinary member of Council, and which makes comparisons against a composite benchmark reflecting the mix of assets held and the WM Charities Income Constrained Index. The income targets for both portfolios were exceeded and the total return values for each part of the portfolio exceeded the benchmark by 3.8% (RSE) and 2.7% (BP Research Fellowships Trust).The Investment Committee meets twice annually with the investment managers to discuss

their compliance with the constraints set by the Committee and risk environment. In the year under review no compliance issues arose which required to be reported to the Committee. Operating policies grant making The RSE makes grants to individuals in higher education institutions in support of research activities in the categories of postdoctoral Research Fellowships, Support Research Fellowships, Post-graduate Studentships, undergraduate Vacation Scholarships, Enterprise Fellowships and international exchange grants. Each of these categories is specifically funded from various sources, including the RSEs restricted funds. The basis of eligibility and selection varies according to the detailed scheme regulations, which are published on the RSEs website ( Grants are also made in support of research activities of Fellows of the RSE, including support for travel connected with research or scholarship, small scale specialist meetings, to assist research visitors to Scotland to undertake collaborative research work with a Fellow, to assist a visiting lecturer to come to Scotland, to assist research collaboration between two institutions in Scotland or between universities and industry and to assist in the publication of

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books written by Fellows. These grants are funded by the RSEs designated Grants Fund. The Grants Committee is responsible for making awards in accordance with the detailed rules set out by the Council of the RSE for the disbursement of the Grants Fund.Reserves policy and fundsThe RSE holds a number of restricted funds resulting from bequests for particular purposes, details of which are set out in note 2 to the financial statements. The Council has created designated funds, from its unrestricted funds, the purposes of which are also set out in note 2 to the financial statements. The General Fund represents the balance of unrestricted funds arising from past operations.The Council has examined the requirement to hold unrestricted funds, and concluded that, whilst the present level of reserves gives adequate working capital for core costs, it would be desirable to have a General Fund reserve in the range of six months expenditure on central costs. The Council has also reviewed the purposes and amounts of each of the designated funds and concluded that in future the designated funds should comprise allocations for specific purposes of those sums that had been donated, rather than generated from past surpluses, together with the Capital Asset Reserve. Accordingly, the year end balances of the Building Maintenance Fund and the Staff

Restructuring Fund have been transferred to the unrestricted General Fund. Result for the year The consolidated net incoming resources were a surplus of 174,000, of which monies raised, net of costs paid, towards the statue of James Clerk Maxwell comprised 119,000. As well as this specific project, this result is after charging 53,000 of expenditure in relation to restricted purpose income received in 2006 2007 in advance of carrying out the activities for which the income was provided. SORP 2005 requires that such income be recognised as received and placed in a fund against which the future costs are set. The net movement in funds for the year after including gains on investments, and FRS 17 pension movements was 55,000 overall. This reflects the positive FRS17 adjustment of 217,000 offset by decreases in the value of the investment portfolio of 335,000, of which 4,000 was realised as a result of sales in the year. Income and Expenditure Total incoming resources Total incoming resources of 3.5m have decreased by 3.76% or 0.137m from last year. This comprises increases in voluntary income and investment income offset by a decrease in income for charitable activities. In total the

Trustees Report and Accounts to 31 March 2008

figure is equal to that received last year after adjusting for the effect of legacies received. Voluntary income (note 4), which includes grants, has increased mainly as a result of the receipts for the James Clerk Maxwell statue.Subscription income from Fellows, including generous support from voluntary contributions, and associated Gift Aid tax recovery, increased by 4.5% (8,000).Investment income (note 4) comprises dividend income and interest received on cash, both of which were ahead of target. The majority of these assets are held in the designated and restricted income funds.Incoming resources from charitable activities (note 5) fell by14% or 316,000. This reflects a fall in income of 232,000 due to the completion of phase II of the Enterprise Fellowships scheme, and the cessation, in late 2006, of the grant for the Scottish Science Advisory Committee This was partly offset by new funding streams such as the sponsorship of the IEEE/RSE/Wolfson, James Clerk Maxwell award and donations for the Hills and Islands Inquiry. Resources expended Total resources expended have decreased by 2% (0.06m) from last year. This includes the unmatched expenditure of 53,000 in relation to restricted income brought forward. Cost of generating funds (note 6) includes the cost of the Fellowship office, the

costs of building management in respect of income from letting of surplus space, as well as fundraising costs, both direct and management time in securing funding, such as the new contract for Enterprise Fellowships.Overall, expenditure on charitable activities has decreased by 75,000 (2.5%). Grants payable have remained stable at 1.7m. Within this sum there was an increase of 15% in the expenditure in support of promotion of research offset by a 40% fall in the support of innovation through Enterprise Fellowships. The expenditure on the international programme has increased by 12%, including expenditure of 38,000 of restricted income brought forward. The programmes for promotion of science as a career and enhancement of public appreciation of science and culture have remained broadly stable. Expenditure on influencing public policy has fallen sharply as a result of the changes made to the Scottish Science Advisory Committee.Governance costs, which have remained at a similar level to previuos years, represent 4.5% of total income. As a result of the review of reserves policy, there are transfers between funds shown in the Statement of Financial Activities to return the year end balances of the Building Maintenance Fund, the Staff Restructuring Fund, the Development Appeal Fund and the

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Programme Fund to the General Fund. There is also the recurring transfer from the Capital Asset Reserve of a total of 101,000 to match the depreciation of buildings and the capital repayment of the loan to the Foundation; and a transfer on consolidation from the Foundation restricted fund balance to the General Fund equivalent to the net inter-entity income received in the RSE. Balance sheet Consolidated net assets show a slight increase, being up 0.4% overall to a total of 11.87m; the major reasons being a 5% decrease in the the investment portfolio reflecting unrealised losses of 331,000, and a 217,000 increase in the FRS17 pensions adjustment, increasing the previously reported asset to 292,000. Net current assets increased by 19% to 1,759,000, comprising mainly cash generated, reduced by an increase in creditors relating mainly to deferred income for Journals and the Hills and Islands Inquiry. Of the total cash balance, 700,000 (2007 663,000) relates to restricted funds. Conclusion and future prospects The RSE continues to work to strengthen its financial base. As well as the achievements in 2007/ 08 of securing additional ongoing funding for Enterprise Fellowships and the Gannochy Innovation

Award, there was success in the Government Spending Review, where the RSE was awarded funding to support the implementation of the recommendations of the review of Research Fellowships carried out in 200506 by Sir John Enderby. This will have a significant impact on income and expenditure over the three years of the Spending Review, with expenditure in this area expected to rise from 0.7m in 200708 to 2m in 200809. As part of the strategy of diversifying funding sources, steps have been taken in 200809 to put in place resources to develop innovative programmes which will contribute to our public benefit outcomes and attract funding from public, private or charitable sources. These steps include the new appointment of a Director of Business Development. This may take some time to have its full effect but it is expected that some impact will be seen in the current year. Signed on behalf of the Council

Edward Cunningham CBE Treasurer 1 September 2008


Independent auditors report to the Council of the Royal Society of Edinburgh This report is issued in respect of an audit carried out under section 44(1)(c) of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005. We have audited the financial statements of The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) for the year ended 31 March 2008 which comprise the group statement of financial activities, the charity statement of financial activities, the group balance sheet, the charity balance sheet, the cashflow statement and the related notes. These financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the accounting policies set out therein. This report is made solely to the charitys trustees, as a body, in accordance with section 44 (1)(c) of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 and regulation 10 of the Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 2006 and the Laws of the RSE. Our audit work has been undertaken so that we might state to the charitys trustees those matters we are required to state to them in an auditors report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the charity and its trustees as a body, for our audit work, for this report, or for the opinions we have formed.

Respective responsibilities of trustees and auditors The responsibilities of the trustees for preparing the Annual Report and the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice are set out in the Statement of Trustees Responsibilities. Our responsibility is to audit the financial statements in accordance with relevant legal and regulatory requirements and International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland). We report to you our opinion as to whether the financial statements give a true and fair view and are properly prepared in accordance with the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 and regulation 8 of the Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 2006. We also report to you if, in our opinion, the information given in the Trustees Annual Report is consistent with the financial statements, if the charity has not kept proper accounting records, or if we have not received all the information and explanations we require for our audit. We read the Trustees Annual Report and consider the implications for our report if we become aware of any apparent misstatements within it.

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Basis of audit opinion We conducted our audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) issued by the Auditing Practices Board. An audit includes examination, on a test basis, of evidence relevant to the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. It also includes an assessment of the significant estimates and judgments made by the trustees in the preparation of the financial statements and of whether the accounting policies are appropriate to the charitys circumstances, consistently applied and adequately disclosed. We planned and performed our audit so as to obtain all the information and explanations which we considered necessary in order to provide us with sufficient evidence to give reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatement, whether caused by fraud or other irregularity or error. In forming our opinion we also evaluated the overall adequacy of the presentation of information in the financial statements.

Opinion In our opinion the financial statements: give a true and fair view of the state of the groups and the charitys affairs as at 31 March 2008 and of its incoming resources and application of resources for the year then ended; have been properly prepared in accordance with the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005, regulation 8 of the Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 2006, the Laws of the RSE and UK Generally Accepted Accounting Practice; the information given in the Trustees Annual Report is consistent with the financial statements. Henderson Loggie Registered auditors (Eligible to act as an auditor in terms of section 25 of the Companies Act 1989). September, 2008


Group statement of nancial activities (incorporating the income & expenditure account) for year ended 31 March 2008


General Fund

Designated Funds

Restricted income

Restricted funds

2008 Total

2007 Total

Income Voluntary income Activities for generating income Investment income 4 4 4 651,943 68,969 9,368 79,495 211,700 58,047 241,652 245,197 931,058 241,652 393,661 845,466 208,329 333,128

Incoming resources from generated funds Incoming resources from charitable activities Total incoming resources 5

720,912 168,446 889,358

88,863 88,863

211,700 1,506,205 1,717,905

544,896 261,101 805,997

1,566,371 1,935,752 3,502,123

1,386,923 2,252,077 3,639,000

Expenditure Cost of generating funds Charitable activities Governance Total resources expended 6 6 6 (150,002) (795,932) (130,540) (1,076,474) (9,523) (61,308) (70,831) (1,651,724) (1,651,724) (61,476) (27,828) (221,001) (158,368) (207,040) (161,547) (439,442) (2,948,406) (3,024,356)

(528,746) (3,327,775) (3,392,943)

Net incoming resources before transfers Transfers between funds Other recognised gains/(losses) Gains/(losses) on investment assets Realised gains/(losses) Unrealised gains/(losses) Actuarial gains on Lothian Pension Fund

(187,116) 455,363

18,032 (362,813)


277,251 (92,550)



(160) (6,051)

(1,634) (61,615)

(2,729) (263,895)

(4,523) (331,561)

98,448 116,878




Net movement in funds Balance brought forward at 1 April 2007 Balance carried forward at 31 March 2008










5,241,978 11,814,538 11,211,155




5,160,055 11,869,802 11,814,538


The Royal Society of Edinburgh

Group balance sheet at 31 March 2008






Fixed assets Tangible xed assets Fixed asset investments Investments at market value 16 6,103,053 10,170,611 Current assets Debtors Cash at bank and in hand Money Market deposits Designated funds Money Market deposits Restricted funds Money Market deposits General funds 17 217,956 353,670 700,163 941,516 2,213,305 Current liabilities Creditors: amounts falling due within one year 18 (453,837) (354,345) 177,465 445,409 262,236 663,850 273,914 1,822,874 6,439,309 10,600,922 15 4,067,558 4,161,613

Net current assets Total assets less current liabilities Provision for liabilities and charges Net assets excluding pension fund Lothian Pension Fund Dened Benet Scheme asset Net assets after pension fund asset Funds General Fund Add: Pension reserve 20 Designated Funds Restricted Funds Total funds 21 22 19

1,759,468 11,930,079 (352,277) 11,577,802

1,468,529 12,069,451 (303,913) 11,765,538


292,000 11,869,802

49,000 11,814,538

794,155 292,000 1,086,155 5,504,310 5,279,337 11,869,802

558,119 49,000 607,119 5,912,340 5,295,079 11,814,538

The accounts were approved by the Council on 1 September 2008 and signed on its behalf by: Edward Cunningham, CBE Treasurer


Trustees Report and Accounts to 31 March 2008

RSE balance sheet at 31 March 2008






Fixed assets Tangible xed assets Fixed asset investments Investments at market value Loan to RSE Scotland Foundation 15 16(a) 16(b) 2,264,526 3,090,776 1,844,328 7,199,630 Current assets Debtors Cash at bank and in hand Money Market deposits Designated funds Money Market deposits Restricted funds Money Market deposits General funds 17 101,029 202,623 700,163 941,516 1,945,331 60,541 380,941 262,236 663,850 273,914 1,641,482 2,311,210 3,233,323 1,891,136 7,435,669

Current liabilities Creditors: amounts falling due within one year Net current assets Total assets less current liabilities Provision for liabilities and charges Net assets excluding pension fund Lothian Pension Fund dened benet scheme asset Net assets after pension fund asset Funds General Fund Add: Pension reserve 20 Designated Funds Restricted Funds Total funds 21 22 794,155 292,000 1,086,155 5,504,310 1,767,176 8,357,641 558,119 49,000 607,119 5,912,340 1,864,682 8,384,141 24 19 18 (727,043) 1,218,288 8,417,918 (352,277) 8,065,641 292,000 8,357,641 (438,097) 1,203,385 8,639,054 (303,913) 8,335,141 49,000 8,384,141

The accounts were approved by the Council on 1 September 2008 and signed on its behalf by: Edward Cunningham, CBE Treasurer


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RSE statement of nancial activities (incorporating the income & expenditure account) for year ended 31 March 2008

General Fund Income Voluntary income Investment income 651,943 159,052

Designated Funds

Restricted income

Restricted funds

2008 Total

2007 Total

9,368 79,495


31,526 84,381

904,537 322,928

845,466 290,210

Incoming resources from generated funds Incoming resources from charitable activities Total incoming resources

810,995 168,446 979,441

88,863 88,863

211,700 1,672,917 1,884,617

115,907 115,907

1,227,465 1,841,363 3,068,828

1,135,676 2,150,533 3,286,209

Expenditure Cost of generating funds Charitable activities Governance Total resources expended (150,002) (793,466) (130,540) (1,074,007) (9,523) (61,308) (70,831) (1,937,718) (1,937,718) (159,524) (130,540) (130,582) (136,988) (87,310) (2,879,802) (2,854,382)

(87,310) (3,169,866) (3,121,952)

Net incoming resources before transfers Transfers between funds Other recognised gains/(losses) Gains /(losses) on investment assets Realised gains/(losses) Unrealised gains/(losses) Actuarial gains on Lothian Pension Fund Net movement in funds Balance brought forward at 1 April 2007 Balance carried forward at 31 March 2008

(94,566) 362,813

18,032 (362,813)





(160) (6,051)

(1,634) (61,615)

(1,886) (71,116)

(3,680) (138,782)

27,446 66,778

217,000 479,036




217,000 142,000 (26,500) 400,481












Trustees Report and Accounts to 31 March 2008

Group cash ow statement for the year ended 31 March 2008

2008 Cash ow statement Net cash inow/(outow) from operating activities Returns on investments and servicing of nance: 90,727 Dividends received 302,934






84,824 249,345 393,661 334,169 (7,050) 1,125,478 (1,725,138) 10,257 (10,912) (596,453) (432,062) 11,492 (420,570)

Capital expenditure and nancial investment: Purchase of tangible xed assets Proceeds from sale of investments Purchases of investments Capital receipt (32,880) 747,387 (747,215) 21,796

Net cash ow before nancing: Appeal receipts (Decrease) / Increase in cash in the year Reconciliation of net cash ow to movement in net funds (Decrease) / Increase in cash in the year Net funds at beginning of year Net funds at end of year (note 28) Reconciliation of net movement in funds to net cash outow from operating activities Net incoming resources before transfers Retirement benet scheme current service cost Retirement benet scheme past service cost Retirement benet scheme contributions Retirement benet scheme nance cost Appeal receipts Dividends receivable Interest receivable Depreciation Capital receipt from Mrs Silitto Loss on sale of xed assets (Increase)/decrease in debtors Increase / (decrease) in creditors Movement on provision for liabilities Net cash inow/(outow) from operating activities 174,348 101,000 (99,000) (28,000) (9,368) (302,934) (90,727) 124,493 (21,796) 2,442 (40,491) 99,492 48,364 (42,177)

340,572 9,368 349,940

349,940 1,645,409 1,995,349

(420,570) 2,065,979 1,645,409

246,057 111,000 (21,000) (95,000) (22,000) (11,492) (248,304) (84,824) 123,921 (10,257) (1,989) (222,451) 66,562 (169,778)


The Royal Society of Edinburgh

notes to the nancial statements

1 Accounting basis
The accounts have been drawn up to comply with the provisions of the Charities & Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Charity Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 2006, and follow the recommendations of the Statement of Recommended Practice for charities (SORP) approved by the Accounting Standards Board in February 2005 and applicable accounting standards. The accounts have been prepared under the historical cost accounting rules as modied to include the revaluation of investments. The accounts comprise ve primary nancial statements: the Group and RSE statement of nancial activities incorporating the income and expenditure account, the Group and RSE balance sheet and the Group cash ow statement. The consolidated nancial statements include the nancial statements of the RSE and of entities which are under its control: RSE Scotland Foundation and BP Research Fellowship Trust. As the objectives of each of these entities are narrower than the Society, they have been treated as restricted funds.

Designated Funds Capital Asset Reserve Fund representing the book cost of the rooms at 22-24 George Street and 26 George Street together with the building project loan to the RSE Scotland Foundation. The balances at 31 March 2008 of the Building Maintenance Fund, the Staff Restructuring Fund, have been transferred to the General Fund. These funds arose from the designation of past surpluses and may be used in future in support of general operations. Development Appeal Fund to provide development nance to implement the RSE Strategic Framework. Programme Fund a fund created to act as a source of funding for meetings activities. C H Kemball Fund income from this fund is used to provide hospitality for distinguished visitors from other learned societies and Academies. Dr James Heggie Fund income from this fund supports the RSEs activities with young people. Grants Fund a fund created by contributions and legacies from Fellows and used to provide grants to support research activities to Fellows. Restricted Income Fund income funds received for expenditure on current projects. Restricted Funds Robert Cormack Bequest to promote astronomical knowledge and research in Scotland Lessells Trust to fund scholarships abroad for engineers Auber Bequest to fund research in Scotland and England by naturalised British citizens over 60 years of age Prizes Fund to fund various prizes Dryerre Fund to fund postgraduate scholarships in medical or veterinary physiology

Fleck Bequest Fund to promote interest, knowledge and appreciation of science and its applications throughout Scotland. Piazzi Smyth Legacy Fund to fund high altitude astronomical research. Sillitto Fund to promote interest in physics among young people. CASS Fund to fund academic / industrial liaison Retailing Seminar Fund to fund a programme of seminars on retailing Edinburgh Drug Absorption Foundation Fund to fund a series of conferences on the broad theme of Drugs Futures. RSE Scotland Foundation a trust to advance the education of the public in Scotland in science, engineering and technology. BP Research Fellowships Trust a trust to fund postdoctoral research fellowships in Scotland.

3 Accounting policies
Incoming resources Voluntary income Subscriptions are accounted for on the basis of the subscription year to October 2008 and include income tax recoverable on the subscriptions paid under Gift Aid. Revenue grants are credited to income in the period in which the RSE becomes entitled to the resources. Donations of a recurring nature from other charitable foundations and one-off gifts and legacies included in other income are taken to revenue in the period to which they relate. Investment income Interest and dividends are accounted for in the year in which they are receivable.
Incoming resources for charitable activities Incoming resources for activities are accounted for on an accruals basis.

2 Funds
The RSEs funds are classied in accordance with the denitions in SORP into Restricted Funds, where there are restrictions placed by a donor as to the use of income or capital, Designated Funds where the Society has set aside sums from its unrestricted funds for a particular purpose and the General (unrestricted) Fund. The classications made are as follows: General Fund A discretionary Fund available to Council to meet the ordinary activities of the Society.


Trustees Report and Accounts to 31 March 2008

notes to the nancial statements

Publication income receivable in foreign currencies is converted into sterling at rates of exchange ruling at the date of receipt. Incoming resources for research fellowships are accounted for in the period in which the RSE becomes entitled to the resources. Income received for specic projects, and received in advance of the commencement of the project, is deferred. If the project were not to proceed as planned the RSE would not be entitled to retain the funds. For performance related grants, where entitlement to the incoming resource only arises with the performance of the specic outputs agreed under the contracts, income is deferred. Resources expended Expenditure and support costs All resources expended are included on an accruals basis, having regard to any constructive obligations created by multi-year grant commitments. Where directly attributable, resources expended are allocated to the relevant functional category. Overhead and support costs are allocated to functional category on the basis of direct staff costs in each area of activity. Cost of generating funds The cost of generating funds includes expenditure incurred in supporting the Fellowship and incurred on fundraising initiatives.

Charitable activities Grants payable are recognised as a liability when the RSE is under an actual or constructive obligation to make a transfer to a third party. Where grants are time related to future periods and are to be nanced by specic grants receivable in those future periods they are treated as liabilities of those periods, and not as liabilities at balance sheet date. Such grants are disclosed as future commitments. Governance costs Governance costs are those incurred in connection with the management of RSE assets, organisational administration and compliance with constitutional and statutory requirements. Tangible xed assets, depreciation and repairs
The RSEs principal assets are its buildings in George Street, Edinburgh. Under FRS15 the Society depreciates the buildings assuming a 50-year life. It is the policy of the Council to maintain the buildings to a high standard. Provision is made to provide for upkeep of the buildings as required through a designation from General Fund. Any permanent diminutions in value are reected in the statement of nancial activities. Costs of repairs and maintenance are charged against revenue. Expenditure incurred in the improvements to 26 George Street is being depreciated over the period of the lease to the RSE Scotland Foundation from the date of completion of the refurbishment to 30 June 2047.

Minor equipment is charged against revenue in the year of purchase. Computer and audio-visual is depreciated on a straight line basis over 320 years. Investments Investments are stated at their market value at the balance sheet date. Gains and losses on disposal and revaluation of investments are charged or credited in the statement of nancial activities and allocated to funds in accordance with their proportionate share of the investment portfolio. Pensions The RSE participates in dened benet pension schemes which are externally funded. The cost of providing pensions is allocated over employees working lives with the Society and is included in staff costs.


The Royal Society of Edinburgh

notes to the nancial statements

4 Incoming resources Current year 2008

Voluntary income

Activities for generating income 241,652 241,652

Investment 81,628 151,217 232,845 1,098 8,001 151,717 393,661

Promotion of research 318,405 671,653 247,139 1,237,197 1,237,197

Other charitable activities 28,961 40,867 150,360 170,000 47,266 437,454 261,101 698,555

Total 2008 192,070 114,574 86,117 590,496 1,299,653 294,405 81,628 151,217 1,873 2,812,033 26,521 241,652 261,101 1,098 8,001 151,717 3,502,123

Fellows Individuals and legacies Companies Charitable trusts Scottish Government Public sector bodies Bank interest Dividends Other

192,070 85,613 45,250 121,731 458,000 1,873 904,537

RSE Scotland Foundation Grant re SBF RSE Scotland Foundation Rental income
RSE Scotland Foundation Charitable activities

26,521 931,058

RSE Scotland Foundation Interest BP Research Fellowships Trust Interest BP Research Fellowships Trust Dividends

Prior year 2007

Voluntary income Fellows Individuals and legacies Companies Charitable trusts Scottish Executive Public sector bodies Bank interest Dividends Other 183,932 153,961 9,250 496,832 1,491 845,466 RSE Scotland Foundation Rental income
RSE Scotland Foundation Charitable activities

Activities for generating income 208,329 208,329

Investment 78,652 119,603 198,255 869 5,302 128,702 333,128

Promotion of research 330,784 617,281 473,884 1,421,949 1,421,949

Other charitable activities 26,197 12,200 181,813 317,780 53,744 591,734 238,394 830,128

Total 2007 183,932 180,158 12,200 521,847 1,431,893 527,628 78,652 119,603 1,491 3,057,404 208,329 238,394 869 5,302 128,702 3,639,000


RSE Scotland Foundation Interest BP Research Fellowships Trust Interest BP Research Fellowships Trust Dividends


Trustees Report and Accounts to 31 March 2008

notes to the nancial statements

4 Incoming resources (continued) 4a Voluntary income

Contributions from RSE Fellows Admission fees Annual subscriptions Income tax recoverable under Gift Aid Lessells Trust additional receipt Appeal receipts Legacies Scottish Government Grant General activities Receipts for James Clerk Maxwell Statue Sillitto Fund Other income

2008 14,280 152,913 24,877 192,070 9,730 9,368 458,000 211,700 21,796 1,873 904,537

2007 15,400 145,416 23,116 183,932 9,250 11,492 132,212 496,832 10,257 1,491 845,466

In addition to the donations set out above, the RSE receives donations made specically in support of activities which are included in activities income (see note 27(b)).

5 Incoming resources from charitable activities

2008 Scottish Government Grant Research Fellowships Franco-Scottish PhD scholarships Caledonian Research Foundation Scottish Enterprise BBSRC Enterprise Fellowships Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland 671,653 24,000 18,405 84,763 138,376 300,000 1,237,197 Scottish Government Grant re Scottish Science Advisory Committee Scottish Government Grant International activities Gannochy Trust Scottish Funding Council Meetings Inquiry income IEEE / RSE / Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award Educational activities Sale of sundry publications 170,000 105,000 32,536 87,723 19,073 17,132 3,013 2,977 437,454 RSE Scotland Foundation Journal publications RSE Scotland Foundation Conference facilities letting 122,105 138,996 261,101 1,935,752 Further information relating to grants, donations and receipts and their application is set out in note 27. 2007 617,281 24,000 30,784 316,859 133,025 300,000 1,421,949 131,893 185,887 105,000 24,402 115,977 5,183 22,724 669 591,735 115,153 123,240 238,393 2,252,077


The Royal Society of Edinburgh

notes to the nancial statements

6 Resources expended
Direct costs Costs of generating funds Fundraising Fellows subscriptions Appeal donations 16,186 16,186 RSE Scotland Foundation Building management BP Research Fellowship Trust Investment fees Total costs of generating funds Charitable activities Increasing World-Class Researchers Increasing International Research Connections Increasing Connections Between Business and Academia
Increasing Numbers Taking Science as a Career

2008 Support costs (Note 12) 39,197 94,618 9,523 143,338 61,077 204,415 Total 2008 55,383 94,618 9,523 159,524 61,077 400 221,001 Direct costs 198 198 367 565

2007 Support costs (Note 12) 33,703 88,075 8,606 130,384 76,091 206,475 Total 2007 33,901 88,075 8,606 130,582 76,091 367 207,040

400 16,586

1,181,481 178,211 281,417 23,474 126,537 30,619 1,821,739

295,636 76,860 60,824 58,385 221,037 110,992 823,734 31,313 3,750 78,066 113,129 936,863

1,477,117 255,071 342,241 81,859 347,574 141,611 2,645,473 105,928 92,418 26,521 78,066 302,933 2,948,406

1,052,075 149,999 474,953 20,613 171,112 177,169 2,045,921 85,290 3,000 88,290 2,134,211

235,299 76,114 92,797 53,655 206,344 102,351 766,560 31,038 92,547 123,585 890,145

1,287,374 226,113 567,750 74,268 377,456 279,520 2,812,481 116,328 3,000 92,547 211,875 3,024,356

Enhancing Public Appreciation of Science and Culture Inuencing Public Policy

RSE Scotland Foundation Journal Publications James Clerk Maxwell Statue SBF Conference facilities letting

74,615 92,418 22,771 189,804

Total cost of charitable activities Governance (note 10) RSE RSE Scotland Foundation BP Research Fellowships Trust Total governance costs Resources expended


6,562 1,856 1,253 9,671 2,037,800

123,978 24,719 148,697 1,289,975

130,540 26,575 1,253 158,368 3,327,775

24,406 1,800 1,116 27,322 2,162,098

112,582 21,643 134,225 1,230,845

136,988 23,443 1,116 161,547 3,392,943

Central support costs as set out in note 12 have been allocated to activities in proportion to the employment cost in each area of activity.


Trustees Report and Accounts to 31 March 2008

notes to the nancial statements

7 Grants payable
Promotion of research (note 8) Prizes and grants Priomotion of Innovation (Note 9)

2008 1,439,875 37,242 281,417 1,758,534

2007 1,259,003 28,371 474,953 1,762,327

8 Increasing Numbers of World-Class Researchers

2008 2007

Promotion of Research Scottish Government Fellowships Arts & Humanities Workshop Grants Franco-Scottish PhD scholarships CRF European Fellowships Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland Fellowships Robert Cormack Bequest John Moyes Lessells Scholarship Auber Bequest Awards Henry Dryerre Scholarship Designated funds DS McLagan Travel Grant 1,023,180 Direct costs: General Funds Library RSE BP Research Fellowships Trust 848 1,024,028 126,917 1,150,945 Support costs (note 6) Promotion of Research Prizes and Grants 288,930 1,439,875 37,242 1,477,117 921,265 108,016 1,029,281 229,722 1,259,003 28,371 1,287,374 921,265 612,497 35,290 24,000 14,412 280,150 6,161 27,635 4,000 19,035 538,064 33,139 24,000 26,941 280,962 4,262 9,370 276 4,250

An analysis of institutions and individual awards made under this expenditure heading is included in the Societys Review 2006, obtainable from the address on the back cover.


The Royal Society of Edinburgh

notes to the nancial statements

9 Increasing connections between business and academia

2008 Scottish Enterprise Fellowships PPARC Enterprise Fellowships BRSRC Enterprise Fellowships Gannochy 78,134 122,841 80,442 281,417 Support costs (Note 6) 60,824 342,241 2007 278,640 127 115,512 80,674 474,953 92,797 567,750

10 Enhancing public appreciation of science and culture

Meetings Publications Science & Society 89,831 36,706 126,537 Support costs (Note 6) 221,037 347,574 104,968 42,144 24,000 171,112 206,344 377,456

The RSE Scotland Foundation became publisher of the RSEs journals and year book with effect from the 1997 volumes. The RSE retains copyright and incurs editorial costs in respect of these publications. The RSE has made a donation to the RSE Scotland Foundation equivalent to its net decit on publications.

11 Governance
2008 Management and secretariat Audit fee Other professional advice from auditors 123,678 8,480 1,491 133,649 RSE Scotland Foundation Management and secretariat 24,719 158,368 2007 131,700 8,204 139,904 21,643 161,547


Trustees Report and Accounts to 31 March 2008

notes to the nancial statements

12 Support costs
Total payroll Less: Paid by SSAC Salaries (note 13) Staff training, agency and recruitment costs Non- cash pension cost adjustments Other costs Establishment expenses Computer and equipment costs Communication, stationery and printing costs Travel and subsistence, hospitality Publicity Mis