Science meets Music

A Heriot-Watt lecturer speaking to a class of school children

Primary 7 pupils from Holy Family RC Primary School in Winchburgh worked together with a local musician to create a song about environmental change, inspired by research from Heriot-Watt University researchers.

Lyell Centre scientists, Dr Julia de Rezende and Dr Andrew Johnson ran a workshop with P7 pupils to explain their research and discuss challenges that the world faces in response to climate change. Musician Calum Baird, then took the pupils ideas and turned them into a song. At a second workshop, pupils heard the song and then created artwork to accompany the music and lyrics.

Calum said: “I’ve loved working with the class to create this song. The pupils had some great ideas about how we can address climate change and it’s an honour to reflect these through my music.

“By highlighting what actions we can take collectively, we have co-created something that leaves everyone with a sense of responsibility and hope for the future.”

Dr Andrew Johnson, Assistant Professor in Fisheries Conservation said: “By bringing our research directly from the lab to the classroom, we have been able to engage these young minds and learn how they think we can keep our land and oceans from harm. The song Calum has written is catchy, powerful and reflects the hopes and concerns of the next generation.

Dr Julia de Rezende, Assistant Professor in Geomicrobiology at the Lyell Centre said: “As scientists, it can sometimes be difficult to explain what we do in a meaningful way, especially to young people. The Creative Watts project was a brilliant opportunity for developing interesting and engaging ways to communicate our research”.