Time Traveller: Charles Lyell at Work

Exhibition at the University of Edinburgh Main Library, George Square
27 October 2023 – 30 March 2024

Today we understand the earth as an interconnected system involving life and its environment, including the atmosphere, oceans, ice, volcanoes, and the rocks of the crust. How do we comprehend forces that operate on global scales and deep in the past, beyond the capacities of human observation? How do we think about the relation between humans and animals? Can we establish a science that transcends deep divides of religion, race, culture, and politics?

This exhibition explores these questions through the work of a key figure in establishing this planetary vision, the geologist and science writer Charles Lyell (1797-1875), revealing how he travelled to gather evidence, and collaborated with others. For the first time, Lyell’s comprehensive archive is reunited with his collected fossils, specimens, and published books held at the University of Edinburgh.

The exhibition is on in the Main Library, George Square, Edinburgh. Free and open to all, the entrance is just before the main security entrance, so feel free to pop in anytime 10am – 6pm. Further information is here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/library-museum-gallery/heritage-collections/museums-and-galleries/exhibitions-whats-on.

Expert curator Jim Secord is leading 2 lunchtime tours on Friday 27th October, 1pm – 2pm and Wednesday 1st November, 1pm-2pm. All are welcome, please register for either tour here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/curators-tour-of-time-traveller-charles-lyell-at-work-tickets-741447598727

Public Meeting: The Radical Road – Past, Present, Future?

The Radical Road in Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park has been a much loved walking route since 1822. This public event will explore the history and use of the Radical Road, and its importance to local people and visitors, walkers, geologists, climbers and historians.

Lecture Programme 2023-2024

Our Wednesday evening lecture programme starts on 18th October 2023 and runs through until the end of March 2024. This year’s lecture programme continues the thread from last session, with lectures delivered by key authors contributing to several chapters of the new (5th) edition of The Geology of Scotland, which is due to be published this year.

View the full programme here.

These meetings are open to the public, there is no charge, no need to book, and visitors are most welcome. Our lectures are also broadcast live on Zoom. This session, several of our lectures will be preceded by free ‘pizza and pop’ sessions, from 6pm in the Grant Museum. All welcome.

The first lecture of the session will be given by Dr John Macdonald, University of Glasgow, on Wednesday 18th October 2023, exploring New Perspectives on Modern Geology: Anthropogenic Geomaterials. You can book for the free pizza and pop before the lecture using this link.