Thinking Differently: Scottish Crucible launches



Three Heriot-Watt participants were among a select group of Scotland's research leaders of the future welcomed to the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Scottish Parliament last week for Lab 1 of the award winning ‘Scottish Crucible' programme, coordinated by the Centre for Academic Leadership and Development at Heriot-Watt.

During the six day programme, spread over three months, Scottish Crucible aims to enable the 30 Cruciblists to think differently and go back to their work inspired. The programme has been put together with the express goal of helping participants discover skills and attitudes likely to make their research more innovative and to return armed with a greater understanding of how science can benefit society and how thinking creatively can really make a difference to their work and their career.

The focus for Lab 1 is on engaging with the media and policy makers. On day one Cruciblists heard from alumni on their experiences in the media. The lab was facilitated by the BBC's Vivienne Parry, who also imparted her top tips for working with the media. The day concluded with a networking dinner at the RSE, with the Cruciblists joined by guests from academia, industry and policy, including Professor Richard A Williams, Principal, and Vice-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University, and Prof Sheila Rowan (Chief Scientific Advisor, Scottish Government). The second day was hosted by the Scottish Parliament, with speakers from both the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government  on how academics can work with policy makers. The day concluded with a panel of policy experts including Sir Paul Grice, Chief Executive of the Scottish Parliament and Dr Audrey MacDougall, Chief Social Researcher at the Scottish Government.

From over 100 applications from across Scotland, the panel of RSE Fellows selected the Cruciblists from areas such as health, engineering, medieval society, biology, neuroscience, mathematics, fluid mechanics and computer science. 

More information can be found on the 2017 Cruciblists webpage.