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Just announced Event National Museum of Scotland

Spotlight On: Cold War Scotland

5 Sep 2024

Auditorium, Level 1

£5, £4 Members & Conc.  

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The Hunterston nuclear power station panel, showing lots of dials on red, blue, green and black squares on a grey machine.

Hunterston A nuclear power station panel. Image © National Museums Scotland

Hunterston A nuclear power station panel. Image © National Museums Scotland

Delve deeper into the stories of Cold War Scotland and explore how the period impacted and influenced Scottish lives, politics, landscapes and technologies.  

The Cold War was a global conflict that began in the wake of the Second World War and ended with the peaceful revolutions of 1989-90 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  

Although the major powers fought hot wars elsewhere in the world, the Cold War remained ‘cold’ in North America and Europe.   

During this 40-year nuclear stand-off between the USA and the Soviet Union, Scotland’s unique geography and topography provided a useful base for Allied military preparations and research.   

In this spotlight talk Sam Alberti and historian Holger Nehring discuss Scotland’s critical position on the frontline of the Cold War and share the stories of the Scots involved in this global conflict. 

Dr Sam Alberti is Director of Collections at National Museums Scotland. Professor Holger Nehring is Chair in Contemporary European History at the University of Stirling.   

National Museums Scotland and the University of Stirling are leading Materialising the Cold War, a collaborative research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council which explores how museums exhibit the hopes and fears of the Cold War and considers the relevance of Cold War history and memory today.   

Our Cold War Scotland exhibition will be open to visit before and after this talk. Entry is free.

Five visitors look at shelves of agates in our Natural World galleries.

Plan your visit

National Museum of Scotland
Chambers Street

Visiting information can be found on our Plan Your Visit pages.

Plan your visit


We want everyone who comes to our museums to enjoy their time with us and make the most of their visit. 

  • There is level access to the Museum via the main doors to the Entrance Hall on Chambers Street and the Tower entrance at the corner of Chambers Street and George IV Bridge.  
  • Lifts are available to all floors and accessible toilets are available on Levels 0 and 3, as well as a Changing Places (U) toilet in the Entrance Hall on Level 0. 
  • Wheelchairs are available for loan at no charge. Please note wheelchairs cannot be booked in advance. On arrival, ask about availability at the Information Desk. Small mobility scooters are permitted inside the museum.
  • There is an induction loop at the museum Information Desk and in the Auditorium. 
  • Guide dogs, hearing dogs and other recognised assistance dogs are admitted.

Find out more about our access information. If you have any access requirements, please email us in advance at 


National Museums Scotland has a non-refundable and non-transferable ticketing policy. See our full Ticketing Terms & Conditions. 

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