The Edinburgh Geological Society is delighted to support the successful campaign, launched by the University of Edinburgh, to save Charles Lyell’s notebooks. The 294 notebooks record in remarkable detail the life, travels, thoughts and ideas of this significant historical geologist. The Society pledged a donation towards the purchase of the notebooks, which were due to be sold abroad. A temporary export bar gave the University and supporters the opportunity to raise the necessary funds to purchase them. Over 1,100 supporters pledged to save the historic notebooks. The purchase price was originally set at £1,444,000, but reduced to £966,000 thanks to a restructuring of tax liability. With the full funds now pledged, the notebooks will be purchased by the University, who have promised to make them as accessible as possible as quickly as possible. You can follow progress on the University of Edinburgh’s Library Blog – libraryblogs.is.ed.ac.uk/lyell/
Wednesday 23 October 2019, 7 pm at Dynamic Earth
The role of carbon in the atmosphere is well known, but what else does carbon get up to as it cycles through Earth systems? Find out from experts about the role of carbon in soils, rivers and the oceans.
Susan Waldron, Professor of Biogeochemistry, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow. Susan is an expert in the peats of Scotland and the role of carbon in soils and rivers.
Tom Wagner, Professor of Earth System Science, The Lyell Centre, Heriot Watt University. Tom will talk about carbon and nutrient cycling from land, through rivers to the oceans – in the modern environment and in the past.
Dick Kroon, Regius Professor of Geology, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh. Dick specialises in scientific ocean drilling, exploring relationships between long-term climate change and carbon cycling.
Venue: Dynamic Earth, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AS. Parking is available in the Dynamic Earth underground car park (charges apply).
Tickets £5, free for students and under 18s. Tickets available on the door, just turn up!
The Edinburgh Geological Society fully supports the creation of the Scottish Geology Trust, a new, national charity that will promote and celebrate Scotland’s geology and its value to society, and encourage its conservation. This initiative arose from a meeting of interested parties hosted by EGS last autumn, which included all of Scotland’s geological societies, the Geoparks, universities and museums, geoconservation groups and the Scottish Geodiversity Forum.
The new organisation will offer opportunities for EGS to collaborate with other organisations on projects of national importance, to build on and expand the work of the Scottish Geodiversity Forum and support Scotland’s Geoparks. The Scottish Geology Trust will be a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation and a membership organisation, seeking subscriptions and donations from individuals and organisations. There is strong potential to raise money, for example from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, for significant projects that promote Scotland’s geology and specific sites of national/international importance. Updates will be available on www.scottishgeology.com and the new organisation will be launched in spring 2020.
Edinburgh University has launched a campaign to to save Charles Lyell’s notebooks, which record in remarkable detail the life, travels, thoughts and ideas of this significant historical geologist. The Society has pledged a donation towards the purchase of the 294 notebooks, which are currently in private hands and were due to be sold abroad. Thanks to the level of support already offered, the bar on the export of the notebooks has been extended until 15 October 2019. This is now the final deadline to save Lyell’s notebooks. The price has been set at £966,000 and the University of Edinburgh is making good progress in raising the funds required. If you would like to donate, or find out more about the notebooks and plans to make them fully and freely accessible for the first time, visit www.ed.ac.uk/giving/save-lyell-notebooks, or come along to David McClay’s lecture on 16 October.
This informal, outdoor workshop will explore techniques for taking geological photographs. It will be led by Jason Gilchrist from Edinburgh Napier University. No previous experience (in photography or geology) is required, just turn up with any camera. We will take a short walk experimenting with taking photographs at different scales – landscapes, outcrop and close-up details. Participants will be encouraged to submit their photos for future newsletters and the EGS website. If there is enough interest we will arrange a follow-on indoor workshop in the autumn.
Sunday 8 September 2019, 10am – 1pm
Meet outside Dynamic Earth, bring a camera, good footwear and warm waterproof clothing
Booking essential – contact Alison Tymon (how to book).
The Scottish Mineral & Lapidary Club has revived and fostered the craft of the lapidary – the engraving, cutting, or polishing of stones and gems; with the objective to encourage an interest in natural minerals and in the crafts and craftsmanship that relates to them.
From Friday 19 – Monday 22 July 2019, the club will put up a display of lapidary work and minerals / materials related to Space, Earth’s Crust, and the Destination Moon at the event in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing at Dynamic Earth.
The Scottish Mineral & Lapidary Club is situated in Leith, and a lot more of information about its work can be found on the club’s website.
A plaque has been unveiled to commemorate the life and works of the eminent geologist Charles Lapworth LL.D., F.R.S. (1842-1920) at the old Episcopal School in Galashiels. The listed building now housing Border Council’s offices was originally the school where Lapworth was headmaster between 1864-75. He moved to the Borders to teach from his original home in Berkshire. He married Janet Sanderson in 1869 and had four children, three of whom were born in the school house.
The unveiling on 20th May 2019 was done by children of the local St Peter’s Primary school in Galashiels. The efforts to erect the plaque were made by retired local residents and geology enthusiasts, Malcolm Lindsay and David Adamson.
Lapworth is a name which is long associated with Southern Uplands of Scotland. He did his initial research while living locally, but it was not until he moved to Madras College, in St Andrews in 1875 to continue his teaching career that he began to publish his defining work on the distribution of extinct organisms called graptolites. In 1879, he suggested the name “Ordovician” to describe the period between the Cambrian and Silurian ages, a name which was duly accepted across the world. Sir Edward Bailey, the Director of the British Geological Society and Professor of Geology at Glasgow University, later described Lapworth’s interpretation as “one of the miracles of science” and later said that “Lapworth grew up to be, perhaps, the greatest geologist who ever lived”. This plaque is therefore a fitting commemoration to the important time spent by Lapworth both teaching and researching in the Borders.
The History of Geology Group (HOGG) of the Geological Society of London and the Edinburgh Geological Society are organising an open meeting, Aspects of the History of Geology in Scotland and the North of England, at Surgeons’ Hall, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh. This meeting will include a programme of talks, several of them given by EGS members, on Thursday 11 July, followed by optional field visits on Friday 12 July.
Friday’s field visits will feature a morning stroll in the Old Town, and an afternoon stroll in the New Town, each two hours long and visiting sites of interest to historians of geology, with the spotlight on James Hutton.
Visit the HOGG website at https://historyofgeologygroup.co.uk/scotland for further details. Booking in advance is essential, payment can be made by PayPal. The conference fee of £40 includes lunch, morning and afternoon refreshments, and an abstracts booklet. The meeting is open to all, you don’t need to be a member of HOGG or EGS to attend.
The EGS has been contacted by the Lochaber Geopark about a crowd-funding initiative – as a not-for-profit charitable organisation, run mostly by volunteers, Lochaber Geopark needs your support to help continue our work and be self-sustaining. Many of us will have enjoyed the wonderful geology of this area and may like to support the worth efforts of the Lochaber Geopark to keep promoting it to a wider audience. If you would like to support them, then please follow the link provided below.
You might even want to book a geo-tour with this summer – there are various options from half-day to multi-day tours. Check it out here – lochabergeopark.org.uk/product-category/geotours/
As usual, exhibitors and Dynamic Earth managed to create an event that seemed like being aimed at children, but fascinated the adults just as much, encouraging everyone to touch, feel, laugh – and create their own earthquake catastrophe, should they so wish….
Visitors, especially of the childlike persuasion, enjoyed the warm welcome by a friendly pet dinosaur, carefully carried by a volunteer animal keeper.
It is one thing to hear and read about rocks, but touching them, seeing, feeling – and, if possible, smelling the difference is so much better!
The BGS rock samples found many fans.
Another extensively used item was the simulation of landscapes and their influence on water flow and water levels. Children (and adventurous adults) could shape a landscape in the sand; depending on the height of ‘hills’ and ‘valleys’ light simulated the water flow after a rainfall, or its changes after a landslide.
An interesting use of modern technology was demonstrated by the QuiverVision app: visitors could choose a template, colour it in, and the app ‘animated’ it – watching one’s self-created volcano erupt is oddly satisfying, not just for children (we can assure from personal experience…).
The website offers a wide variety of templates for downloading.
Of course, some had their own ideas of what they wanted to get their hands on. And truth be told, who wouldn’t want to cuddle the pet dinosaur?
Downloadable templates for dinosaur hand puppets can be found on the BGS website.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, the earthquake-simulation-table was equipped not only with imposing, but also with some of the most important buildings of Scotland.
Additional to the fun of watching your self-created earthquake, experts from the BGS explained not only the works of a seismometer, but also presented real-life-earthquake data and gave an overview of earthquakes in Britain (more than one would anticipate, but mercifully weak).
Very good information material about earthquakes, but also on volcanoes and plate tectonics, can be found on the BGS website.
As a sister project to the Glasgow Geothermal Energy Research Field Site the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power project was presented by Iain Stewart, Professor of Geoscience Communication at the University of Plymouth.
Professor Stewart discussing with what we hope will be one of our future geologists.
Dealing with questions and (mis-)conceptions about the effects of boreholes and geothermal projects underground, he asked the visitors what ideas they had about ‘earthquakes’, and invited them also to draw what in their opinion was to be found in the earth beneath Glasgow….
Once more it was demonstrated that science doesn’t have to be ‘watered down’ to be fascinating for people of all ages, just presented in appropriate (and entertaining) ways, by people whose love for science is rivalled only by their creativity.
A thoroughly fascinating and enjoyable experience.
…at the end of the day, some had a bit of bad luck…
Our thanks go to all exhibitors, volunteers, and enthusiastic young scientists.
The Edinburgh Geological Society
The Edinburgh Geological Society is one of the UK’s foremost geological societies, whose aim is to promote public interest in geology and the advancement of geological knowledge. We are a friendly and informal organisation with a wide range of members of varied backgrounds and interests.
Charity registered in Scotland
No. SC 008011