The land underneath Dynamic Earth used to be owned by Scottish and Newcastle in a rundown part of Edinburgh that would be unrecognisable today. During a period of corporate consolidation in the late 1980's these companies decided to donate the land to the city and the country.
Early on, many ideas were discussed around what sort of building should be built and what should go inside it. Would it be an art gallery or a tropical rainforest? By the middle of 1990 two key Edinburgh University scientists, Sandy Crosbie and Gordon Craig, a geographer and a geologist, respectively, were consulted, along with a handful of others. These scientists saw the opportunity to tell the story of our planet and the environment in the context of Scottish scientific discoveries. Sitting next to an extinct volcano, and at the end of the Royal Mile, a glacial crag and tail feature, this story has relevance and resonance that continues to this day.
Dynamic Earth was originally called the William Younger Centre. Like the Usher Hall and the McEwan Hall, this name was intended as a nod to the history of brewing families and traditions so important to Edinburgh's Heritage.
Like those buildings, corporate generosity initiated the civic regeneration of this part of the city with the building of this science centre, which is still the only one in the world dedicated exclusively to Earth and environmental science.
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Current Trustees of Dynamic Earth Charitable Trust include the following individuals:
- Ian Ritchie, Chairman
- David Cochrane
- Gary Davis
- Colin Graham
- Malcolm Thoms
- Sally Weatherly
- The Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh
- John Simpson, CEO of Dynamic Earth