A virtual walking tour of Edinburgh is the winner of this year’s prestigious Tam Dalyell Prize.
It has been awarded to Dr Niki Vermeulen and Dr Bill Jenkins, both from Science, Technology and Innovation Studies in the School of Social and Political Science, and their team for Curious Edinburgh project.
They have created the tour, which explores Edinburgh’s role in the history of science, technology and medicine as well as shed light on future plans for the project and how it connects with Edinburgh’s local communities and tap into the city’s far-reaching international connections.
Dr Niki Vermeulen said: ‘I am obviously very honoured to receive the Tam Dalyell Prize for Curious Edinburgh. It is a wonderful recognition of our work and it is helping us to continue and expand the project.
‘Edinburgh has so many interesting stories to tell, and we hope that people will view the city with different eyes after knowing the important role it has played in the history of science, technology and medicine. We are currently working with granton:hub to develop a tour through the industrial heritage of Granton, and the prize money will help us to realise this.’
The project currently has virtual tours falling into the categories of general history of science, history of geology, history of physics, history of medicine, history of genetics and biotechnology and the Scottish Enlightenment with many more in development.
Curious Edinburgh also offers a Jewish History tour, produced in collaboration with the Research Network in Jewish Studies at the University of Edinburgh and History of Brewing, developed with the help and support of John Martin of the Scottish Brewing Archive Association.
The project works by downloading an app onto a phone and selecting a tour. The tour then takes the user around Edinburgh, by foot or public transport, to places which relate to the chosen topic.
The Tam Dalyell Prize for Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science began in 2008, named in honour of Tam Dalyell, an enthusiastic science communicator and weekly New Scientist columnist for 36 years who was Rector of the University of Edinburgh from 2003 – 2006 and who passed away in 2017.
Previous winners of the Tam Dalyell Prize include the late Professor Jon Oberlander (Professor of Epistemics, School of Informatics), Professor Sethu Vijayakumar (Chair in Robotics, School of Informatics), Professor Clare Blackburn (MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine) and Dr Amy Hardie (Scottish Documentary Institute, Edinburgh College of Art).
The Tam Dalyell Prize for Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science, presented by the University of Edinburgh celebrates the University’s exceptional science communicators with a ceremony and a lecture from the award winner, which took place on Sunday.