The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) has announced the programme for Curious, its flagship series of free and interactive events and activities. 

Image of Professor Nasar Meer FRSE, Nicole Anderson and Dr Sam Illingworth.

Pictured (from left to right): Nicole Anderson, Professor Nasar Meer FRSE, and Dr Sam Illingworth

Running 4–17 September, Curious brings together a selection of Scotland’s leading thinkers to get ‘Under the surface’ in the fields of biology, poetry, anthropology, healthcare, astrophysics and forensic science – to name only a few – in a series of thought-provoking group discussions, talks, workshops, walking tours and exhibitions that will encourage people to look a little deeper in their search for knowledge – and all events are free. 

Professor Nasar Meer FRSE, Dr Sam Illingworth and PhD candidate Nicole Anderson (pictured) gathered in South Queensferry this week to announce the launch of the 2023 Curious programme. 

President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Sir John Ball, said:

“As the theme suggests, this year’s Curious  programme promises to delve beneath the surface of cutting-edge topics on a wide range of subjects. I am certain that those who attend the many free events will depart with a renewed perspective, enhanced understanding, and a desire for deeper knowledge. 

“The involvement of so many talented and accomplished speakers this year serves as a testament to the high reputation of Curious. Alongside online events, panel discussions, interactive workshops and walking tours, this year’s series boasts more in-person events. I hope you find the programme inspiring and that you will want to take part.” 

PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh, Nicole Anderson, is running an event on how the Anatomical Museum at the University of Edinburgh is reconciling its colonial legacies through proactive repatriation work.  

She said: “As this year’s theme for Curious is ‘under the surface’, we will be exploring this by asking members of the public to think critically about the purpose of museums, and theimportance of repatriation of ancestral remains to both communities and institutions.” 

Now in its fifth year, Curious will have more in-person events this year allowing people to get more involved with the discussions and activities they attend. 

Nasar Meer FRSE, Professor of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh, said: “In my event – Surfacing Diasporas – we’ll consider the ways in which migration is a normal and longstanding part of Scotland’s story, and our brilliant panellists will speak to the role diasporas play in our social life today.” 

Dr Sam Illingworth, of Edinburgh Napier University and Member of the Young Academy of Scotland, added: “I am really looking forward to Curious this year, as it presents fantastic way of communicating cutting edge research to a variety of audiences. I’m also really looking forward to running my own event – Exploring the climate crisis through poetry – and hope that people enjoy the idea of using poetry to discuss and take action against the climate crisis.” 

For more information about Curious, visit