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Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC), in partnership with The James Hutton Institute, are proud to announce that the European Society for Rural Sociology (ESRS) have chosen Aberdeen as the host City for their 2015 congress.


The congress, organised by The James Hutton Institute, will take place at AECC from 18th – 21st August 2015 and is expected to attract 400 delegates from around the world to the North-East of Scotland. The Region’s unique blend of a traditional rural hinterland with an agricultural, leisure and tourism focus in recent times juxtaposed with the epicentre of the European energy industry will provide a fascinating contrast for delegates to experience and observe multi-scale governance; rural innovation particularly in relation to renewable energy, local food, gentrification processes; human/animal and human/nature relationships; cultural ecosystem service provision; multifunctional land management; property relations and eco-economy approaches.


Founded in 1957, the ESRS is the leading European association for researchers, policy makers and scientists involved in the study of rural issues including: rural governance, land use change, sustainable development, natural resource management, and food production and consumption. The James Hutton Institute’s work in these areas is undertaken by its Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Group, the largest group of rural social and economic scientists in the UK.


This Conference was secured by Dr Lee-Ann Sutherland at the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen and was awarded subvention funding from Visit Scotland’s National Bid Fund; which was created in order to attract more business tourism to Scotland.


Professor Iain Gordon, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute said: “The James Hutton Institute is proud to host the European Society for Rural Sociology 2015 Congress in Aberdeen. Social sciences lie at the heart of the Institute’s vision to engage with practitioners to develop new solutions to the challenges facing land and natural resource use. As well as the stimulation of the conference itself, the North-East of Scotland offers delegates, and their partners, a vast range of experiences from walks to whisky, hospitality to highland games. I look forward to meeting you next year.”


Brian Horsburgh, Managing Director of AECC said: “Securing the ESRS Conference for August next year is great news, and re-emphasises our belief that a team approach works best when working to bring overseas conferences to the Region.  Working with key partners such as the James Hutton Institute and Visit Scotland gives AECC a strong and attractive position, and we are delighted to have secured this international conference for next year.”




For further information on AECC please contact Sarah Coutts, Senior PR & Marketing Executive at AECC on 01224 330430; email [email protected].


For further information on The James Hutton Institute please contact Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media and External Relations Coordinator, James Hutton Institute, Tel: 01224 395089 (direct line), 0844 928 5428 (switchboard) or 07791 193918 (mobile), Email: [email protected]; or Lorraine Wakefield, Content Manager, James Hutton Institute, Tel: 01382 568749 (direct line), 0844 928 5428 (switchboard) or 07964 777906 (mobile), Email: [email protected].


Notes to editors:


For more information on the ESRS 2015 congress, visit


The James Hutton Institute is a world-leading, multi-site scientific organisation encompassing a distinctive range of integrated strengths in land, crop, waters, environmental and socio-economic science. It undertakes research for customers including the Scottish and UK Governments, the EU and other organisations worldwide. The institute has a staff of nearly 600 and 125 PhD students, and takes its name from the 18th century Scottish Enlightenment scientist, James Hutton, who is widely regarded as the founder of modern geology and who was also an experimental farmer and agronomist.


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