Edinburgh Friends


Extra articles coming out after the release of each edition.

Why we all need to get out more

Catherine Ward Thompson and the Meadows
Have you connected with the outdoors more during the Covid-19 pandemic? We talked to Catharine Ward Thompson, Professor of Landscape Architecture, about why that’s important, socio-spatial inequality and the idea of 20-minute neighbourhoods.

Too much pressure? Why student mental health has never mattered more

Andy Shanks wellbeing centre
Demand for student counselling services at the University of Edinburgh has increased by 270% in the past eight years, so we asked our Director of Student Wellbeing, Andy Shanks, to tell us more about what is behind the rise and what the University is doing to help our students’ wellbeing, especially during Covid-19.

Mapping solutions from space

Scotland from Space
Can Edinburgh become the space data capital of Europe? A University space data and satellites programme is yielding some exciting projects, including a student-led venture to launch a nanosatellite into space. We talked to project-founder Ani Vasudevan about his plans to use space technology to advance understanding of global challenges.

Bringing together the next generation of ocean changemakers

Coastal village in Indonesia
The world’s oceans are facing an existential crisis. A new global programme for professionals, hosted by the University of Edinburgh, is bringing together emerging ocean leaders, from different sectors and different countries, and supporting them to identify solutions. We caught up with some of the people involved.

Feeding the thousands

scran acadmey volunteers
How does a team of three mobilise an operation to supply 100,000 meals for vulnerable people across Edinburgh? We caught up with Scran Academy, a recipient of the University’s Community Grants Scheme, to find out.

Business with purpose: creating leaders for social change

Images of experts from the Business School
As the University of Edinburgh Business School’s 100th anniversary celebrations draw to a close, we asked the school’s staff, students and alumnus Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, to share their different perspectives on how the business sector can be a force for social good.

Can an ancient Asian remedy help prevent the spread of Covid-19?

woman coughing into sleeve
A team at the University of Edinburgh is investigating the science behind the ancient practice of nasal irrigation and gargling and whether it could protect public health during Covid-19. We talked to the team’s researchers to find out more.

Meet the behavioural scientist guiding us through Covid-19

Linda Bauld, Bruce and John Usher Professor of Public Health
Two years ago, Professor Linda Bauld was appointed the University’s first female holder of the Bruce and John Usher Chair of Public Health. Today, she is one of the UK’s leading expert voices helping us understand the virus and its public health consequences. We caught up with her to find out more about her role during this crisis.

Looking out for our neighbours

The ramifications of the Covid-19 outbreak have been rippling through communities for weeks, affecting people in myriad ways. Find out how the University of Edinburgh has been working with local charities to support those in need.

Will a “new normal” after Covid-19 offer fresh hope for the climate crisis?

deserted royal mile
For 20 years, climate scientist Dave Reay has had a dream for the world to achieve net zero emissions. Now, he tells us why lessons learnt during this global crisis might help us, as nations, communities and individuals, move closer to that goal.

Reaching the next generation of scientists

outreach science children
As a youngster, Shona Richardson noticed a distinct lack of opportunities to develop her burgeoning love of science. Now the PhD candidate is one of the School of Chemistry’s public engagement scholars, devising fun and interactive experiences that give school children the chance to explore and interact with various aspects of science and its application.

Our questions for 2020

friends 2020
New year, new decade. What will we be talking about, thinking about, concerned about in 2020? We asked some of our academics to share their predictions on what the urgent issues will be during the year ahead.

The heart attack gender gap

A woman places her hands on her chest
Edinburgh researchers have found that women receive poorer heart attack treatment than men, despite improvement in diagnosis. And they are now investigating why.

How a smartphone could become a life-saver

Dr Wang in Bangladesh
Edinburgh researchers have developed a biosensor that attaches to a smartphone and uses bacteria to detect unsafe arsenic levels – a device that could help millions of people avoid drinking water contaminated by arsenic.

Extra-terrestrial mining

biomining graphic
A new investigation by University researchers on the International Space Station is asking the question: could we unleash microbes to mine rocks in space?

In support of art

The University’s Talbot Rice Gallery will this summer launch its first Patrons Programme, offering supporters the unique opportunity to contribute to new artistic talent and community outreach, to take contemporary art into classrooms and prisons, and invite groups dealing with homelessness into the Gallery for every exhibition.

Stopping cancer before it develops

Dr Juan-Carlos Acosta and members of his research group
Fresh insights into how cells alert the body when they are in danger of becoming cancerous could open new doors in the search for cancer therapies.

The science behind great chocolate

Chocolate truffles
The process for making the best chocolate has been revealed by researchers studying a 140-year-old mixing technique, and could lead to both greener and lower-fat products.

The beauty of ugly fruit

Misshapen apples
An unripe mango has helped inspire an Edinburgh graduate’s research that shows we can all help tackle climate change by taking control of our own food choices.

Me and My Epilepsy

me and my epilepsy graphic
The Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre is the University's hub for investigating the causes of childhood epilepsy. And now children are being given a voice through research that focuses on their own experiences and words.