Professor Roy Burdon explains how the environment can leave its footprints in our DNA, whether a natural or artificial cause.
Professor Jeremy Peat, RSE VP for Business, reflects on a series of economic issues related to constitutional change and the Scottish independence debate.
Are current approaches to impact addressing the demands for interdisciplinary approaches, and do they call for more diversity?
Professor Stephen Reicher reflects on the importance of exchanging knowledge between disciplines in addressing the challenge posed by Covid-19.
Dr Ellen Stewart on why engagement with citizens has the potential to improve research and increase its relevance to policy and practice.
The Universities Policy Engagement Network looks at the challenge of bringing about positive change for equity, diversity and inclusion in academic-policy engagement.
Professor Eleonora Belfiore explores the resistance against the impact agenda within the arts and humanities academic community
Dramatic progress against this deadly disease has faltered. Professor Heather M Ferguson FRSE on how to get it back on track.
Professor Alex Murphy FRSE writes about bringing STEM opportunities to the most remote locations in Scotland.
As a growing sector, it also offers exciting opportunities for the future, and Scotland is at the forefront of these opportunities.
Sitting among the many aspirations that we have for space exploration is one enduring question – is there life beyond Earth?
There is general support for the principle of policy impact: researchers and Higher Education Institutions should be encouraged to achieve policy impact from their research.
The ‘impact agenda’ in higher education first gained currency around a decade ago. And to be honest, a lot of that activity felt quite formulaic and box-ticking.
Professor Claire Dunlop sketches three blind spots of policy impact which learning accounts bring into focus.
Professor Mark Woolhouse asks were Covid-19 lockdowns really the best course of action? Justified at the time as the best way to save lives.
Professor William Stimson FRSE on the breakthrough antiviral drugs that boost humans’ ‘interferon’ immune response to help tackle Covid-19.
We must take our cue from children when it comes to designing the early learning and childcare ecosystem that will help shape the rest of their lives.
Professor Anne Magurran FRSE calls to protect and restore Scotland’s biodiversity.
An African nation with a recent troubled past has a proud record of equality in parliament. We now have new resources that will shine a light on women’s experiences in Rwandan society before the colonial period.
Professor Ian Jackson on the genetics of ginger hair. The further north you were born, the more likely you are to have red hair.
Audrey Cumberford writes about why Scotland is well placed to capitalise on its strengths and make effective university-college collaboration the norm.
Professor Sean Mckee FRSE writes about how we are constantly surrounded by applied mathematical models every day, even if we don’t know it.
Professor Devi Sridhar looks to the prevention of future pandemics and a coalition built on preparedness and innovation.
Professor Malcolm Macdonald explains the threat ‘zombie’ satellites pose on the space industry and economy.
Professor Boyd Robertson highlights the use of drone technology in NHS Highland for transporting critical clinical supplies.
Professor Alison Phipps describes how the Scottish Crannog Centre inspires visitors to share stories and ponder the potential of restorative integration.
Dr Manuel Fernández-Götz shares research demonstrating the earliest cities developed north of the Alps between the 6th and 5th centuries BC.
Professor Mike Benton OBE discusses the new research that is helping shed fresh light on long-extinct species like dinosaurs.
Professor Francisca Mutapi explains how having a lack of diverse clinical trials and treatments may be costing lives and increasing health inequalities.
Professor Dame Anne Glover details the findings of the RSE Post-Covid-19 Futures Commission and how Scotland can emerge stronger from the pandemic.
Jan Webb and Professor Becky Lunn explore the future of domestic energy to achieve our net-zero ambitions.
Professor Russell Morris FRSE outlines the recent Science and the Parliament event, showing politicians what actions are needed to tackle climate change.
Jim Fairbairn OBE FRSE explains the government policies needed to support businesses and help them prosper post-Covid-19.
Professor Sir Ian Boyd FRSE describes how Covid-19 has shown how businesses must increase their resilience to survive potential crises.
Professors Philippa Saunders FRSE and Andrew Horne FRSE discuss how wearable tech could help improve the lives of those suffering from endometriosis.
Caroline Gardner CBE, Chair of the Inclusive Public Service working group writes about the benefits of social prescribing.
Jim King writes about the challenges of offering meaningful education opportunities within the prison system and why we should prioritise interventions that are creative, engaging, and relevant to the individual’s life and aspirations.
Dr James Mahon discusses the importance of relevant and industry-driven career-long professional learning (CLPL) to tertiary instructors.
Professor John Peter Renwick FRSE on the ground-breaking contribution he made to the 140-volume Complete Works of Voltaire, a French philosopher, historian and social reformer.
Talat Yaqoob FRSE outlines the importance of public participation in government decision-making to avoid the next crisis
Professor Niamh Nic Daéid illustrates the need to increase public confidence and and trust in data and science-based decisions.
Professor Sir Ian Boyd explains key recommendations to take forward to help Scotland recover from the pandemic and build resilience.
Professor James Curran builds upon Freud’s two great outrages to look at what actions should come forth from COP26.
Professor Maggie Gill OBE writes on why we shouldn’t ‘just’ aim for net-zero in combatting climate change.
The targets set for carbon reduction in Paris have now been enshrined in law, with Scotland bound to reach net
Professor Andrew Tyler discusses the role water plays in combatting climate change and its importance in public policy for the RSE Fellows’ Blog.
Professor Neil Vargesson FRSE looks at the history of thalidomide use in contemporary treatments and it’s safety 60 years on.
Professor Clive Badman OBE details new proposals in the manufacturing process of medicines that could help solve future supply shortages.
Aileen Ponton, Chief Executive of the SCQF writes on how they are keeping pace with Scottish Education in the 21st Century.
Carl Gombrich writes about the benefits of problem-based learning and how it could benefit future approaches to education.
Paul Hagan and Rob Wallen write about college-university collaboration.
Jen Ross writes about digital futures for learning and how our perceptions have been influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gordon Flockhart writes about alternative pathways into engineering.
Professor Fiona Gilbert FRSE argues why the public should allow the use of their data within healthcare for the greater good.
Professor Peter A Mossey FRSE explains how better clinician-patient communication through health coaching can improve disease prevention.
Sam Alberti writes how his favourite place to learn about the environment is in museums where objects provide insight on the current state of our planet.
Within just a few months, the extraordinary delivery of vaccines for Covid-19 was achieved for a virus virtually unknown just eighteen months earlier. When it was needed, synthetic biology began to deliver on its promise.
Emojis are now an endemic part of many – most – people’s lives, yet the modern digital emoji has only been around since the late 1990s.
With Rubin we will be testing the latest exotic theories to explain the dark universe phenomenon, some of which are so far-reaching that we question even Einstein’s theory of gravity.
When a massive star reaches its red supergiant phase, we know that the energy available from fusion has almost run out. The sudden pressure drop leads to a massive explosion, so bright that it would rival the moon. We expect this to happen to Betelgeuse in the next 10,000 years.
When I started medical school in 1975, periods (menstruation) were taboo and understudied. It is deeply concerning that this still remains the case four decades later – we must break the continuing shame and embarrassment when talking about periods.
Like other maritime nations, the wellbeing and national character of the people of Scotland have been greatly influenced by its coasts and waters ever since the first humans settled here. Yet, the marine environment remained very enigmatic with very limited knowledge until the late 19th century when marine science arose as a scientific discipline.
As the Moon has no atmosphere and the Martian atmosphere is poisonous, would anyone living in such places experience freedom when they are so completely dependent on others for their existence?
The world is in a different place from 2015 – the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis has made the goals more urgent. We have almost all the science we need to make changes – renewable energy, biotechnology and biofuels, to name but a few. Yet, the biggest challenge we face this decade is how to bring about change in the hearts and mindsets of individuals, institutions and national systems. So, can social science help close the gap?
Many disabled people are faced with hardship and poverty in their everyday lives and, faced with an often unhelpful benefits system, they struggle to get by. It’s time to listen to their needs and act.
The Scottish picture for endangered species is not encouraging. The most recent results published in 2019 using the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List methodology for 6413 species in Scotland showed significant declines.
The pandemic has demonstrated that women are expected to do far more around the home than men. Moving forward, the way to address this issue might involve looking at how societies behaved in the past.
Numerous studies show that planning ahead allows individuals to die according to their wishes, and to avoid inappropriate treatments. Most people in Scotland now die with such plans in place, but many still miss the opportunity to influence many details.
The idea of eradicating AIDS, malaria, or indeed any infectious disease, is hugely appealing. Eradication means no more disease and subsequently, no need for interventions. So far, we have only eradicated one human disease: smallpox.
I’m always perplexed by the way we talk about phobias. An arachnophobe is obviously terrified of spiders, but does that necessarily mean that they hate them? And far from hating open or crowded spaces, I am sure there are agoraphobes who yearn to be able to embrace them.
The lockdown in 2020 meant I no longer had access to the observatory. Instead, I created experiments at home, aiming to determine how physics and an understanding of the motion of soft materials can help reduce waste in production processes.
What is the biggest mental health issue of the day? It’s not COVID – which most people with and without mental illness are coping with admirably. It is, as ever, the stigmatisation of mental illness and the underfunding of mental health services. The two are clearly related, and despite some improvements in recent years, there remains a long way to go.
A recent report from the Scottish Government highlighted the disproportionate effect COVID-19 has had on a variety of groups, such as women, ethnic minorities, and low paid workers. So how can we prevent this pandemic from reversing the progress we have made towards workplace equality, diversity, and inclusion?
Traditional science and engineering methods control as many variables in an experiment as possible to increase confidence in narrow hypotheses. This directly opposes the broader needs of society during adverse events – where we cannot control changing circumstance.
As a mathematician and roboticist, I have been lucky enough to work on many complex projects like developing algorithms for a NASA humanoid robot to balance, navigate and manipulate objects autonomously; in preparation for deployment on Mars. However, I am fascinated with the question of how the latest advances in my field can help tackle some of the biggest and most intriguing healthcare challenges of our generation.
Curriculum for Excellence began as a promising development and it is still laudable for its forward-thinking and holistic aims. It is not too late for these ambitions to be realised and used to build a world-class STEM education system.