Working Group Remit


  1. Identify current areas of work being undertaken by the Education and Young People’s Committees at the RSE (both Humanities and STEM).
  2. Assess teaching resources currently available that enable teachers to make full use of the interdisciplinary possibilities of CfE (e.g. those provided by professional societies. both Humanities and STEM).
  3. Develop mechanism for identifying needs of primary and/or secondary school teachers with respect to resources for CfE (both Humanities and STEM).
  4. Organise event(s) to assess needs of teaching professionals in primary and/or secondary schools for CfE (both Humanities and STEM).
  5. Draw upon YAS expertise to develop teaching resources to enable teachers to make full use of the interdisciplinary possibilities of CfE.
  6. Contribute to / develop outreach programmes that i) complement and enhance the CfE, and ii) foster trust and understanding and provide a lasting legacy.
  7. Consider developing advice statements on CfE and its implementation.



  • Matt Gibson Open or Close

    thumbnail Matt Gibson

    Dr Matt Gibson worked as a geological research scientist at the University of Edinburgh, his work focusing on isotope geochemistry and structural field geology. He then went on to work as an independent geological consultant for the hydrocarbon and nuclear power industry before entering the education sector in 2006. His principal focus in recent years has been the use of academic research in developing teaching and learning in schools and in raising academic attainment and intellectual ambition. Matt has founded and manages various initiatives with university and industrial communities to promote involvement of academically gifted young people in high level academic research. He is also founder and editor of neonEidos, an international journal for the publication of academic research by young people.


  • Kate Saunders Open or Close


    Kate Saunders is a Lecture in Volcanology in the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh as well as a researcher associated with Uppsala University, Sweden. She trained at Victoria, University of Wellington, New Zealand before taking up a NERC Fellowship at the University of Bristol. Her research focuses on the evolution of magma (molten rock) generated and stored in underground magma reservoirs. She uses a forensic science approach to interrogate the once molten products of erupted volcanic rocks to gain insights into their genesis and timing of processes prior to eruption.

    Kate is also a committee member of the Scotland Geodiversity Forum as well as a Brownie leader with GirlGuidingUK.


  • Louise Harris Open or Close



    Louise Harris is an electronic and audiovisual composer.  She is also Lecturer in Sonic and Audiovisual Practices at The University of Glasgow.  Louise specialises in the creation of audiovisual relationships utilising electronic music and computer-generated visual environments.  Louise’s audiovisual work has been performed and exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the AV Festival, Newcastle (2010), Musica Viva Festival, Lisbon, Portugal (2011), International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), Huddersfield (2011), Strasbourg Museum of Modern Art, Strasbourg, France (2012, 2013, 2014), Piksel Festival, Bergen, Norway (2012, 2013), Linux Audio Conference (Austria 2013, Germany 2014) and Sweet Thunder Festival, San Francisco, USA (2014).


  • Matthew Smith Open or Close


     Matthew Smith is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Research for History at the University of Strathclyde, and a member of the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare.  Drawn to divisive topics in medicine, his research concentrates on mental health, allergy, food and nutrition, child health and environmental medicine.  His previous projects, funded by the Wellcome Trust, have included work on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and food allergy.  As an historian who believes strongly in the relevance of historical research to contemporary health debates, Matthew is passionate about communicating his research to health professionals, policy makers and the public, and was recently named an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker.  His next project, funded by the AHRC, is on the history of social psychiatry.

  • ‘Networking and Influencing Policy’, RSE Edinburgh Open or Close

    Professional networking training in the morning, followed by a discussion with Chief Scientific Advisor, Prof. Muffy Calder.

    Members Only

    Date: 13th December 2012

    Contact: Aileen Fyfe

The Young Academy of Scotland, Advice Paper : Making Stronger Links: Inter-Disciplinary Learning in Scottish Schools October 2014

Making stronger links

 Numeracy Counts : A series of videos in support of the Curriculum for Excellence showing how the Young Academy use numeracy in their everyday lives. You can see the videos here.


 #AspirationalAdvice:  #AspirationalAdvice: Between January and April 2015 the RSE Young Academy of Scotland asked all Scots to share a piece of advice to young people on Twitter  that will help them aim high, dream big, lift their aspirations and achieve their hopes and goals. Read more about this campaign and its outcomes in the logbook.

 Ian Rankin

Making Maths Count: YAS Member Dr Tara Brendle, a mathematician at the University of Glasgow and a member of the YAS Excellence in Education working group group, contributed to a Scottish Government group set up to challenge negative attitudes towards mathematics across Scotland called the 'Making Maths Count' expert group.

Dr Brendle said: “It isn’t hard to find negative attitudes towards maths, I come across them all the time. I’m hoping our group will be able to really delve into where people’s concerns are and what is shaping these feelings.

“Maths is central to everyone’s lives and skills like logic and reasoning are hugely important. It’s hugely important that we find ways of making maths more appealing to people and getting more people to participate in the subject if young people are to have the skillset they need not just for work but for everyday life in general.”   

The group’s short questionnaire, available at, looked into people’s feelings towards maths, along with which aspects of maths people were using and what could make them more enthusiastic about the subject.

You can also keep up-to-date with news on the project at the group’s blog – - and on Twitter by following @MathsScot.


Co-leads: Patrick Harkness and Andrew Manches

Our Members

Niki Vermeulen is a lecturer in history/sociology of science in the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies group of the School of Social and Political Science of the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in science policy and the various ways in which research is organised, focussing on scientific collaboration, especially in the life sciences.

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