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Silent Histories – Refugees in Scotland: past, present and future


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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Young Scottish robotics champions win chance to go to USA for World LEGO Final

Young Scottish robotics champions win chance to go to USA for World LEGO Final

A team of students from West Linton Primary School in the Scottish Borders has won the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) UK and Ireland Final, which was attended by Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan. The winning team has been invited to compete in the FLL World Festival in St. Louis, USA.

The science and technology challenge, which is aimed at 9-16 year olds, tasks teams to solve real world problems with the help of a robot. This year’s challenge, which was announced across the world in August, requires young people to identify a real-world problem in the way that waste is dealt with, investigate it and come up with an innovative solution. They also had to design, build and program an autonomous LEGO MINDSTORMS robot to tackle a series of waste-related missions.

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Ruth Davidson completes 'The Politicians and the Profesisonals' Series

Ruth Davidson completes 'The Politicians and the Profesisonals' Series

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.

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Willie Rennie speaks to Young Academy and David Hume Institute - Penultimate in the series

Willie Rennie speaks to Young Academy and David Hume Institute - Penultimate in the series

 

'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.

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YAS bring Nicola Sturgeon to the RSE for first lecture of series on the Implications of Consitutional Change

YAS bring Nicola Sturgeon to the RSE for first lecture of series on the Implications of Consitutional Change

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 Between 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.

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