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In December 2015, the Arts, Humanities & Society Working Group of the Young Academy of Scotland was awarded funding to deliver a project tackling one of the key global issues, not just of our time, but of all history – the movement of peoples fleeing war, persecution, famine and other dangers.

This is a huge global issue, with social, political, economic and cultural ramifications, but the group wanted to make whatever contribution it could, however small. Inspired by the recent arrival of a small group of Syrian refugees in Scotland, the group thought about how they, and other refugees, might best be supported into their new lives in this country. As arts, humanities and social science scholars we were aware of the long history of refugees in Scotland, and so the project developed video exploring the ‘Silent History’ of refugees in Scotland, with an accompanying pack of school resources, aimed at 8-11+ year olds.

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3 YAS Members amongst new Fellows of the RSE

Three YAS members were named today amongst 56 distinguished individuals elected to become Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE). Sharon Ashbrook, Cait MacPhee and Graeme Malcolm join Ineke De Moortel, who last year became the first YAS member inducted into the RSE.

As Scotland’s National Academy, the RSE’s Fellowship hails from sector that range from the arts, business, science and technology and academia. This range of expertise enables the RSE to take part in a host of activities such as providing independent and expert advice to Government and Parliament, supporting aspiring entrepreneurs through mentorship, facilitating education programmes for young people and engaging the general public through educational events.

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Many areas of young people's lives benefit from having high aspirations;  education, employability, physical and mental health, citizenship and safer and stronger communities.   What advice made you aim high?  What advice would you give to raise a young person's aspirations? 

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David Smith

David is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Innovation and Internationalisation in the School of Education at the University of Aberdeen.

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