Attraction celebrates 20th year

Dynamic Earth welcomes former university principal

Prof Pete DownesProfessor Sir Pete Downes has been appointed chairman at Edinburgh visitor attraction, Dynamic Earth. Mr Downes joins from the University of Dundee, where he was principal and vice-chancellor from 2009 until December 2018.

With a background in science and more than ten years’ experience in the commercial sector, Prof Downes is one of the UK’s leading biochemists, with an early career in the pharmaceutical industry and 30 years at the University of Dundee.

Under his leadership, the university gained global recognition in life sciences; was consistently rated best in Scotland for student experience by Times Higher Education, and achieved record levels of research funding.

He received a knighthood in 2015 for services to life sciences and higher education. He also played a leading role in bringing the V&A to Dundee, and was a founding partner of Design Dundee, which delivered the V&A project.

Prof Downes said: “I was hugely attracted to the concept of Dynamic Earth at a period in the planet’s history when it is deeply threatened by human activity and when it could not be more important for people – especially young people – to understand its origins and how it works.

“I was immediately impressed with the qualities of trustees and staff with whom I met who were not resting on their laurels, but keen to develop Dynamic Earth as an informative and entertaining attraction with an underlying educational mission of great significance. As the attraction celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, it’s an extremely exciting time to be joining the team.”

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