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Published On: Tue, Feb 5th, 2013 at 9:04am

Five things you need to know today

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Economy Committee meets today – Serious assault – Higgs Prize – Edinburgh Ceilidh Club – TEDx

The council’s Economy Committee meets today at 10. One of the items they are to discuss is the ‘increase’ in spending on Marketing Edinburgh. Increase is not quite the right word, as the committee is actually being asked to pay the arms length company the same as last year, rather than decreasing the spend by 10% which was the original thought when Marketing Edinburgh was approved in 2009 ahead of its establishment in 2011. The total grant for this year would now be £1.22m.

Marketing Edinburgh is the body charged with the responsibility of telling the rest of the world why they should come to Edinburgh for a variety of leisure or business reasons. The Chief Executive, Lucy Bird, resigned in December 2012 following a much-criticised marketing campaign designed to increase the focus on Edinburgh as a winter destination.

But, there have been other campaigns which are claimed to have been more effective. The Alive after Five campaign is said to have stimulated evening shopping by reducing or removing parking charges in the city centre. Marketing Edinburgh also works alongside Essential Edinburgh which aims to coordinate activities in the city centre to ensure that it excels as a place to live, work and visit.

The papers for this morning’s Economy Committee meeting are online here.


Lothian and Borders Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was seriously assaulted in Edinburgh in the early hours of Sunday morning, 3 February 2013.

The 32-year-old man left the Castle Bar on Queensferry Street Lane about 3am, and was attacked by four men just as he came onto Queensferry Street.

He suffered two large cuts on his head and was taken to hospital for treatment.

The suspects were all black or mixed race but there is no further description available.

Detective Sergeant Richard Creanor said: “This would appear to be an entirely unprovoked attack which has left a man very seriously injured with what may become permanent scars.

“We are appealing for anyone who may have been on their way home from a night out, and may have been in the area at the time, to contact us on 0131 311 3131.

“Furthermore, we’d also like to hear from anyone who may have seen the group of four men prior to the attack to get in touch.”

Anyone with any information should contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


An annual prize to honour the world-renowned Edinburgh University scientist who has given his name to the Higgs boson is to be announced by the First Minister, launching a week showcasing Scottish science.

The annual Higgs Prize will be open to Scottish school students who excel in physics. It will be formally launched by the First Minister and Professor Peter Higgs at a reception at the First Minister’s official residence today.

The Higgs Prize is one of the highlights of a week showcasing Scotland’s scientific excellence, when the First Minister will be promoting the global reputation of Scottish science and the enormous progress being made by Scottish scientists in research and development.

Announcements expected during the week include:

  • The Higgs Prize, offering outstanding young school physicists the chance to win a trip to the CERN facility in Switzerland, where work continues on researching the Higgs particle, named after Professor Higgs
  • The appointment of 33 new government-funded health fellows, supporting scientific research into conditions such as motor neurone disease
  • An official reception to honour the work of the Scottish Science Advisory Council, attended by Professor Higgs.

The First Minister is also expected to make a significant announcement about Scottish life sciences and mark a landmark in Scottish space science.

Mr Salmond said:

“Scottish science in all its forms is going from strength to strength, building on our proud history of scientific discovery – the achievements of Lister, Kelvin, Macadam and many, many others whom every Scot knows of and is proud of.

“Today, Professor Peter Higgs is a household name who is known the world over. His work is celebrated internationally and Scotland is very proud of him.

“The Higgs Prize will be an opportunity for some of Scotland’s brightest young school physicists to see for themselves the cutting-edge of international physics at CERN. I’m delighted that Professor Higgs’ achievements will inspire future generations of Scots.”

Professor Peter Higgs said:

“As a student at my old school in Bristol, I was inspired by seeing the name of Paul Dirac appear several times on the Honours board. Dirac was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for 1933 for his work of inventing anti-matter and in particular the positron.

“I am pleased to have my name associated with this prize and hope that this will inspire young students of today just as I was myself in the past. I know very well how exciting and amazing visits to CERN can be.

“Rewarding those who have excelled in physics in this way and supporting the next generation of scientists is to be warmly welcomed.”

Professor Sir Peter Knight, President of the Institute of Physics, said,

“We’re delighted that the Government intends to introduce this prize. We will be working with them to establish the best way to identify Scotland’s most promising young physicists.

“With £8.5 billion of the Scottish economy created by physics-based businesses, this prize is recognition of the vital importance of the subject.”

Looking ahead to the week, Mr Salmond added:

“Our scientific expertise earns Scotland billions of pounds in exports from around the world, supports around 170,000 jobs and has scientists from Germany to Japan, India to Australia clamouring to work with our experts in fields such as particle physics, animal health, drug discovery, computer science and biomedical and health informatics.

“As well as the Higgs Prize and a number of other announcements, this week the government will be announcing the appointment of 33 new health fellows to conduct research into medical challenges like treating motor neurone disease, how to use technology to help people with diabetes and how to control internal bleeding. The results of our scientific expertise could benefit millions of people all over the world and potentially translate into market-ready innovations.

“Scotland’s scientists and innovators have made hundreds of discoveries and developments, from penicillin to ultrasound and in fields as diverse as electromagnetism and cloning. Today this tradition of invention is in good hands and I am very much looking forward to a week of showcasing Scottish scientific excellence.”


Tonight there is the ceilidh club @ Summerhall where  Norman Mackay’s Ceilidh Experience will play. Tickets are £6 on the door or in advance from opening with dancing beginning at 8:30pm.


Something exciting is happening. The University of Edinburgh and EUSA are holding their first TEDx event 22nd February 2013 at Teviot Row House. This is an independently organised event, licensed by TED featuring local and international speakers who will be posing their thoughts around the them of “Global Problems, Grounded Solutions.

Global Problems, Grounded Solutions

We live in an interconnected world where grounded connections help solve global problems. In the spirit of TEDx and the expansion of global knowledge, we will explore links between people, between communities, between the Global North and South, between the intellectual and the practical world. Let’s connect.

We have selected an amazing and varied range of renowned public speakers from academic and non-academic backgrounds. Speakers will include social anthropologist Dr Neil Thin, Head of Edinburgh School of Law Professor Lesley McAra, composer Dee Isaacs, chemist Dr Michael Shaver and ultra marathon runner Dr Andrew Murray as well as the winner of the Student Choice Award.

The event will discuss everything from happiness and wellbeing to sustainable world solutions and ultra marathons as well as engaging our vibrant student community with a wider global dialogue. People from all over the world are becoming connected through their interest in TED talks so they look forward to welcoming such enthusiasm to the University.

For more information about the event and the speakers, please visit

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About the Author

- Founding Editor of The Edinburgh Reporter. Edinburgh-born multimedia journalist, and always available for freelance work. A keen iPhoneographer!

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  1. Plucky Bird says:

    Poor Marketing Edinburgh. Looks like it has been run into the ground.

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