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James Hutton goes to the Royal Highland Show

Photograph of visitors to the James Hutton Institute stand at the 2011 RHS
Our country leads the world in rural and environmental research and it is entirely appropriate that our science is on show at Ingliston and that we demonstrate how our knowledge and innovation helps to support our very successful food and drink industries.

The distinguished eighteenth century gentleman striding purposefully round this year’s Royal Highland Show at Ingliston will be none other than James Hutton, the Scottish Enlightenment scientist who influenced Charles Darwin in his theory of evolution and inspired the name of Scotland’s globally renowned research institute.

An actor will play the part of the eminent scientist at the show, urging farmers, consumers and everyone interested in food, the environment and sustainability to visit the James Hutton Institute stand on Avenue Q. Here they will discover the details of ground breaking international research on crops, water, land and biodiversity as well as fascinating stories about Hutton, the man who is widely recognised as the father of modern geology.

Land-use research, sustainable systems, crop genetics, forensic soil science, agricultural pests and diseases all come under the James Hutton research umbrella and scientists will be on hand to explain the focus of their work.

There will also be physical evidence of the success of generations of scientific soft fruit breeding with a delicious tasting selection of raspberries, blackcurrants and blackberries created in Scotland by James Hutton Institute crop geneticists. The premier varieties are now marketed around the world by the Institute’s commercial affiliate, Mylnefield Research Services (MRS) Ltd which will also be on hand to describe the scale and scope of the Scottish expertise.

This will be the first year the James Hutton Institute has had its own exclusive stand to showcase the work of the 600 staff at its two main sites at Aberdeen and Dundee and its research stations and farms.

The James Hutton Institute Chief Executive, Professor Iain Gordon, said: “We have been fortunate enough to have inherited from our predecessor institutes a long and happy relationship with the Royal Highland Show.

“As anyone who has been to the Royal Highland Show will know, it is a unique and wonderful slice of Scotland. Our country leads the world in rural and environmental research and it is entirely appropriate that our science is on show at Ingliston and that we demonstrate how our knowledge and innovation helps to support our very successful food and drink industries.

“I want to thank all our friends in the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland who have made it possible for us to take a more prominent role in the show this year.”

Elsewhere on the showground, in the Dobbie’s Discovery Centre, James Hutton Institute scientists will help young people can take part in a practical, hands-on approach to weighing up the earth’s finite natural resources and exploring how they can be used sustainably. Institute scientists will also be on hand to guide children through a computer-based news game which helps them find a balanced approach to the conflicting arguments on topical environmental issues such as genetic modification.

James Hutton Institute staff will also participate alongside top chefs and colleagues from the University of Aberdeen’s Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health in the Scotland Food and Drink Cookery Theatre on the Thursday and Saturday of the event, where they will add their scientific expertise to the dishes being prepared. Audiences will be invited to ask questions about the impact of climate change, sustainability, health and provenance of the ingredients on some of our staple dishes.

Notes to editors

The Royal Highland Show runs from 21-24 June at the Royal Highland Showground, Ingliston, Edinburgh. The James Hutton Institute marquee is on Avenue Q, Stand 231 and the Dobbies Discovery Centre is directly opposite.

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Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).

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Printed from /news/james-hutton-goes-royal-highland-show on 25/02/24 01:20:04 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.