Launch of Edinburgh Lectures 2013

The Edinburgh Lectures 2013 series has been unveiled, with a line-up of speakers chosen to reflect the Scottish Government’s Year of Natural Scotland.

The programme centres on the rich natural heritage on Scotland's doorstep, in what organisers hope will be a celebration of the nation's reputation as a land of outstanding natural beauty.

Distinguished speakers range from academics such as earth scientist and broadcaster Professor Iain Stewart, through to award-winning Scottish-based artists Dalziel + Scullion.

Tickets for the programme are on sale from today, and the series runs from February to June.

The lectures will be wide-ranging, celebrating everything from Scotland's culinary landscape to its place in the history of the Earth, and informing attendees about topics as diverse as the nation's oceans, its rocks and its wildlife.

The line-up of confirmed speakers is:

- Aubrey Manning, zoologist, broadcaster and Professor Emeritus, University of Edinburgh
- Professor Iain Stewart, Professor of Geoscience Communication at Plymouth University
- Lady Claire Macdonald, award-winning cook and food writer
- Nigel Pope, one of the UK's leading natural history producers
- Professor J Murray Roberts, Director of the Centre for Biodiversity & Biotechnology at Heriot-Watt University
- Ken McGoogan, award-winning author
- Dr Walter M Stephen, former Chairman of the Sir Patrick Geddes Memorial Trust
- Dalziel + Scullion, award-winning Scottish based artists
- Dr David Hetherington, founder of the Cairngorms Wildcat Project

Donald Wilson, Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, said: "As the Edinburgh Lecture series takes place within the Year of Natural Scotland in this, its 21st year, it is fitting that the focus is on the natural beauty and heritage of Scotland itself. I look forward to the diverse and fascinating lecture series this promises to be."

Louise Scullion, of artist studio Dalziel + Scullion, said: "We are delighted to be participating in this year's Edinburgh Lectures series. As Scottish artists, we are very much rooted in the landscape around us - it continually shapes the work we do. And in turn, we believe that now, at a time when long held economic models are being challenged, arts and culture can play a powerful role in re-imagining possible futures."

Previous Edinburgh Lectures have seen a wide range of high calibre speakers converge in Edinburgh to share their insights on a broad range of themes. They have included His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Stephen Hawking, Mikail Gorbachev, and First Minister Alex Salmond.

The Edinburgh Lectures are led by the City of Edinburgh Council, in partnership with The University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Napier University, The Open University in Scotland, National Museums Scotland, Creative Scotland, The Royal Society of Edinburgh and Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

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