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James Hutton by Sir Henry Raeburn © Scottish National Portrait Gallery
James Hutton (1726 – 1797) was a leading figure of the Scottish Enlightenment, an eighteenth century golden age of intellectual and scientific achievements centred on Edinburgh

What is the James Hutton Institute?

The James Hutton Institute has a long history through its legacy organisations in providing independent, world-class scientific research tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges relating to food and environmental security and sustainable development. These are set in the context of significant global changes in population, increased demand for natural resources, a changing climate and economic and geopolitical policy drivers. 

Who was James Hutton?

Our scientists follow the inspiration of James Hutton (1726 – 1797), after whom we are named, and deliver global impact through excellent science, collaboration and innovation. A leading figure of the Scottish Enlightenment, James Hutton was willing to challenge accepted wisdom to create a new vision of how the world was formed and how it is constantly evolving. The observations he made on Scotland’s rocks, soils and landscapes forever changed the way we think about the world. The portrait of James Hutton by Sir Henry Raeburn, above, hangs in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. It was purchased with the aid of the Art Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund in 1986.

Where is it based?

The Institute has its main offices in Aberdeen and Dundee. We also operate farms or field research stations at Glensaugh in Aberdeenshire, and Balruddery, near Fowlis in Angus. Balruddery is also home to the Centre for Sustainable Cropping.

What does the James Hutton Institute logo represent?

Image of The James Hutton Institute logoThe equally spaced vertical segments in the logo show structure and foundation. This together with the horizontal segments hint at ‘unconformity in land’, one of the many discoveries made by James Hutton as he studied the land and its potential.

The landscape and water are illustrated in the waved lines of the logo and give the logo movement. The purple (heather) is to symbolise the Scottish roots of the James Hutton Institute. The different sections are then grouped together within a curved square.

The design can be interpreted as geological strata… as field plots… or as runrig in traditional Scottish farming and crofting. The white space could be drill holes.

For logo usage guidelines and to download high-resolution versions of our logo, please see our Terms and Conditions page.

How is the James Hutton Institute funded?

The James Hutton Institute receives funding from a range of sources each year. Approximately two-thirds of its funding comes from the Scottish Government and the Government for scientific research work packages. The Institute also receives funding from European Union sources, competitive government research contracts and commercial contracts.

Does the Institute conduct commercial activities?

There is one commercial subsidiary: James Hutton Limited.

Can the public visit the James Hutton Institute?

The James Hutton Institute grounds in Dundee are part of the local paths network which can be used at any time and there are signposts throughout the site indicating paths. The Living Field Community Garden has permanent information boards and can also be visited by individuals or small groups at any time.

Visitors are also welcome at Glensaugh in the Central Grampians. A self guided trail leads you on a circular tour of the farm, pointing out areas of particular geographic, social, landscape and historical changes.

How do I arrange a visit for my school or university?

The Learning and Resources pages have more information about what is offered to schools and universities.

Is the James Hutton Institute involved in growing any genetically modified (GM) crops?

There are currently no field trials or commercially grown GM crops in Scotland.

What is the Ben/Glen series of blackcurrants/raspberries and where can I buy them?

The blackcurrants and raspberries bred at the James Hutton Institute (and its predecessor SCRI) can be readily identified by their names – each is prefixed by Ben in the case of blackcurrants, for example, Ben Hope, or by Glen for raspberry, for example, Glen Ample. A further example is the Loch series of blackberries, for example, Loch Ness. Our varieties can be found in specialist fruit nurseries/propagators and good garden centres. Always buy plants from a reputable source to ensure material of a high health status.

Where can I buy Mayan Gold potatoes?

You can buy from a few selected Tesco and Sainsbury stores when they are in season, during the autumn. Tubers for planting and growing in your garden can be obtained from Thompson Morgan.

Where can I buy a HuttonSoils soil sampling kit?

Soil kits can be ordered online at or by phoning 01224 395115.

How do I find out about job opportunities / PhD studentships / work experience placements at the James Hutton Institute?

Vacancies are listed on our careers pages.


Printed from /about/faqs on 19/04/24 09:26:37 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.