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Social and Educational Foraging and Gleaning: Only free open access events and activities get listed on the website…


Click on the event to get more information.  If you have an event or activity in Edinburgh which you want to put on the calendar email in the details.


Please check external event websites to confirm details and get tickets


Constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Food Intolerances @ The Marriott Hotel
Jan 28 @ 9:30 am – 10:45 am
Constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Food Intolerances @ The Marriott Hotel   | Scotland | United Kingdom

Spire Murrayfield Hospital is holding a talk all about constipation, IBS and other Gastrointestinal complaints. Bowel symptoms are common causes of health concerns today. Some symptoms are signs of serious health problems such as colon cancer and need to be investigated as a matter or urgency. Other symptoms may be more suggestive of irritable bowel syndrome. Whilst this is common and relatively less serious, these symptoms are often very disturbing and worrying nevertheless.

Careful assessment of these symptoms will allow the most appropriate investigation to be chosen and a plan of treatment started that will bring benefit to all with gut symptoms. Consultant Gastroenterologist Dr Chris Fraser will talk around these issues, alongside Dr Fred Pender – Dietician. There will be ample opportunity to ask questions after the presentation.

Edinburgh Medical School: Let’s talk about health: Breast cancer; the advent of personalised medicine @ Queen's Medical Research Institute
Feb 15 @ 4:30 pm – 6:45 pm
Edinburgh Medical School: Let’s talk about health: Breast cancer; the advent of personalised medicine @ Queen's Medical Research Institute | Scotland | United Kingdom

“Let’s Talk About Health” is all about advancing our knowledge of health and what goes wrong in disease. Join us to hear about new research in our University that is increasing our understanding of diseases and providing new advances in treatment. Guests will be able to talk to our young scientists about their research, and S4 and S5 pupils will have an opportunity to tour our labs before the talks. We look forward to seeing you there!

Professor Karen Chapman

University/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science

Most people associate breast cancer with women. However, men can also be affected. Currently, 1 in 8 women in the UK will be affected by breast cancer during their lifetime. Huge steps have been made in understanding some of the complexities underpinning this disease and developing increasingly effective treatment strategies. This started here in Scotland, with Beatson’s discovery that in some women, removal of the ovaries can shrink tumours. Join us to hear about some of the key advances that have led to over 85% of women now living more than 5 years after diagnosis of breast cancer. We will explore exciting research aimed at developing new treatment strategies, that are personalised to the individual patient’s cancer, to maximise treatment effectiveness and limit unpleasant side-effects.


Dr Helen Creedon, and Professor Val Brunton, Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre, The University of Edinburgh

Doors open 4.30pm with teas and coffees available.

Refreshments available after event.

Photography & filming

This event may be photographed and/or recorded for promotional or recruitment materials for the University or University approved third parties.

For any further information contact the organiser, Karen Chapman [email protected]

Ragged University: ‘Spinoza’s Spectacles’ plus ‘Germans in England 1860-1915’ @ The Castle Hotel
Sep 11 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Ragged University: 'Spinoza's Spectacles' plus 'Germans in England 1860-1915' @  The Castle Hotel

Come along to The Castle Hotel (66 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE) from 7pm. Come along for some food, some socialising and an opportunity to learn in a relaxed atmosphere.  All are welcome along to this informal event – put your feet up and enjoy the journey…


Spinoza’s Spectacles: Philosophy, Science and the Dutch Masters by Josef Darlington

The Dutch Masters are an intriguing group in art history. Compared to other great artistic movements their work is rather quiet and insular. Not for them the wild experiments of the modernists or the celestial majesty of the renaissance. Instead, artists like Rembrandt and Vermeer focused on domestic interiors, reserved portraits and the exquisite play of light and shadow known as chiaroscuro.

Yet the Dutch Masters were working at a time of great change. The Dutch Republic carved a unique path between Catholic absolutism and Protestant iconoclasm, stumbling upon the invention of modern liberal capitalism along the way.

Dutch toleration and trade produced huge advancements in technology and learning; the understanding of architecture, accounting, music, mechanics and, importantly, optics were revolutionised. A new philosophy emerged to explain these breakthroughs, most eloquently summarised in the works of the artisan lens grinder Baruch de Spinoza.

A living example of the power of Dutch toleration, Spinoza’s works were banned by the Catholic church, denounced by Protestant preachers and he was cast out from the Jewish community for suggesting that God and Nature were one and the same.

Offered a prestigious position at the University of Amsterdam, Spinoza preferred to keep on making his spectacles and keep his philosophising as a hobby. This was in keeping with his Ethics, in which he argues that every individual is responsible for their own soul which no established church or institution could guarantee for them.

In this lecture I aim to demonstrate how the intimate domestic scenes common to the Dutch Masters reflect a view of the world in line with Spinoza’s materialism. The importance of light and shadow, the denial of myth and magic, and the preponderance of group portraiture all reflect the unique landscape of Dutch thought and being in the seventeenth century Golden Age.



And for the second talk of the evening…

Thinkers or Junkers? Germans in England 1860-1915 by Anne Hill Fernie

2017 has seen the sharp decline in UK German studies at all levels. A 13.2 drop at GCSE level, similar at ‘A’ level and undergraduates reading German has almost halved since 1997. It would appear ironic that in an age where Europe has never been closer geographically, our real sense of closeness to it culturally & emotionally widens.

As a result of this and continued media stereotyping of the ‘bad’ or ‘threatening’ German, many British are unaware of the completely different reputation that ‘our cultural cousins’ had before the onset of WW1 as a nation of ‘poets and thinkers’. Germans of all professions flocked to Britain from the 1860s onwards, becoming one of the largest immigrant groups and contributing immeasurably to British culture and communities of the time.

My talk will identify German nationals’ contribution to Manchester in particular but crucially, will try and pinpoint at what point the image started to curdle, from that of ‘poets and thinkers’ (Dichter und Denker) to that of ‘Judges and executioners’ (Richter und Henker) – a Eurotrope of aggression and domination that the country has never quite managed to shake off. The question posed is how to re-engage Britain with German culture – a culture so bound up with ours if only we knew…….


All Ragged University events are free and informal.  Everyone is welcome to bring along an item of food to put on the table to share and take away what is left at the end.


Ragged University: The Art of Argumentation: Philosophy, Reason and the Universe; The Mind and the World by Tina Röck @ St John’s Church Hall
Oct 21 @ 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Ragged University: The Art of Argumentation: Philosophy, Reason and the Universe; The Mind and the World by Tina Röck @ St John’s Church Hall

Come along to the St John’s Church Hall (Princes St, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ) at 2.30pm and take part in discussion about philosophy. It is a friendly and informal gathering to discuss topics with food in good company. It is entirely free and open to everyone

Meeting on 21st of October:

In the first part of this meeting, we will develop those critical thinking skills and chat about Schopenhauer’s The art always being right. (see link provided) We will discuss the rhetorical third to fifth trick Schopenhauer presents (generalisation, concealment and false premises), and talk about whether we have had them used on us and what to do when someone uses one of these tricks in a discussion.

The general context of our question: The mind and the world, part II

This is second meeting about this philosophical topic. But it will be a stand-alone, so feel free to come along, even if you missed the last talk.

  • Think about it. How do you know that anything you think you experience is actually real?
  • How do we know that we don’t live in a computer simulation (think Matrix) or in a really elaborate dream from which we just do not wake?
  • How do you know you are not dreaming right now?
  • And if something just exists in your mind, or in your dream, does that mean it is less real – even though it appears absolutely real to you?

All of these questions circle the relation between mind and world, and there are many ways philosophers have attempted to investigate this relation.

  • They did, for example, ask, what is consciousness and how does it relate to the world?
  • Or, how do the mind and the body interact?
  • Is everything structured and distorted by our minds?
  • What is the difference between the mind and the physical brain?
  • If our mind depends on the physical interactions in the brain, are our thoughts then determined by causal interaction?

On the 21st of October, we specifically be looking at one set of answers given to these questions, namely the ones provided by the phenomenologists Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger

The Inner Level – How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone’s Well-Being; open free event with Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett @ Grassmarket Community Project
Oct 26 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The Inner Level - How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone's Well-Being; open free event with Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett @ Grassmarket Community Project

We are delighted to host Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson who will present and discuss their new book The Inner Level. The Inner Level follows on from The Spirit Level (2009) which put inequality at the centre of public debate by showing conclusively that less-equal societies fare worse than more equal ones across everything from education to life expectancy. The Inner Level (2018) now explains how inequality affects us individually, how it alters how we think, feel and behave.

Kate and Richard have been consulted at local, national and international levels. And we hope that the insights into the book will provide a basis for the audience to consider how inequality and in particular health inequality can be tackled in Edinburgh.

This event is a parternship between the Mental Health Foundation, NHS Lothian and the NRS Mental Health Network.