Edit Magazine

Summer 2017

Our latest issue includes features on video artist Rachel Maclean, dementia developments and global food security.


Katherine Grainger and Polly Swann at the Boat Club anniversary
A selection of news from the University, including a farewell to the Principal as he prepares to demit office, the newly refurbished McEwan Hall, the opening of our Southeast Asia Office and the 150th anniversary of Edinburgh University Boat Club.

In your face

Rachel Maclean is taking the contemporary art scene by storm with her startling short films, which tackle big themes through a host of intriguing, and at times disturbing, characters all played by herself. At a team preparation weekend in the Scottish Borders in April, the woman behind the mask talked to Edit about her latest work, 'Spite Your Face', ahead of its premiere at the world-renowned Venice Biennale.

Feed the world

Faced with a rapidly growing global population with evolving dietary demands, and food choices, the agri-food sector, researchers and specialists are under more pressure than ever to adapt agricultural methods to feed more mouths while also protecting the planet. In the Edit interview, Professor Geoff Simm, Director of the University’s Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security, talks about facing up to the challenges and finding solutions.

A future free of dementia

Scan showing white matter fibres of the human brain.
An estimated 47.5 million people live with dementia worldwide, and by 2050 this figure is set to rise to 135 million*. A progressive disease that currently has no cure, dementia places a huge burden on families, carers and health systems. However, all this could change. Edit meets the inspiring individuals who, through their research, study participation and charity work, are improving treatment and reducing dementia risk.

The Edit opinion piece: What does liberty look like now?

Marcela Althaus-Reid portrait
Edinburgh graduate and Chair of Latin American Studies and Professor of Religion at Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota, USA, Thia Cooper shares her ideas on justice, freedom, privilege and gender, while recalling Edinburgh educator Marcella Althaus-Reid.

The power of nature

Edinburgh research into youth crime and justice, led by alumna Professor Lesley McAra, has resulted in major changes within criminal justice systems both at home and overseas. The number of older teenagers currently incarcerated in Scotland is the lowest since records began. Fellow alumnus Jamie Feilden has formulated social-justice interventions that rescue young people from the criminal justice system through a transformative rural experience. Edit uncovers what drives them and how their efforts are changing lives.

Believe the hype

Elon Musk at SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition
Imagine a world where you can travel the length of the UK in less than an hour, gliding at the speed of sound through a seamless network of overground pipes. This is the vision of a team of talented Edinburgh students who have reached the final stages of not one but two international competitions to develop a new mode of transport called Hyperloop. Adam Anyszewski, 4th-year Engineering student and president of HypED, tells the story of the team’s inspiring journey so far.

A lasting legacy

student graphic
During his 15 years as Principal Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea has championed widening access to the University. As he prepares to step down, a scholarship initiative named in his honour will continue his work by giving promising students the opportunity to excel regardless of their circumstances. Edit finds out more about the O’Shea Global Scholars Initiative and how it is widening access to an Edinburgh education.


Edinburgh skyline purple Castle
As summer 2017 marks 70 years of the Edinburgh International Festival, this view of the city at dusk is a reminder of how magical Edinburgh is at this time of year.

What you did next

Edinburgh students
Edit explore the interesting locations and careers that our alumni have found themselves in.


The University’s mission is to ‘discover, develop and share knowledge’. Edit highlights a few of our alumni authors doing just that.

Landmark: University Main Library, George Square

Main Library in 1960s
At almost 440 years old the University of Edinburgh Library is one of the oldest libraries in Scotland. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Main Library on George Square, we share some of our alumni’s fond memories of the iconic 1960s Basil Spence building.