We are very excited to announce our Inspiring People Talks Programme, in partnership with Tiso, for 2017 -18. We have a wonderful line up of explorers, adventurers and academics waiting to entertain you over the dark winter months so mark those calendars!

Christy Harrison – Life and conservation in the jungles of Borneo

Zoologist, conservationist and primate expert Christy spent many years in the jungles of Borneo studying and leading teams of volunteers for the Orangutan Foundation UK. In this talk, Christy takes you through the trials and tribulations of jungle life and what it taught her about the most ancient rainforest on the planet.

25-Sep-17 Dumfries Easterbrook Hall, The Crichton, Bankend Road, Dumfries, DG1 4TA
26-Sep-17 Borders Scottish Borders Campus, Nether Road, Galashiels, TD1 3HE
27-Sep-17 Ayr Council Chambers, Ayr Town Hall, New Bridge Street, Ayr, KA7 1JX
28-Sep-17 Helensburgh Victoria Halls, Sinclair Street, Helensburgh, G84 8TU

 

Will Millard – Life With The Hunters of The South Seas

Join award-winning BBC presenter and writer Will for an evening of stories from a decade spent living with the South Pacific’s last remaining hunter-gatherer tribes. Will’s totally immersive talk is illustrated with stunning clips and exclusive images from his BBC Two documentaries and landmark expeditions. Will brings his humour and genuine sense of wonderment to a thrilling talk featuring some of the most extraordinary humans on Earth.

02-Oct-17 Aberdeen New King’s (NK6), University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3EB
03-Oct-17 Dundee Dalhousie Building (LT3), Old Hawkhill, University of Dundee, DD1 5EN
04-Oct-17 Dunfermline Dunfermline High School, Jennie Rennies Road, Dunfermline, KY11 3BQ
05-Oct-17 Glasgow afternoon Renfield Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JP
05-Oct-17 Edinburgh evening Appleton Tower, (LT5) 11 Crichton Street, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE
09-Oct-17 Inverness The Highland Council Chamber, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, IV3 5NX
10-Oct-17 Perth Salutation Hotel, 34 South Street, Perth, PH2 8PH
11-Oct-17 Stirling Logie Lecture Theatre, Cottrell Building, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

 

 

Luke and Hazel Robertson – Due North:Alaska – An Expedition Across a Changing Landscape

Join Luke and Hazel Robertson, RSGS Explorers in Residence, as they recount tales from their recent expedition, Due North: Alaska. From May to August 2017 Hazel and Luke kayaked, biked and ran the length of Alaska in a world-first expedition. Luke and Hazel will discuss the rewards and challenges they faced when they headed off the beaten path and into the unknown, as well as the shocking environmental changes they observed.

16-Oct-17 Kirkcaldy School of Midwifery, University of Dundee Fife Campus, 5 Forth Avenue, Kirkcaldy, KY2 5YS
18-Oct-17 Edinburgh afternoon Appleton Tower (LT4), 11 Crichton Street, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE
18-Oct-17 Glasgow evening Waterstones, 153-157 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow.
23-Oct-17 Dumfries Easterbrook Hall, The Crichton, Bankend Road, Dumfries, DG1 4TA
24-Oct-17 Borders  Scottish Borders Campus, Nether Road, Galashiels, TD1 3HE
25-Oct-17 Ayr Council Chambers, Ayr Town Hall, New Bridge Street, Ayr, KA7 1JX
26-Oct-17 Helensburgh Victoria Halls, Sinclair Street, Helensburgh, G84 8TU

 

Anna McNuff – Running the Length of New Zealand (and other good ideas!)

In January 2015, with no previous experience as a long-distance runner, Anna set out on a 2,000 mile run along New Zealand’s Te Araroa trail. Travelling alone for 148 days, she moved through forests, along ridge lines, over mountain passes, along beaches and across swollen rivers. By June 2015 she had become the first person to run the length of the country entirely unsupported.

30-Oct-17 Aberdeen New King’s (NK6), University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3EB
31-Oct-17 Dundee Dalhousie Building (LT3), Old Hawkhill, University of Dundee, DD1 5EN
01-Nov-17 Dunfermline Dunfermline High School, Jennie Rennies Road, Dunfermline, KY11 3BQ
02-Nov-17 Glasgow afternoon Renfield Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JP
02-Nov-17 Edinburgh evening Appleton Tower, (LT5) 11 Crichton Street, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE

 

Rebecca Lowe – Crossing Continents & Cultures: From London to Tehran by Bike

When Rebecca Lowe left London to embark on an 11,000km cycle to Tehran, she was deeply unprepared. She was unfit, had no sense of direction and had not cycled uphill for over six years, but nonetheless she was determined to succeed. Join Rebecca to listen to tales from her life-changing adventure and learn how she discovered a world of greater warmth, colour and complexity than she could ever have imagined.

06-Nov-17 Inverness The Highland Council Chamber, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, IV3 5NX
07-Nov-17 Perth Salutation Hotel, 34 South Street, Perth, PH2 8PH
08-Nov-17 Stirling Logie Lecture Theatre, Cottrell Building, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

 

Vanessa Collingridge – Mapping Myths: the ‘Fantastic’ Geography of the Great Southern Continent

 The Great Southern Continent was one of the most intriguing and enduring geographical myths in the history of Western civilisation, and the goal of the first two voyages of Captain James Cook – this vast landmass was rumoured to be home to 50 million people and have riches to rival Asia! In this lavishly-illustrated talk, Vanessa takes us on a voyage through time, space and the geographical imagination.

13-Nov-17 Kirkcaldy School of Midwifery, University of Dundee Fife Campus, 5 Forth Avenue, Kirkcaldy, KY2 5YS
15-Nov-17 Edinburgh afternoon Lecture Theatre G.03, 50 George Square, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LD
15-Nov-17 Glasgow evening Waterstones, 153-157 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow.

 

Leon McCarron – Walking The Holy Land

Join Leon as he recounts his story of following wild hiking trails from Jerusalem to traverse some of the most contested landscapes in the world. Leon’s talk is a journey both through time and through the layers of history, culture and religion that have shaped the Holy Land. But at its heart, it is the story of people, not politics and of the connections that can bridge seemingly insurmountable barriers.

20-Nov-17 Dumfries Easterbrook Hall, The Crichton, Bankend Road, Dumfries, DG1 4TA
21-Nov-17 Borders  Scottish Borders Campus, Nether Road, Galashiels, TD1 3HE
22-Nov-17 Ayr Kyle Academy, Overmills Road, Ayr, KA7 3LR
23-Nov-17 Helensburgh Victoria Halls, Sinclair Street, Helensburgh, G84 8TU

 

Professor Colin Ballantyne – The Ice Age in Scotland

As recently as 25,000 years ago, Scotland was completely buried by an ice sheet over a kilometre thick, the last of a succession of ice sheets and glaciers that have sculpted the landscape into its present form over the last 2.5 million years. This much acclaimed talk will explore the climate changes of the last ice age and the effects of glaciation on Scotland’s scenery.

27-Nov-17 Aberdeen New King’s (NK6), University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3EB
28-Nov-17 Dundee Dalhousie Building (LT3), Old Hawkhill, University of Dundee, DD1 5EN
29-Nov-17 Dunfermline Dunfermline High School, Jennie Rennies Road, Dunfermline, KY11 3BQ

 

Professor Roger Crofts – A Taste of Iceland

So many people are now visiting this wonderful country, but are they getting a taste of the real Iceland? Roger Crofts, who has visited Iceland 26 times, gives his insights on what makes it so unique and how it has survived what nature and economic struggles have thrown at it. Roger was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Icelandic Order of the Falcon by the President in 2014.

30-Nov-17 Glasgow afternoon Renfield Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JP
30-Nov-17 Edinburgh evening Appleton Tower, (LT5) 11 Crichton Street, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE

 

Mark Evans – Into the Abode of Death: Crossing the Empty Quarter of Arabia

In the 1920s, the race was on to become the first westerner to successfully cross The Empty Quarter.  In February 1931, RSGS Livingstone Medallist Bertram Thomas, after a journey of 60 days, did just that.  Eighty-five years later, Mark Evans and his team set out to recreate this historic journey, taking 49 days to cross the largest sand desert in the world, from Salalah in Oman, across Saudi Arabia to Doha in Qatar.

04-Dec-17 Inverness The Highland Council Chamber, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, IV3 5NX
05-Dec-17 Perth Salutation Hotel, 34 South Street, Perth, PH2 8PH
06-Dec-17 Stirling Logie Lecture Theatre, Cottrell Building, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

 

Jo Woolf – The Great Horizon: Stories of Exploration from RSGS

From the pages of her new book The Great Horizon, based on her research in the RSGS archives, Jo Woolf brings to life the stories of some of the people who have inspired her.  There are explorers from the ‘heroic age’ of polar exploration, desert travellers, renowned mountaineers, oceanographers, botanists, geologists, and a particularly daring secret agent in Bolshevist Russia!

11-Dec-17 Kirkcaldy School of Midwifery, University of Dundee Fife Campus, 5 Forth Avenue, Kirkcaldy, KY2 5YS
13-Dec-17 Edinburgh afternoon Appleton Tower (LT4), 11 Crichton Street, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE
13-Dec-17 Glasgow evening TBA

 

Jason Lewis – Lessons in Sustainability: An Explorer’s Tale

 What can being attacked by a crocodile, spending a year alone at sea, contracting blood poisoning and malaria, being held for espionage, and getting hit by a car and left for dead teach us about global sustainability? To find out, spend an evening with adventurer Jason Lewis, the first person to pedal east-west across the Atlantic Ocean, to rollerblade solo across the USA, and to pedal across the Pacific Ocean!

08-Jan-18 Aberdeen New King’s (NK6), University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3EB
09-Jan-18 Dundee Dalhousie Building (LT3), Old Hawkhill, University of Dundee, DD1 5EN
10-Jan-18 Dunfermline Dunfermline High School, Jennie Rennies Road, Dunfermline, KY11 3BQ
11-Jan-18 Glasgow afternoon Renfield Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JP
11-Jan-18 Edinburgh evening Appleton Tower, (LT5) 11 Crichton Street, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE

 

Professor Colin Ballantyne – The Ice Age in Scotland

As recently as 25,000 years ago, Scotland was completely buried by an ice sheet over a kilometre thick, the last of a succession of ice sheets and glaciers that have sculpted the landscape into its present form over the last 2.5 million years. This much acclaimed talk will explore the climate changes of the last ice age and the effects of glaciation on Scotland’s scenery.

15-Jan-18 Inverness The Highland Council Chamber, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, IV3 5NX
16-Jan-18 Perth Perth Theatre, Main Auditorium
17-Jan-18 Stirling Logie Lecture Theatre, Cottrell Building, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

 

Felicity Aston – Pole of Cold: A Journey to Chase Winter

“What does winter mean to you?” This was the question that Felicity and her team sought to answer as they travelled more than 35,000km from the UK across Scandinavia and Siberia. Using images, stories, film footage and sounds gathered during the expedition, Felicity describes the people and places the team experienced as they headed into some of the most extreme winter climates in the world, including the Pole of Cold.

22-Jan-18 Kirkcaldy  TBA
24-Jan-18 Edinburgh afternoon  TBA
24-Jan-18 Glasgow evening Waterstones, 153-157 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow.

 

Charlie Walker- Following the Line: an Eight-Month Eurasian Triathlon

 In February 2017, Charlie began a nine-month, 9,000km triathlon spanning the length of the perceived border between Europe and Asia. ‘Following the Line’ was an eight month endurance feat, but was also an exploration into what it means to be Asian or European, what divides or unites the peoples on either side of the line, and the diversity of landscape, environment, religion and culture along the border that has traditionally demarcated East and West.

29-Jan-18 Dumfries Easterbrook Hall, The Crichton, Bankend Road, Dumfries, DG1 4TA
30-Jan-18 Borders  Scottish Borders Campus, Nether Road, Galashiels, TD1 3HE
31-Jan-18 Ayr Council Chambers, Ayr Town Hall, New Bridge Street, Ayr, KA7 1JX
01-Feb-18 Helensburgh Victoria Halls, Sinclair Street, Helensburgh, G84 8TU

 

Alex Bescoby – A Decade in Burma

 Alex picked up his first book about Burma in 2007, and a few months later he was on a plane to start a love affair that has lasted almost ten years. Since his first encounter, Alex has explored Burma extensively, and over countless cups of tea listened to incredible stories from its mind-bogglingly diverse people. Join Alex as he shares his unique insights and, delve into the soul of modern Burma.

05-Feb-18 Aberdeen New King’s (NK6), University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3EB
06-Feb-18 Dundee Dalhousie Building (LT3), Old Hawkhill, University of Dundee, DD1 5EN
07-Feb-18 Dunfermline Dunfermline High School, Jennie Rennies Road, Dunfermline, KY11 3BQ
08-Feb-18 Glasgow afternoon Renfield Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JP
08-Feb-18 Edinburgh evening Appleton Tower, (LT5) 11 Crichton Street, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE

 

Jo Woolf – The Great Horizon: Stories of Exploration from RSGS

From the pages of her new book The Great Horizon, based on her research in the RSGS archives, Jo Woolf brings to life the stories of some of the people who have inspired her.  There are explorers from the ‘heroic age’ of polar exploration, desert travellers, renowned mountaineers, oceanographers, botanists, geologists, and a particularly daring secret agent in Bolshevist Russia!

12-Feb-18 Inverness The Highland Council Chamber, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, IV3 5NX
13-Feb-18 Perth Salutation Hotel, 34 South Street, Perth, PH2 8PH
14-Feb-18 Stirling Logie Lecture Theatre, Cottrell Building, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

 

Hamish Brown – Scottish Oddities: A Surprise Tour

Hamish Brown is a poet and short story writer as well as an explorer of Scotland’s many highways and byways.  In this talk Hamish will take you on a tour of many of Scotland’s ‘oddities’, from a decorated bus stop in Unst to a Greek temple in the Hebrides. Hamish describes an astonishing number of places and objects that are weird, wonderful and sometimes hilarious.

19-Feb-18 Kirkcaldy School of Midwifery, University of Dundee Fife Campus, 5 Forth Avenue, Kirkcaldy, KY2 5YS

 

Jim Hansom – Scotland’s Eroding Shores

Both the rate and extent of coastal erosion in Scotland has increased over recent decades. This talk examines both the underlying factors affecting the Scottish coast and probes whether our current management approaches and tools can deliver the level of mitigation and adaptation needed to ensure sustainability for our key coastal assets, infrastructure and coastal communities.

21-Feb-18 Edinburgh afternoon Appleton Tower (LT4), 11 Crichton Street, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE
21-Feb-18 Glasgow evening Waterstones, 153-157 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow.

 

Professor Charles Withers – Mapping Scotland’s Islands

Scotland’s Geographer Royal’s richly illustrated talk examines and illuminates the mapping of Scotland’s islands, from their first infrequent cartographic appearances in the late 16th century to the commonplace mapping (and computer-led cartographic obliteration) of the country’s islands in the 21st century. His talk will suggest that mapping Scotland’s islands has not been a straightforward task. For what, after all, is an island? And what a map?

26-Feb-18 Dumfries Easterbrook Hall, The Crichton, Bankend Road, Dumfries, DG1 4TA
27-Feb-18 Borders  Scottish Borders Campus, Nether Road, Galashiels, TD1 3HE
28-Feb-18 Ayr Council Chambers, Ayr Town Hall, New Bridge Street, Ayr, KA7 1JX
01-Mar-18 Helensburgh Victoria Halls, Sinclair Street, Helensburgh, G84 8TU

Professor Iain Stewart – The Land Below Ground: Journeys Through Britain’s Underworld

 Join RSGS’s President as he takes a look at what is happening beneath the surface of the UK! From geo-energy extraction to underground disposal and storage, the rocks beneath our feet offer an important resource. With demand growing for a more sustainable development of human environments above ground, the UK’s subsurface space is likely to be exploited in an increasingly diverse and controversial set of ways.

05-Mar-18 Aberdeen New King’s (NK6), University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3EB
06-Mar-18 Dundee Dalhousie Building (LT3), Old Hawkhill, University of Dundee, DD1 5EN
07-Mar-18 Dunfermline Dunfermline High School, Jennie Rennies Road, Dunfermline, KY11 3BQ
08-Mar-18 Glasgow afternoon Renfield Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JP
08-Mar-18 Edinburgh evening Appleton Tower, (LT5) 11 Crichton Street, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE

 

Harry Hook – About Africa: In Pictures

Harry tells the dynamic and fascinating story of Africa’s human migration from countryside to the city, an epic journey of cultural change as seen and told from a lifetime photographing Africa. From pristine wildernesses to the heart of the continent’s expanding cities, Harry’s unusual collection of images covers a vast span of places and people and shines fresh light on Africa past and present.

12-Mar-18 Inverness The Highland Council Chamber, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, IV3 5NX
13-Mar-18 Perth Salutation Hotel, 34 South Street, Perth, PH2 8PH
14-Mar-18 Stirling Logie Lecture Theatre, Cottrell Building, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

 

Barbara Bond – MI9’s Escape & Evasion Maps of WWII

Barbara describes the historical background and purpose of MI9’s wartime escape and evasion mapping programme – the maps they produced, the covert help they were given by a famous Scottish map publisher, how maps were smuggled into the prisoner of war camps, and how they were instrumental in some remarkable escapes, particularly that of Airey Neave from Colditz.

19-Mar-18 Kirkcaldy School of Midwifery, University of Dundee Fife Campus, 5 Forth Avenue, Kirkcaldy, KY2 5YS
21-Mar-18 Edinburgh afternoon Appleton Tower (LT4), 11 Crichton Street, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LE
21-Mar-18 Glasgow evening Waterstones, 153-157 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow.

 

John Geiger – The Third Man Factor

John Geiger is the CEO of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society.  Using material from his acclaimed book, The Third Man Factor: Surviving the Impossible, John tells the story behind an extraordinary idea: that people on the edge of death, often adventurers or explorers, experience a benevolent presence who encourages them to make one final effort to survive.  In his talk John combines history, scientific analysis and great adventure stories to explain this survival secret.

 

26-Mar-18 Dumfries Easterbrook Hall, The Crichton, Bankend Road, Dumfries, DG1 4TA
27-Mar-18 Borders  Scottish Borders Campus, Nether Road, Galashiels, TD1 3HE
28-Mar-18 Ayr Council Chambers, Ayr Town Hall, New Bridge Street, Ayr, KA7 1JX
29-Mar-18 Helensburgh Victoria Halls, Sinclair Street, Helensburgh, G84 8TU

 

Tickets are not yet on sale.

Ticket sales will start 2 weeks before the first talk and a limited number of tickets for each talk will be available to buy online (via Eventbrite), remaining tickets will be sold on the door.