Past Events

SCRR / RSE Peter Wilson Lecture 2023

Back to the future: what could or should rural be in 2098

May 23, 2023

The Royal Society of Edinburgh

In 2023, SCRR will reach its 75th birthday.

Two years after the Agriculture Act came into being in May 1948, urging all farmers to “make two blades of grass grow where one grew before”, food security and sovereignty were foremost in minds and policies, and the SCRR was born.

Skip forward seven decades and now land has to serve multiple functions, with competing calls on its finite capacity. Additionally, “rural” is not the home only of those “connected to the land” but of businesses reaching for the stars and connected to the global village rather than only their locale.

Now let’s imagine the scale of change in another 75 years – what is inevitable? What is desirable? And what needs to be in place to ensure changes that meet the societal goals of current and upcoming generations in 2098?

We asked thinkers of different generations to challenge us by speculating about rural futures at our annual Peter Wilson Lecture, held in partnership with The Royal Society of Edinburgh on 23 May to help shape that future together.