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Great Scottish Minds & Innovations

Scotland in the 18th century played its part in a wider European Enlightenment. Not only were Scottish ideas and achievements held in high esteem in Europe, but the ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment were also carried across the Atlantic as part of the Scottish diaspora which had its beginnings in that same era.

Small wonder that the writer Tobias Smollet referred to Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, as ‘a hotbed of genius’.

And this tradition of intellect and innovation continued far beyond its 18th-century origins.

Today, the technologies may have changed but the creative spark still burns brightly, seen most prominently perhaps in the creation of Dolly the sheep, the world's first cloned mammal.

In 2009, exhibitions, concerts, festivals and gatherings celebrated Scotland’s contribution in many scientific and cultural fields.

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What made Scotland such a hotbed of creativity? It's difficult to point to any single factor although the Scots have always placed a high value on education. A prodigious work ethic, self-confidence and vision, and perhaps even the weather, may also have played a role. Yet even when they left their native country, Scots took that creative impetus with them and continued to distinguish themselves in their adopted countries.

Whatever its source, it's clear that the ingenuity and inventiveness of the Scots have shaped the world in which we live today. Learn for yourself about the contribution great Scottish minds and inventions have made to the modern world.

Great Minds and Innovations - Some Useful Links:

  • Andrew Carnegie and other Scottish philanthropists. More.....
  • Scotland's Big Mac (Charles Rennie Mackintosh). More...
  • Life Science. Scotland signals the way ahead. More...
  • Scots - pumped up with energy. More...