About Edinburgh

Scotland’s inspiring capital city is a fusion of fabled streets and historic buildings, contained within a vibrant modern city. Quite simply, it is a brilliant destination in which to hold an international conference.

Voted the best city in the UK by a survey of 10,000 people (2009), it’s stunningly beautiful and also compact, with a wonderful atmosphere and very friendly people.

It’s the perfect fusion of old and new. To enjoy the historic wonders of the Old Town, visitors can trail from the iconic Edinburgh Castle at the top of the Royal Mile all the way down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh, and the new Scottish Parliament.

Across the green expanse of Princes Street Gardens lies the elegant Georgian New Town, with its stunning architecture, leafy gardens, stylish boutiques and fantastic restaurants.

In the midst of these gracious surroundings, Edinburgh is alive with inspiration and innovation.

For centuries it has nurtured some of the greatest minds in philosophy, economics, finance, literature, law, medicine, engineering and architecture. Often referred to as the ‘festival city’, Edinburgh offers a year round programme of arts and cultural events.

Edinburgh is home to the Scottish Parliament, holds the national museums and national collections of art, has four universities, the national headquarters of banks and financial institutions and a thriving new sector in life sciences and bio-technology.

“Rich in memories and traditions, Edinburgh is immortal
in its collective personality.”

Winston Churchill

City of innovation

Edinburgh has a long tradition of innovation in almost all fields of human endeavour and enterprise. Over at least five centuries, in academic and financial institutions, in coffee houses, pubs and churches, it has nurtured some of the world’s leading doctors, scientists, artists, writers, lawyers, engineers, architects and philosophers.

This inspiring tradition continues to thrive and Edinburgh boasts many centres of excellence which attract the keenest and most creative minds to live and work in the city.

Illustrious scientists who lived and worked in Edinburgh include Charles Darwin, James Young Simpson and Alexander Fleming, along with creative writers and artists such as Robert Burns, R L Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, JK Rowling, Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith.

Today its four universities continue this tradition of innovation. For hundreds of years they

have led the way in disciplines ranging from political economy and medicine to software development and micro-engineering. Today Edinburgh is a global leader in many areas of research and development in medicine, new technologies and the life sciences.

A walkable city

The city centre is compact, stunningly beautiful and easily explored on foot. Edinburgh is a compact city, so it’s easy and enjoyable to get around on foot. The city is built on several hills, so expect a few gradients – don’t worry though as most of them are easily tackled by anyone of average fitness, and the stunning views are well worth the effort!

Around Edinburgh City Centre you can take in the New Town with its splendid architecture, the historic Dean Village, the Gallery of Modern Art (which is well worth a visit), the Water of Leith walkway, bustling Stockbridge and the stunning Botanic Garden which is an ideal way to fill a free afternoon.

If you fancy a quiet stroll away from the traffic, the city has a number of peaceful parks you may like to explore. In the city centre itself, you’ll find Princes Street Gardens where you can relax and take in one of the best views of the Castle there is. Outside the city centre there’s The Meadows, Inverleith Park, the Hermitage and the Pentland Hills. Not far from the Royal Mile, there’s Holyrood Park, where you’ll find the imposing sight of Arthur’s Seat – this extinct volcano is a well-known Edinburgh landmark and worth climbing for the panoramic views (we advise that you wear sensible walking shoes for this walk!).

For a relaxing walk and the chance to glimpse some local wildlife you can take a stroll along the Union Canal or Water of Leith walk-ways.

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Confirmed Keynote Speakers
Joyce Davidson, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada

PRESENTATION: A year of living dangerously: Reflections on risk, trust, trauma and change

image of jane speedy

PRESENTATION: Staring at the park

photo of Lauren Berlant

PRESENTATION: On Being in Life without Wanting the World: Living in Ellipsis.

Delegate fees
£275 includes lunch & refreshments throughout and drinks reception.

Conference dinner £25