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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


Ragged University: The Scottish Highland and Lowland Clearances; When sheep became more profitable than people by Alex Dunedin @ Cabaret Voltaire
Mar 30 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Ragged University: The Scottish Highland and Lowland Clearances; When sheep became more profitable than people by Alex Dunedin @ Cabaret Voltaire | Scotland | United Kingdom

Come along and put your feet up at Ragged University, a free education project where everyone is welcome and we socialise around learning… It is informal and there is a bite to eat, you are also welcome to bring some food to share if you want.

The Scottish Highland and Lowland Clearances – When sheep became more profitable than people by Alex Dunedin

The Highland and Lowland Clearances were a terrible moment in Scotland’s history where the crofting peoples, families and communities were displaced from their traditional farmsteads and livings so that the landlords could institute their plans to make the land more profitable for their ends.  This is a history of land enclosure and forced eviction of massive stretches of land in single swoops leaving people destitute and wandering the earth to far afield places like north America, Australia, New Zealand and other places.

It was a move to enclose the lands common to the people and take from them their living during the 18th and 19th centuries by the aristocracy of Scotland.  Cruel and heartless, the law failed to represent the people in these robberies and significantly damaged the Gaelic culture pushing people towards the towns, cities and mills which waited for them.  Known in Gaelic as ‘Fuadach nan Gàidheal’ this translates to ‘expulsion of the Gael’.

As a relatively recent part of Scottish history it has great explanatory power for understanding the way that the Scottish culture and landscape exists today.  The highlands are denuded not only of the flora and fauna which were abundant sources of wealth, but also of its people and cultures.  Now vast stretches of Scotland is owned by absentee landlords as managed assets that contribute little if anything to the eco-system or culture of Scotland.


Edinburgh Café Scientifique: Surprising Targets for Harmful Air Pollution Particles with Ken Donaldson @ Surgeon’s Hall Museum
May 8 @ 6:30 pm
Edinburgh Café Scientifique: Surprising Targets for Harmful Air Pollution Particles with Ken Donaldson @ Surgeon’s Hall Museum | Scotland | United Kingdom

It is well known that inhaling dust particles causes disease. Ever since the early 19th century it has been recognised that inhaling large amounts of coalmine dust causes lung disease in miners. In the mid 20th Century London smogs claimed thousands of lives and the soot particles were suspected as being part of the problem, along with pollutant gases such a sulphur dioxide present in the pollution cloud.

In the late 20th century it began to emerge that, during pollution episodes, deaths were not only arising in people with lung disease but also in people with heart disease and that the particles were the most harmful component of the ambient air pollution cloud. This lead to research demonstrating that small particles possess enhanced harmfulness and also that small particles might be driving adverse effects by escaping from the lungs to accumulate at other sites in the body.

Small particles, also called nanoparticles, are small enough to migrate to the brain and to the walls of the blood vessels, triggering concern that air pollution may increase degenerative brain disease and coronary artery disease, both major killers in the general population. We will discuss this history and the latest data on the harmful effects of small particles at sites other than the lungs and alternative explanations for the mechanism of harm.

Suitable for age 18+. Cash bar available

Museum access until 9pm

What is Café Scientifique?

Café Scientifique is a place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to have a conversation about the latest ideas in science and technology. Meetings have taken place in cafes, bars, restaurants and even theatres, but always outside a traditional academic context.

The first Cafes Scientifique in the UK were held in Leeds in 1998. From there, cafes gradually spread across the country. Currently, some seventy or so cafes meet regularly to hear scientists or writers on science talk about their work and discuss it with diverse audiences.

Cafe Scientifique is a forum for debating science issues, not a shop window for science. We are committed to promoting public engagement with science and to making science accountable.

Reformation 500: Protestants and their Bibles from the Reformation to the Present @ Martin Hall, New College, Edinburgh
Oct 31 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Reformation 500: Protestants and their Bibles from the Reformation to the Present @ Martin Hall, New College, Edinburgh | Scotland | United Kingdom

A Public Lecture from Professor Alec Ryrie, Durham University.

All welcome – Refreshments provided  afterwards in the Rainy Hall

Ragged University: ‘What is Feminism’ plus ‘Teachers in Bangladesh’ @ The Castle Hotel
Nov 14 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Ragged University: 'What is Feminism' plus 'Teachers in Bangladesh' @ 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 a two talks in an informal setting…


What is Feminism ? by Brigitte Lechner

What is feminism? Ask ten people this question and you might get ten different answers. It’s not that I claim to have the one right answer but rather that I do have one I have settled on and I am pleased to share it with Ragged members. My generation of women has seen enormous changes in our lives. I hardly recognise myself as the young woman who always sat quietly in one corner or another. To me, that is proof of feminism as an agent of personal growth and empowerment; one more reason to share what I know about it.

Feminism to me is a political sisterhood because it aims to challenge the dominant social force generally known as patriarchy. Some people get very precise and define it as capitalist patriarchy or imperialist capitalist patriarchy, even imperialist patriarchal capitalism. I suppose one’s view is always determined by where one stands.

My talk therefore aims to clarify what a plain and simple patriarchal society is, how it is structured and how feminists have over time risen to the challenge of the ways in which patriarchy disempowers and even harms women as a sex class; a thing feminists call patriarchal oppression. Moreover, whilst women are doing different things differently today than they did fifty years ago they are still doing it for themselves and often for men as well. Mine will be a whistle-stop tour through an immensely rich and complex cultural landscape but I hope there will be enough time left to take questions.



During the break we have a bite to eat and a chance to socialise.  Everyone is welcome to bring an item of food to put on the table to share and take away what is left at the end so nothing goes to waste


Teachers in Bangladesh; Ways of Seeing and Expressing Reality by Taslima Ivy

In this presentation I hope to share my story of researching ICT integration in education with rural female teachers from an island in Bangladesh. I will particularly focus on how I attempted to tap into teachers’ own ways of seeing, feeling and expressing life.

Firstly, I will talk about how I used multimodal artefact production- a method through which teachers have shared significant day to day experiences with me,- through a mode and genre of their choice-sometimes they chose images, sometimes video clips, audio clips while sometimes poems and journal entries.

Then I will talk about the distinct Bengali genre of ‘golpo/ adda’ (informal chatting) which I used in my research as an attempt to enable my participants’ experiences to emerge through their own discursive style. I will conclude by sharing how these two processes made me aware of my own ‘gaze’ and maybe helped me understand my participants from the position of a female-the position of a teacher- rather than the power position of a researcher.




Ragged University: ‘The Art of Not-Knowing’ – plus – ‘Medical Imaging Physics’
Nov 27 @ 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Ragged University: 'The Art of Not-Knowing' - plus - 'Medical Imaging Physics'

Come along to St John’s Church Community Hall (Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 4BJ), doors open at 6.30pm and the talks start from 7pm. Come along for two talks, a chance to socialise and a bite to eat.  The two talks are ‘The Art of Not-Knowing’ by James Clegg – plus – ‘Medical Imaging Physics; Seeing Beyond the Skin’ by Tommy McMullan.  All are welcome….

The Art of Not-Knowing by James Clegg

I would like to talk about how it is okay not to know what you feel about an artwork or even contemporary art in general. That it isn’t your problem or failure if you don’t ‘get it’. BUT, how feeling uncertain can be the start of a really interesting set of questions and the beginning of you genuinely finding your creative self. ‘Getting it’ might turn out not to be such a good thing after all!

In order to make a convincing case I will need to draw from a broad set of reference points. So, more formally, I would like to talk about: How contemporary art practice is driven by a process of discovery, a not-knowing relationship to materiality that delights in the unexpected coming-together of disparate ideas.

Some of the roots of contemporary art practice, particularly those that emphasise experience, a transient not-knowing that is distinct from structural thinking. A not-knowing set of concepts drawn from thinkers like Giles Deleuze, Karen Barad, Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, Donna Haraway and Jacques Rancière. AND, how you might defend not-knowing (as a life-affirming position that enables a much richer understanding of the world) against a context in which it is often being politically, economically and culturally undermined.

All events are free and open to everyone but people who do come along are warmly invited to bring an item of food along to put on the table and take it away at the end.

Medical Imaging Physics; Seeing Beyond the Skin by Tommy McMullan

With advances in technology, doctors no longer need to perform surgery to see inside the human body. Today we have imaging technology which provides a safe, non-invasive way of seeing complex anatomy and physiological function. The imaging technologies can be split into two groups, which are characterised by the type of radiation used – ionising or non-ionising.

The modalities that use ionising radiation are X-ray, computed tomography (CT), and Nuclear Medicine. And the modalities that use non-ionising radiation are magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound. Each modality is suited to different clinical situations, and knowledge of each is crucial to ensure proper diagnosis and patient care.

During my talk I will introduce the listener to the basic principles behind each of the imaging techniques mentioned. The talk will be presented with minimal technical jargon and will be illustrated throughout using images to tell the story.