Talks, lectures and courses Find more about our afternoon talks and evening lectures, workshops, study days and conferences at the National Museum of Scotland. Spotlight On: Amazing Amber This event is now SOLD OUT. Date: Thu 23 May Time: 14:00 (1 hr) Cost: Free Exhibition curator Dr Andrew Ross explores the science, the stories and the secrets of this amazing substance and reveals the best experiments to help you spot a fake! A Conversation in the Library Date: Sat 25 May Time: 15:00 (45mins) Cost: Free Book onlineor call 0300 123 6789 Artist Ilana Halperin and contemporary arts consultant Bryony Bond reveal unexpected stories on an informal tour of Ilana's exhibition, The Library. Scotland's forgotten cats: a tale of two kitties Date: Thu 6 June Time: 18:30 Venue: Auditorium, Level 1 Cost: £5 Booking: Tickets can be booked online through the Usher Hall Box Office, in person at the Usher Hall, Lothian Road, Edinburgh or by calling 0131 228 1155 (Monday – Friday 10:00–17:30). Scotland was once home to two very secretive and solitary wild felid species – the Scottish wildcat and the Eurasian lynx. These days the lynx is long gone, while the wildcat is still with us, but only just. Dr David Hetherington, founder of the Cairngorms Wildcat Project, asks whether lessons learned through wildcat conservation could allow the return one day of our long-lost lynx. Part of the Edinburgh Lectures series. Spotlight On: Mary, Queen of Scots Date: Thurs 18 July Time: 14:00 (1 hr) Venue: Auditorium Cost: Free Booking: Booking available soon. George Dalgleish, Keeper of Scottish History and Archaeology, introduces some of the exhibition's star objects. Geological Home Movies Date: Sat 3 August Time: 15:00 (90mins) Cost: Free Book online or call 0300 123 6789. Artist Ilana Halperin selects and introduces a special screening of films in which artists interact with geological processes, play with the laws of physics and embrace nature's capacity to create and destroy. With films by Joan Jonas, Seth Kelly, Allan McCollum, Takehito Shiina and a new work by Ilana Halperin. Open Studies Summer Course From every angle: Mary, Queen of Scots Date: Mon 12-Thurs 15 August / Mon 26-Thurs 29 August Cost: £150 Booking: Call 0131 650 4400 to book your place or book online at the University of Edinburgh. Investigate the pomp, the persona and the personality of Mary Queen of Scots in the context of a special exhibition celebrating her life, times and achievements at the National Museum of Scotland. This course will investigate Mary Stewart from every angle, with experts discussing events, places, art and artefacts, costume and society in which she lived and died. Includes exhibition admission. This course takes place at National Museum of Scotland, and includes site visits to Edinburgh Castle and University of Edinburgh Special Collections. A Tour of The Library Date: Sat 17 August Time: 16:00 (45mins) Cost: Free Book online or call 0300 123 6789. Andrew Patrizio, Professor of Visual Culture at the University of Edinburgh and long-term collaborator with Ilana Halperin, explores the surprising relationship between contemporary art and geology. Museum After Hours Date: Sat 17 and 24 August Time: 19:00-22:30 Cost: £15/£12 Concessions and Members. Age 18+. Book online 17 Aug Book online 24 Aug or call 0300 123 6789. A unique opportunity to explore the museum, its collections and our Mary, Queen of Scots exhibition after hours, with bars, music and performers in the Grand Gallery. In Conversation: Antonia Fraser Date: Fri 23 August Time: 18:30 (1 hr). Doors open 18:00. Venue: Auditorium (enter via Lothian Street entrance) Cost: £8/£6 Concessions and Members Book online or call 0300 123 6789. An unmissable opportunity to hear Antonia Fraser reflect back on her classic biography of Mary. Spotlight On: Amber Inclusions - Trapped in Time Date: Thurs 5 September Time: 14:00 (1 hr) Venue: Seminar Room, Level 4 Cost: Free Book online or call 0300 123 6789. Amber inclusions can reveal new details about life on Earth millions of years ago. Exhibition curator Dr Andrew Ross discusses his own research into this natural time capsule, shares some fascinating stories and reveals his role in uncovering a significant hoax. Evening Lecture: Flodden 1513 - How Unlucky Were the Scots? Date: Mon 9 September Time: 18:30 (1 hr). Doors open 18:00. Venue: Auditorium (enter via Lothian Street entrance) Cost: £6/£5 Concessions and Members Book online or call 0300 123 6789. The outcome of the Battle of Flodden was a major national disaster, affecting the lives of many north, and south, of the border, But to what extent was it deserved? Dr David Caldwell explores how - and why - the Scots prepared for war with England. Spotlight On: Arctic Convoys 1941-1945 Date: Thurs 19 September Time: 14:00 (1 hr) Venue: Seminar Room, Level 4, National Museum of Scotland Cost: Free Book online or call 0300 123 6789. Elaine Edwards, curator of our special exhibition at the National War Museum, discusses the convoys that took vital supplies to Russia during the Second World War. Elaine is joined by a veteran merchant seaman, who shares his own first-hand experiences of working on the convoys. Evening Lecture: Mary's Downfall Date: Thurs 26 September Time: 18:30 (1 hr). Doors open 18:00. Venue: Auditorium (enter via Lothian Street entrance) Cost: £6/£5 Concessions and Members Book online or call 0300 123 6789. Mary's rule triggered some of the most dramatic events in British history. Did she self-destruct in a murderous sex scandal? Did the English frame her? John Guy, author of the Whitbread-prize-winning 'My Heart is My Own', The Life of Mary Queen of Scots, examines the evidence. Related pages Mary, Queen of Scots Amazing Amber Ilana Halperin: The Library Arctic Convoys Leaf in Amber. Scottish wildcat. Mary, Queen of Scots. Image © Blairs Museum Trust. Crew on the deck of an iced up Arctic Convoys ship. Artist Ilana Halperin.