Specific Learning Difficulties Network: developments in the science of dyscalculia

Join the Specific Learning Difficulties Network at the RSE to learn about how this research network is working to raise awareness of dyslexia and dyscalculia, with a talk from Professor Brian Butterworth.

Specific Learning Difficulties refer to difficulties in acquiring skills in reading (Dyslexia), mathematics (Dyscalculia), and writing (Dysgraphia). These differences are very common and can be observed in up to 10% of children, varying in degree of severity.

Join us on Friday 16 June for an exhibition and public talk to learn more about the academic and policy work being done by the Specific Learning Difficulties Network and hear from those with experience of specific learning difficulties and how this research applies to them.

During the exhibition, different projects including Dyslexia Scotland and CALL Scotland will showcase what they do in an informal and friendly setting giving attendees an opportunity to ask questions, learn what work is currently being done throughout Scotland and network.

Following the exhibition, Prof Brian Butterworth (UCL) will deliver a public lecture on the topic of, ‘Recent developments in the science of dyscalculia’ followed by a panel discussion featuring Fran Foreman from Education Scotland and Dyslexia ambassadors.

Event timings

  • 17.30 – 18.15 – Exhibition
  • 18:15 – 19.30 – Lecture from Professor Brian Butterworth
  • 19:30 – 20.30 – Reception and networking

About the Specific Learning Difficulties Network (SLDN)

The SLDN is a new initiative bringing together researchers from across the UK to coordinate the research agenda better and raise awareness for specific learning difficulties, established by Dr Silvia Paracchini, FRSE (University of St Andrews) and Dr Michelle Luciano (University of Edinburgh). By working with families, teachers, charities, and policymakers the SLDN aims to make research useful to those with specific learning differences.




Dr Sinead Rhodes

Senior Research Fellow, Child Life and Health & Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh

A man wearing a hat and glasses
Professor Brian Butterworth


Professor Brian Butterworth

Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychology, UCL

Brian Butterworth is in the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, where he is currently working on the neuroscience and the genetics of mathematical abilities and disabilities. He led two European networks, Neuromath and Numbra, that promoted multidisciplinary research on mathematical cognition. He founded the Centre for Educational Neuroscience. He holds professorial positions at National Chengchi University, Taiwan, and at Melbourne University, Australia. His popular science book, The Mathematical Brain (1999) was a best seller. The Dyscalculia Screener (2003) revolutionized the identification of this specific learning disability.  His most recent books include Dyscalculia: from Science to Education (2019), and Can fish count? What animals reveal about our uniquely mathematical minds (March 2022)

A person wearing glasses and smiling at the camera
Fran Foreman


Fran Foreman

Senior Education Officer: Inclusion and Additional Support Needs

Cartoon of two brains made from jigsaw puzzles


Friday June 16th, 2023 17:30-20:30


The Royal Society of Edinburgh




Professor Brian Butterworth
Fran Foreman