IOP Scotland

IOP Scotland, with almost 2,000 members, is the learned society and professional body for the advancement of physics and physics education in Scotland.


The IOP in Scotland aims to promote the role of physics in education, health, the environment, technology, and scientific literacy.

We work with a range of partners to support and develop the teaching of physics in schools; we encourage innovation, growth and productivity in business including addressing significant skills shortages; and we provide evidence-based advice and support to policymakers across Scotland.

Our members come from across the physics community whether in industry, academia, the classroom, technician roles or in training programmes as an apprentice or a student. However our reach goes well beyond our membership to all who have an interest in physics and the contribution it makes to our culture, our society and the economy.

Publications

Cover image for The role of physics in supporting economic growth in Scotland.

The role of physics in supporting economic growth and national productivity in Scotland

Read the introduction and download the report

Education support

Support for teachers

IOP Scotland’s education manager and physics coaches provide a range of support for teachers, including workshops, day meetings and online forums.

Details of upcoming events organised by IOP Scotland physics coaches can be found at Talkphysics events.  

Physics teaching resources can be found on IOPSpark. Further details of IOP’s wider support for teachers can be found on the IOP education page.

In Scotland we hold two major annual career-long professional learning (CLPL) events for physics teachers:

  • The Stirling Physics Teachers Meeting is the must-attend event of the year and is usually held in May;
  • The Physics Teachers Summer School takes place over four days in May and is a residential event with high-quality physics education professional learning.
Female physics student

Support for students in Scotland

We organise a range of events and activities and offer IOP membership.

Find out more

Support and grants

Scottish five pound note

IOP Scotland public engagement grant

Find out more about how to apply to receive up to £2,500 for physics-based events and activities.

Find out more
Kelvin Maxwell

Kelvin Maxwell Fund

Support for physics outreach exclusively in Scotland, to reach new audiences and inspire Scotland’s future physicists. 

Find out more about the fund

Member activities

Seniors group

This group is intended for members of IOP Scotland who have ceased full-time employment and who are over 55 years of age. 

The primary objective of the group is to facilitate members to contribute to the professional activities of the IOP in ways that are normally different from those associated with full-time employment. In particular, the seniors group provides a means of exchanging information between members about relevant professional activities. Members are encouraged to make a contribution to the community in various ways, including:

  1. support of organisations such as the James Clerk Maxwell Foundation.
  2. serving on IOP panels, such as the fellowship panel.
  3. becoming a science and engineering ambassador through STEMNET.

Lunchtime rendezvous

The main social activities of the seniors group are the lunchtime rendezvous, which normally consist of coffee, two lectures and lunch. At present these meetings are held regularly in Aberdeen in October, in Glasgow in January and in Edinburgh in March and the latest details can be found on the Scotland Calendar.

For further information, contact Gail Millar. Email: gailemillar@gmail.com.

Policy in Scotland

IOP in Scotland aims to influence government policy and decisions in Scotland, regarding the funding of scientific research, physics education at all levels, the public perception of physics, and regarding physics in industry.

To this end, members of the Institute of Physics in Scotland Committee sit on influential committees and advisory boards where possible.

The committee is keen to ensure that the views of the members are well represented and so would be delighted to hear from anyone who would be interested in giving feedback on drafts being prepared. If you would like to be kept on an email listing for this purpose or just have physics issues which you would like to raise, please contact us.

Scottish parliament at Holyrood

Policy consultations in Scotland

Read our archive of key policy papers for Scotland.

View recent policy documents

Committee

Chair Professor Giles Hammond
Vice-chair Mrs Laura Thomas
Treasurer Dr Susannah Heck
Ordinary Member Dr Dawn Beddard
Ordinary Member Dr Jean-Christophe Denis
Ordinary Member Dr Rebecca Douglas
Ordinary Member Miss Karen Haughian
Ordinary Member Dr Katherine Kirk
Ordinary Member Dr Nicolas Labrosse
Ordinary Member Dr Iain Moore
Ordinary Member Dr Peter Sneddon
Ordinary Member Dr Alan Walker

Events

View upcoming events for Scotland on our events site.

IOP Scotland education committee

The IOP Scotland education committee is a sub-committee of the IOP education committee and has a formal reporting channel via the education committee to council.

The chair of the IOP Scotland education committee is a member of the IOP education committee and the IOP Scotland education committee advises the IOP education committee on education at school, college and university levels in Scotland.

Members of the IOP Scotland education committee 2020-2021

  • Martin Hendry (Chair)
  • Laura Alexander
  • Norman Bethune
  • Anne Brown
  • Paul Campbell
  • David Greig
  • Nick Hardwick
  • Ken Hargreaves
  • Nick Hood
  • Nancy Hunter
  • Jane Manson
  • Chris Noble
  • Malcolm Thomson
  • Yvonne McLellan
  • Giles Hammond (ex-officio)
  • Lisa Jardine-Wright (ex-officio)
  • Stuart Farmer (in attendance)
  • Alison McLure (in attendance)
  • Charles Tracy (in attendance)

Noted physicists

Blue plaque on building

Blue plaques in Scotland

The IOP has erected blue plaques in various locations in Scotland to celebrate physicists who lived or worked in the locality.

Read more

Area policy

It is important to note that the IOP Scotland branch has to abide by the Lobbying (Scotland) Act 2016, which aims to increase the level of public transparency in relation to direct, face-to-face contacts made between certain individuals or organisations and the Scottish parliament or Scottish government.

In Scotland the PVG disclosures run by Disclosure Scotland are in place instead of DBS checks. For more information on applicable checks see mygov.scot.

Contact us

You can contact the IOP in Scotland by emailing national manager Alison McLure.

Become a member

Member benefits include a link to the physics community in Scotland via activities such as lectures, seminars, conferences and outreach events for all those with an interest in physics.

Learn more about other member benefits