Walks through city's scientific past launched

A series of walking tours has been launched that will lead visitors to Edinburgh in the footsteps of Darwin, Hutton and Higgs, all via a mobile app.

The Curious Edinburgh app offers a selection of tours through the city, celebrating a different aspect of its scientific heritage.

Curious Edinburgh is a project led by academics from the University’s Science, Technology and Innovation Studies.

Download app

The app is available for both Apple and Android devices.

Once downloaded, the app will help users find key places and orientate themselves in the city. At each stop, pictures and text will bring history to life. The tours should take approximately three hours.

For people interested in Edinburgh's important contribution to new ideas and innovations throughout the ages, Curious Edinburgh will guide them through places in the city where they can discover fascinating stories from the history of science, technology and medicine.

Bill JenkinsScience, Innovation and Technology Studies

The tours

There are four distinct tours:

The General Science, Technology and Medicine Tour takes visitors to key sites and tells stories from Edinburgh’s scientific heritage, for example, about Charles Darwin and the Edinburgh Seven, the first group of women admitted into a UK medical school.

The History of Geology tour showcases Edinburgh’s long association with the science of geology, in particular the works of James Hutton.

The History of Medicine tour takes visitors to important sites in the science’s development. It includes Robert Knox’s anatomy school and the home of Joseph Black.

The History of Physics tour highlights how some of the most important figures in the discipline’s history have called Edinburgh their home, from John Napier, who discovered logarithms in the 16th century, to Peter Higgs in the 21st.

Free event

To launch the app, on Sunday 2 April researchers are organising free guided tours based on special themes, including Dolly the Sheep and a history of brewing.

These special events are part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival.  

Curious Edinburgh at the Edinburgh International Science Festival

The available tours are:

12pm - History of Medicine in Edinburgh

1pm - Astronomy and space science in Edinburgh

2pm - Enlightenment in Edinburgh

3pm - Dolly: a remarkable sheep (especially family friendly)

4pm - History of Geology: James Hutton

5pm - Brewing Heritage of the Canongate

The tours will last approximately 1 hour, and will leave from the Science Festival Moments in Time exhibit on the Mound Precinct, next to the National Gallery Scotland.

To reserve a free ticket, click on the link below.

Additional tickets available on location before the start of the tours.

Collaborative project

Curious Edinburgh is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. It is being developed with EDINA, the University’s centre for digital expertise and online service delivery, and is a featured project of Edinburgh Cityscope.

Related links

Download Curious Edinburgh app (Apple)

Download Curious Edinburgh app (Android)

Book free ticket for walking tour

Curious Edinburgh

Science, Innovation and Technology Studies

Edinburgh International Science Festival