The James Hutton Foundation has been set up in anticipation of the 300th anniversary of James Hutton’s birth, which will be in 2026. Our aim is to significantly raise the profile of James Hutton’s work – across the full breadth of subjects that he considered and contributed to – and to increase appreciation of his scientific legacy: understanding our world better; evidence-based research; the concept of the falsifiable hypothesis and the benefits of working across disciplines.
A project group encompassing like-minded friends and admirers of Hutton’s work has been set up to identify how best to achieve this and to share out the associated tasks. The organisations involved include the National Museums of Scotland, British Geological Survey, Historic Environment Scotland, Church of Scotland, Texas Christian University, Dynamic Earth, Geological Society of Edinburgh, Edinburgh University, Royal Society of Edinburgh and The James Hutton Institute. This has been supported in its first steps by the Macaulay Development Trust, The Scottish Society of Crop Research and the Mylnefield Trust.
A new biography of James Hutton has been commissioned, aimed at a general audience and is expected to be published in late 2020. Hutton is woven into the 400th anniversary of Greyfriars’ Kirk in Edinburgh with a discussion/lecture event taking place. Guided walks featuring James Hutton’s theories and discoveries are being delivered and approaches are being made to sponsors to fund upgrading physical infrastructure are significant geological sites Hutton discovered, such as Siccar Point.
As the tercentenary in 2026 approaches it is hoped that funds raised in the interim will have reached significant levels so that they can be used to provide support for research and studentships into subjects and approaches that reflect Hutton’s spirit, tenacity and rigour. The ambition is to build the reputation, momentum and resources behind the Foundation to raise £10million by 2026 to support research and scholarship in areas connected to James Hutton’s work.