Tickets for all talks can now be booked on our events page.

Internationally acclaimed authors, leading scientists, visionary filmmakers and intrepid explorers form the line-up for our 1023-24 Inspiring People talks- widely regarded as the best National talks programme in Scotland.

Set to kick off in September, it features 90 talks taking place in 13 towns and cities across Scotland. Including Aberdeen, Ayr, Borders, Dumfries, Dundee, Dunfermline, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Helensburgh, Inverness, Kirkcaldy, Perth and Stirling.

RSGS Chief Executive Mike Robinson commented “we have been bringing stories of science and adventure to audiences from Aberdeen to Dumfries for nearly 140 years, and have been privileged to hear first-hand tales of insight and inspiration. This season promises to offer something of interest for everyone and anyone.”

Tristan Gooley

The programme starts on 18th September in Kirkcaldy with acclaimed author Tristan Gooley, who will help us discover the simple principles that explain the shapes and patterns we see in trees and what they mean. He commented "I'm very excited to be speaking in Scotland, a country that has taught me so much. Scottish landscapes have played a formative part of my life, which is probably why they appear so regularly in my books."

The programme will then hear from cyclist Markus Stitz reflecting on a career defined by pushing the boundaries of what is possible on and off the bike, who commented “I am really looking forward to share stories from adventures, big and small, to inspire people to get out there and have an adventure. Having made Scotland my home 14 years ago, my most recent book ‘Bikepacking Scotland’ is a compilation of places that inspired me to cycle, and all four towns I’ll be talking at (Dumfries, Galashiels, Ayr and Helensburgh) are featured in the book.”

Markus Stitz

Conservations and paramotor pilot Sacha Dench, will then be considering the remarkable lives of ospreys and the challenges they face. “In 2022 I set off on the ‘Flight of the Osprey’ expedition, our journey migrating from Scotland to West Africa with these incredible birds to investigate why 70% of the young birds that leave our country on migration never return, and what we can do about it” commented Sacha.

“I look forward to being back with you to share the highs, lows and heart-stopping moments as we brave challenging conditions to reveal the world through their eyes, the challenges they face (some I would never have imagined), and meet incredible people along the way.”

Before Christmas, the programme will also feature Chris Lewis & Kate Barron, sharing how they met each other on a 20,000km walk of the entire UK coastline; adventure filmmaker and author Leon McCarron, sharing stories from his journey by boat along the full length of the Tigris river; mountaineer Alex Moran, on completing the first ever Island Munros Triathlon; adventurer Mark Evans, on retracing St John Philby’s footsteps from east to west across Arabia, on foot, by camel and by 4x4; writer and explorer Louis Hall, telling stories of crossing the Ligurian Alps on horseback; cyclist Lee Craigie, talking about her 550-mile non-stop mountain bike time trial around the Scottish Highlands, before journeying from Canada to Mexico; climber Anna Taylor, sharing stories from her exploits across the world, including bike-packing through the Tasmanian wilderness; and explorer Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent on spending ten incredible weeks exploring Arunachal Pradesh.

The excitement continues into 2024, with cyclist Mark Wedgwood, hillwalker and author Cameron McNeish, wildlife filmmaker Mandi Stark, historical geographer Professor Charles Withers, filmmaker Joe Bunyan, author Katherine MacInnes, adventurer Sue Stockdale, cyclist Kate Rawles, photographer Shabaz Majeed, and mountaineer Ruth Nyakerario.

Tickets for all Inspiring People talks for 2023-24 are now available to purchase online. Tickets are free for RSGS Members, students and under-18s, and £10 for general admission. Book now to secure your ticket for what promises to be a popular line-up of speakers, or join as a Member to enjoy the entire programme for free.