The Royal Society of Edinburgh’s summer event series, Curious, is back from 04-17 September. Engage with leading thinkers and ignite your curiosity through this series of free talks, workshops, tours, and exhibitions.

In this celebration of extraordinary people discussing big ideas, challenge your perspectives, ask probing questions, and gain fresh insights. With a huge variety of topics, there’s something for anyone Curious! So, are you?

Delve deeper, question further and look again through this year’s theme, ‘Under the surface.’


The Royal Society of Edinburgh recognises, supports and mobilises expertise from across academia, business and public service for the benefit of Scotland and the wider world. Our Fellows from academia, business and public service are among the most distinguished in their fields. We engage and connect nationally and internationally to share knowledge and tackle the most pressing challenges of the modern world. As Scotland’s National Academy, we provide independent expert advice to government and inspire the next generation of innovative thinkers.

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Frequently Asked Questions


It is essential to the RSE that our events are accessible to all.

Online events

  • All of our online events have automatically generated captions. These are provided by OtterAI on those events being held on Zoom and are automatically generated by YouTube for events being live-streamed.
  • Transcripts of the events will made available afterwards.

In-person events

Most of our in-person events will be held at the Royal Society of Edinburgh venue. The RSE venue has the following facilities available for visitors with access needs:

Wheelchair access, with or without assistance

  • All rooms in the building, except the Lower Gallery, are wheelchair accessible.
  • Wheelchair users can access the building through a ramped entrance at 26 George Street. Please ring the bell for reception or call 0131 240 5000 if assistance is required. The ramp is accessible all day and on nights of events.
  • If you have mobility impairment difficulties but are able to go up some steps, the building’s main entrance is via 22 George Street. Rails are available on both sides of the staircase (5 steps).
  • The main passenger lift accommodates a powered wheelchair which will enable access to most Society Rooms. Visitors using smaller wheelchairs can also access the Kelvin and Wellcome West rooms via the smaller lift.
  • For wheelchairs wider than 76cm, please contact the Public Engagement team for further guidance on access and dimensions in the building.
  • The RSE has its own wheelchair, which visitors can use if needed.
  • Should you wish to transfer from your wheelchair into a seat, please do let us know.

Facilities for people with visual impairment

  • Guide dogs are welcome throughout the building.
  • While seats are not typically allocated, if you prefer to sit in the aisle during an event, please get in touch.

Facilities for people with hearing impairment

  • An Induction loop is fitted in the Lecture theatre and Reception. Please remember to use the “T” switch on hearing aids.


  • A unisex disabled toilet is available on the Ground Floor, beside the main lift, with baby changing facilities.
  • There is no disabled parking space available on George Street, but taxis and cars may pull and park for a short period of time in front of the entrance of the building.
  • Several RSE staff will be available and easily visible during all our events if you need assistance.

Outdoor activities

  • Walking tours will be conducted outdoors, on occasionally uneven terrain, and a reasonable level of fitness may be required. As a result, tours may be less suitable for those with mobility issues. Please check the information on individual event listings to get specific details about routes. Appropriate footwear and outerwear are recommended.
  • Outdoor events will go ahead rain or shine, though we will cancel in the case of particularly poor weather and inform attendees the morning of the tour via email.  Please wear appropriate clothing – if the weather is likely to be very hot, a hat and some water are advisable.

Please get in touch If you have any accessibility requirements. You can contact the RSE’s Public Engagement team at

What's the difference between a panel discussion and a group discussion?

In the group discussion events, there will be a smaller audience, and there will be a greater emphasis on the audience participating in the discussion with the experts. There won’t be any PowerPoints, notes or formality here – just the chance to ask questions and listen to some of Scotland’s leading thinkers and practitioners on various subjects.

The panel discussion events will feature a panel of leading thinkers and practitioners in conversation. For online events, the audience will be able to submit questions via the Q&A function on Zoom and for in-person events, the audience will be able to submit questions at the end of the discussion, the Chair of the event will pose questions to the panel.

How much do your events cost?

All of our events are free to join. Knowledge is the greatest gift we can share.

Do I need to register to attend? How do I register?

Yes, for all our events you need to register through Eventbrite.

I have registered for an event. What's next?

Check your emails to ensure the booking confirmation arrives. Please check your Junk/Spam folders.

For online events, the booking confirmation email will have all the details on how to join your event.

For in-person events, please remember to bring a copy of your ticket to show to RSE staff upon arrival. Alternatively, we will have a list of attendees for all in-person events.

If you accidentally delete or do not receive your booking confirmation, please email the Public Engagement Team,, and they will be able to help.

Will the events be interactive?

Attendees are encouraged to ask questions at all our events.

Our workshops encourage attendees to actively participate and many involve participating in activities and small group discussions.

Will there be time for Q&A?

Yes, most of our events are planned with time for an audience Q&A. Some events, like our group discussions, are entirely focused on questions and conversations raised by the audience.

I've booked a ticket, but I can no longer attend. How do I cancel?

There will be instructions in your confirmation email on how to cancel your booking, or you can email Please cancel if you can no longer attend your event, as some events have limited spaces.

The event is fully booked, how can I get a place?

If an event is fully booked, we will be operating a waiting list system that will automatically let you know if a space becomes available. If an event proves very popular and the waiting list is substantial, we will endeavour to schedule an additional event.

What time should I join?

The online events should start at the time advertised. We recommend joining a few minutes before to ensure your internet connection is working so you can make yourself comfortable before the event begins!

For the in-person events, please arrive shortly before the event is due to start to get seated.

Covid-19 event attendance guidance

In order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 we kindly encourage participants to use the hand sanitisers provided at the RSE venue. If you would like to wear a face mask, please feel comfortable to do so at our events. Please be mindful of other participants and stay at home if you have Covid symptoms or have tested positive for Covid-19.

I still have a query

If you have any queries before the event, please do not hesitate to contact us at


Browse a selection of photos from the Curious.

Throughout the years the programme has included workshops, and musical performances, we were proud to present the RSE’s Women in Science in Scotland photographic exhibition featuring 26 portraits of RSE Fellows, all of whom are working in, or have a connection to, Scotland.