Richard Demarco to kick off the Edinburgh Lectures 2014

The first lecture of the 2014 Edinburgh Lectures series, ‘City, Community, Home’, will take place Thursday 3 April as artist and art teacher Richard Demarco takes to the stage.

Edinburgh Lectures, Richard Demarco

This year’s Edinburgh Lecture series will reflect on the best Scotland has to offer ahead of a busy year featuring the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup.

With a diverse line up spanning literature, sport, science and history, this programme is set to hear some thought-provoking and inspirational talks throughout April and May.

Richard Demarco will deliver the first lecture of the series, entitled ‘The Edinburgh Festival and The Richard Demarco Gallery’ at the Hawthornden Lecture Theatre where he will discuss the changes that Edinburgh and its arts scene has experienced over his lifetime from the 1930s to the 21st Century.

The Lord Provost Donald Wilson said: "For 24 years, the Edinburgh Lectures have provided a platform for inspirational speakers to address major public issues in a national and international context.

“This year’s theme of 'City, Community, Home' will focus on Scottish people and culture and provide a fantastic opportunity to hear about the history and future shape of Edinburgh and Scotland from some of the most fascinating speakers linked to the city.

“I had the pleasure of presenting the prestigious annual Edinburgh Award to Richard Demarco just last month and I can’t think of a more suitable speaker to launch this exciting series.”

Commenting, Professor Demarco said: “I welcome this opportunity to bring up-to-date my thoughts on all those Scottish and international friends, and cultural and educational institutions, who contributed to the programmes of The Edinburgh Festival from its beginnings in the 1940s as a means of helping to heal the wounds of the Second World War.”

The second lecture by poet and playwright, Liz Lochhead, will take place on Wednesday 30 April.

Leading Scottish racing cyclist, James McCallum, will introduce May’s lectures on Tuesday (6 May) followed by writer and broadcaster Richard Holloway, on Wednesday (14 May), and leading Scottish historian, Professor Tom Devine OBE, on Wednesday (21 May), before the series finale by the director of science and technology at Arup, Professor Jeremy Watson, on Tuesday (27 May).

The Lectures are led by the City of Edinburgh Council and presented in partnership with The University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Napier University, Queen Margaret University Edinburgh, The Open University in Scotland, National Museums Scotland, CreativeScotland, and The Royal Society of Edinburgh. This year’s  series is sponsored by the OneCity Trust which aims to promote social inclusion in the City of Edinburgh. Accommodation for visiting speakers is kindly sponsored by Apex Hotels.

Tickets can be booked:

- online at

- in person at the Usher Hall Box Office, Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH1 2EA

- by telephone: 0131 228 1155, Monday – Friday 10am – 5.30pm

Full programme details can be accessed here.This includes speakers’ biographical details.

Follow the lecture series on Facebook and Twitter.

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