On the evening of 23rd November, the Young Academy of Scotland (YAS) hosted its first joint RSE Fellows and Young Academy membership event, a dinner on the topic of Sustainability held at the RSE. Invitations were extended to both current YAS members and Emeritus members, as well as fellows of the RSE.
We challenged five of our YAS members and RSE fellows to present on the topic of Sustainabillity in pecha-kucha style format.
We began with a presentation and welcome address from YAS Facilitating Group member, Bernadette O'Rourke on linguistic sustainability and its links to biodiversity, highlighting the loss of linguistic diversity and its links to threats to both cultural and biological diversity.
There were a variety of different takes on the topic of sustainability, which made for an interesting and varied discussion on the evening. Malcolm Horner FRSE was our second speaker of the evening, whose interests lay in the problems presented by transportation and urban development in the area of sustainability.
Eileen Wall and Alistair Borthwick FRSE kept our discussion flowing throughout the evening as our after-dinner presenters. Eileen focused on sustainability in the context of livestock and genetic improvement tools; whilst Alistair's work on the Yellow River in China provided us with an insight into how we can identify and assess the sustainability in river systems.
The brevity of the presentations allowed for attendees to listen to a wide variety of individual takes on the topic of sustainability. Our final speaker for the evening, Roger Crofts FRSE helped to summarise the general thoughts of the room, as he highlighted the importance and value of the RSE and YAS' interdisciplinarity and its leading expertise in these issues.
The entire evening was a wonderful opportunity for the YAS, YAS Emeritus and RSE to network and encourage dialogue between the membership bodies. You can see some comments from our fellows and YAS members below and the YAS look forward to hosting the RSE fellows and YAS Emeritus again at future events and discussions.
“I found the diverse evening very interesting and the pecha kucha talks well presented. I also thoroughly enjoyed speaking with a number of YAS members and hope more opportunities will be found to bring interested YAS members into RSE and the Fellowship”
“It was both a fun and an educational event”
“Excellent speakers and good idea to have brief presentations though the topics were very different”