Dr Nikki Moran, Programme Director for Music – MA (Hons) and Music – PhD/MPhil/MSc by Research in Reid School of Music, has accepted an offer of membership of The Royal Society of Edinburgh's Young Academy of Scotland (YAS) for a term of 5 years.

The YAS fosters interdisciplinary activities among emerging leaders from the disciplines of science and humanities, the professions, the arts, business and civil society. Established in 2011, it provides a platform for able and innovative young entrepreneurs, professionals and academics to develop a coherent and influential voice, and to address the most challenging issues facing society in Scotland and beyond.

Nikki talks about becoming a member.

I am really delighted to have become a member of RSE Young Academy Scotland. I am concerned with matters of social equality which show up in the type of education and community experience available to different people, and I routinely look for ways to bring this awareness into my teaching practice to share with my students in Reid School of Music. Through my membership of YAS, I hope to share in and develop initiatives which access considerable intellectual resource and enthusiasm for positive social change.

Before I moved to Edinburgh to take up my lectureship, I led music workshops for schools and community groups, and volunteered as a literacy and numeracy tutor for a transitional support group for 16-year-old school-leavers. I am really privileged to hold my academic appointment at the Reid School of Music, but I am also still keen to find ways to support school-age, school-leaver and young adults in gaining the confidence and awareness to nurture their own critical and intellectual skills, so that they can engage in society in the most fulfilling way for themselves.

Arts and humanities scholarship has tremendous potential to get people talking about what matters in society by starting with what matters to us all as individuals. Music and the arts are so important in everyday life. What we like, what we don’t like, how we relate to other people, and our musical activities and tastes all help us to communicate and to belong. The way that we make sense of music collectively as a society, and how we define what it does for us as humans, these ideas are shaped by a lot of different factors. Not least the signals that get sent out at the highest levels of government policy, funding, education, and so on.

The YAS provides a means of reaching beyond the professional environments in which members work, thus contributing to policy and practice in all areas. It provides an opportunity for its members to interact across disciplines and professions with decision makers, opinion formers and experts, business leaders, funding bodies, national institutions, the public and the media within Scotland, the UK and internationally.