Orkney International Science Festival

We've attended the festival almost every year, for more than 10 years, to share our work and interact with those attending. Read about our long-standing support here.

Shona - Orkney International Science Festival 2021
Jim's talk at the Orkney International Science Festival 2023

Prof. Jim Flett Wilson and 15 members of our group, or close collaborators, have given a total of 20 talks at the Orkney International Science Festival. Jim's first talk in 2002 focussed on British Genetic History. He also gave the John D Mackay memorial lecture "Diseases and our Genes" in 2008 and the Eoin F Scott memorial lecture in 2014.  Topics have included the genetics of Multiple Sclerosis in Orkney and genes lengthening life, through to whole genome sequencing.

More recently, in 2018, Jim was joined by 4 other researchers to share updates about our work. He and our colleagues spoke about how genetics might determine food choice, the genetic history of the British Isles and how we are all linked by bonds of genetic kinship.

In 2020, the pandemic hit and the festival, unfortunately, had to be held online. That didn't deter us though. Shona, our Project Manager, took part in an online talk hosted on YouTube. She spoke about how we've returned results in the past and how we plan to do this in future. You can still watch her talk online using the link below.

Viking Genes - Orkney International Science Festival

In 2022, the festival returned to in person events and Jim was invited to give a talk on Viking Genes and other important research.

Most recently, in 2023, Jim had the honour of presenting the Roy Drever Memorial Lecture to a capacity audience and it was memorable. Following The Fletts, combined genetics with family history,  genetic genealogy, to trace the story of the Fletts, the Drevers, the Sinclairs, the Gunns, the Swansons, and the Linklaters.

The lecture was dedicated to another member of the Flett family, Roy Drever (1946-2022). Roy and Jim are first cousins once removed, with their mothers from the Fletts of Kingshouse in Harray.

Roy was a regular visitor to the Festival and sowed a science festival seed back in the 1960s by encouraging two other longstanding members of the Festival team to take part in the Fancy Dress parade on the Saturday night of Stromness Shopping Week with the theme of ‘Modern Science and the Atom’, involving considerable quantities of water and smoke.

You can watch Jim's talk online using the link below.

Following The Fletts - Orkney International Science Festival

The Orkney International Science Festival was founded by Howie Firth in 1991. That means it's been ongoing for more than 30 years, and is the second oldest in the world.

Orkney International Science Festival