Launch Event: Historical Map of Perth (PSNS+HTT joint project)

Saturday 11 May 2024 marked the culmination of a two-year joint project with the PSNS & Historic Towns Trust: the production of a Historical Map of Perth including many sites of interest over the last one thousand years.

PSNS & HTT Historical Map project Working Group

Speakers at the event were:

John Lewington, former President of the Perthshire Society of Natural Science, gave an introduction

Professor Vanessa Harding, Chair of the Historic Towns Trust, on “Mapping our Shared History”

Theresa Hughes, President of PSNS Archaeology & History Section, on “A Fair Map of Perth”

Dr Mike Robinson, Royal Scottish Geographical Society, on “A Sense of Place”

David Bowler, Director of Alder Archaeology Ltd, on “A Thousand Years in Twenty Minutes – an Overview of Perth”

John Moore, Honorary Secretary of the Historic Towns Trust, gave a vote of thanks.

In the process, we heard how the geological and geographical settings influenced Perth’s location, culture and history.

A video of the event can be viewed on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/k9cX2zt46YE

The Map is available in bookstores and can be ordered online (AmazonUK).

Curious Minds 8.10: Science and Theology

Professor Mark Harris, director of the Ian Ramsey Centre at the University of Oxford, is both a physicist by training and an ordained Anglican priest. He spoke about the ways the relationship between science and religion and theology can be seen – from outright conflict (which is bigger than the other?) through independence to a dialogue and more.

The video of his talk is available on Youtube:

Curious Minds 8.9: Pure Dead Brilliant

The moment we hear someone talk, their accent and dialect influence the mental image we form of that person’s national, social, economic and educational background.

Dr Sadie Ryan is a sociolinguist at the University of Glasgow with a keen interest in the relationships between accents and identity. She spoke particularly about the relationships between Scots and English.

See the video of the lecture here: https://youtu.be/1HN-kiJ_-G8

Curious Minds 8.7: Who’s got the Maintenance Manual for Planet Earth?

For this year’s McAlpine Lecture, Professor James Curran (visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde, amongst many other positions held including former chair of SEPA) spoke to us about the state of climate change.

From problems – CO2 emissions leading to global warming, biodiversity loss, extreme weather events and more – to how our perception of the solutions should change, understanding Sustainable Development of the environment supporting society and the the (circular) economy.

The video can be seen on our Youtube channel:


Curious Minds 8.6: The Impact of Noise on Marine Wildlife

Even to a casual observer it seems obvious that the noise generated by ships, boats, drilling rigs, sonar and other forms of human activity must be a problem for marine creatures.

Yesterday evening, Dr Luke Rendell, from the University of St Andrews, spoke about the extent and detrimental effects of both natural and man-made noise on marine mammals.

This video is available in high quality on our youtube channel:

Curious Minds will return in the new year.

The Archaeology of St Kilda

At the Archaeology & History section’s November meeting, Clare Henderson, an archaeologist with the National Trust for Scotland, introduced us to the archipelago of St Kilda, the UK’s only dual UNESCO World Heritage Site.

She explained the settlement of the islands from prehistory to the famous evacuation of 1930.

We studied both surviving archaeology and the written and photographic records that allow us to tell the island’s story.

A recording of the talk can be seen on youtube: