New Member Induction

New members will be inducted at the Royal Society of Edinburgh buildings from 10:00-14:00 on the 26th August. More information will be sent out to new members about this in due course.

Building a Career beyond Academia: How to use your Arts & Humanities Research and Skills



Building a Career beyond Academia: How to use your Arts & Humanities Research and Skills

This workshop, targeted at current and recently graduated doctoral students, was held on 12 May 2014 at Glasgow Caledonian University. It was organised by the Arts & Humanities in Society Working Group of the Young Academy of Scotland.

Please see the full report of the event here.

Open Data in Government, Innovation and Research

More data have been collected in recent years than in previous human history, and can be instantaneously communicated - including cancer patient DNA sequences, traffic accident reports, academic publications, or the contents of your inbox. Indeed, data sharing has the potential to touch every aspect of our lives, simultaneously raising concerns and offering huge benefits. For example, growth in the private sector is stimulated by access to public data. Where and how do openness and concealment meet? What makes large datasets a gold-mine or landfill? How can Open Data work for business? Who should have access and why?

A panel of experts bring diverse viewpoints to the debate:Open Data

- Geoffrey Boulton OBE, FRS, FRSE, DSc, PhD, Chair, Royal Society Policy Report on 'Science as an Open Enterprise'

- David Carr, Policy Adviser, The Wellcome Trust

- William St. Clair FBA, FRSL, PhD, Chairman of the Board at Open Book Publishers

- Roger Halliday, Chief Statistician at the Scottish Government

- Donald Taylor, Lead Software Specialist at Selex ES

6:45 for 7pm until 8:30pm on 21st March 2014 at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, George St., Edinburgh, EH2 2PQ

This is a free ticketed public event, hosted by the RSE Young Academy of Scotland Open Data Working Group. To reserve a place please contact Sam Webb: or write to the above address.

The Politicians and the Professionals - Ruth Davidson


Ruth Davidson MSP, Leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, delivered the final speech of our series with the title, “A Union Revived”. Ms Davidson used her lecture to argue that the referendum debate provided an opportunity for Scots, and also those living elsewhere in these islands, to look again at what Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom gain from their 300-year old partnership.

Ms Davidson opened her speech by reflecting that David Hume’s call for scepticism and empiricism struck a chord with Conservative beliefs, but that they contrasted with the ‘razzle dazzle’ of the nationalist cause. This, she suggested, was a contrast all the stronger with the United Kingdom often unwilling to wear its patriotism on its sleeve.

However she maintained that, although it was perhaps more challenging to make the case for continuity as opposed to radical change, the Union was a magnificent thing.

To begin its defence, she tackled what she said were some of the myths that have been allowed to grow up around the Union, beginning with the caricature that suggests that to be in favour of a Union is to be somehow less than truly Scottish. There was no conflict, she suggested, in holding a loyalty to both Scotland and the UK as a whole, and in fact this dual identity allowed many Scots to celebrate the best of both worlds.

Click here to continue reading the report.


The Politicians and the Professionals - Wille Rennie

The fourth lecture in our series started off by Mr Rennie stating that we probably all agreed on the third part of his title. And that he would argue that the first two, although of course more controversial, were crucial to safeguard it.

At several points during his speech, Mr Rennie highlighted parallels between the "In Britain" and "In Europe" dialogues currently taking place, describing his own party as the "Party of In". Not without pointing out though, that both the EU and the UK require reform “to be the best that they can be for Scotland”.

Click here to continue reading the report.

The Politicians and the Professionals - Patrick Harvie

The third ‘Politicians and the Professionals’ seminar saw Scottish Green Party leader, Patrick Harvie, speak of the opportunity independence could provide “to pursue a different economic model" which "prioritises equality and sustainability and supports small business and social enterprise".

Acknowledging his party and supporters do not all share his pro-Independence stance, he insisted that the Scottish Greens offer a more balanced contribution to the debate: Independence would not be “Utopia”, he said, nor would it be “disaster”; “the truth is somewhere in between”. He urged all parties to engage honestly with the key issues and risks “to meet undecided voters on their own turf”.

He has been the most direct to date in addressing YAS’ plea to speakers to explore both the risks and opportunities of independence, although focussed on the economic and social angle rather than directly addressing the challenges in the Higher Education sector.

Click here to read the rest of the report.

The Politicians and the Professionals - Johann Lamont

 Scotsman Article 2

This week saw the second of the Young Academy of Scotland's series of events in conjunction with the David Hume Institute, on Scottish Constitutional Change. Johann Lamont MSP, leader of the Scottish Labour Party, perhaps in response to accusations of too much negativity in the Better Together campaign, explained her optimism for a Scottish future where a progressive movement across the UK could tackle the important issues of inequality in education, health and employment.

At the beginning of the speech, Lamont discussed her Hebridean background, in a Gaelic speaking family, and the surprise often shown by people who would assume that a connection to the islands would make one a nationalist. She countered that her understanding of inequality and injustice in Scotland made her a socialist, not a nationalist.  Clearly stating that she spent her life standing against nationalism Lamont commented; “Geography and identity didn’t determine those who had power and those who didn’t.” Throughout the speech, Lamont touched back on the idea that inequality in Scotland cannot be addressed by “simply erecting a border”, at one point stating she did not believe the notion that Scots would “unite behind a bold and progressive vision once we have thrown off the shackles placed on us by our neighbours”.

Click here to read the rest of the report

The Politicians and the Professionals - Nicola Sturgeon

On 15th January 2014 the Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, gave a positive and clear exposition of her unwavering support for Scottish Independence in her “Choice Scotsman Article 1Between Two Futures” speech – but it could have been that very unwavering positivity which knocked the edge off the argument for some of the sceptical enquiring minds in the audience.

The speech, to an overflowing house at the RSE, marked the first in the 5-week series of seminars in which Ms Sturgeon along with the leaders of the other four parties represented at Holyrood will give their considered thoughts on the implications of constitutional change for Scotland.

A central feature of the series is that the speech is then followed by a full thirty minutes of questioning from the audience drawn from members of the David Hume Institute and the Young Academy of Scotland alongside the professional body sponsors of the series and members of the public.

 Full YAS report of the event here.


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Lysimachos is the co-founder and CEO of Parkure, a drug discovery company which has set out to discover a cure for Parkinson’s disease. He also works with start-ups with his consultancy, LeanForce, advising on issues of innovation and early stage strategy.

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