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Edinburgh Science Regretfully Announces the Loss of Joan Davidson

Posted: 30 November 2020

It is with the greatest sadness that we share the news of the untimely death of Joan Davidson, our long-serving and inspirational Head of Learning. Joan had been unwell for several months but her passing comes as a deep shock to all who knew and loved her.

Joan had been with Edinburgh Science for 12 years and stood out for her dedication to inspiring young people to explore, study and develop a lifelong love of science and technology. Her deep-rooted commitment to equality and her belief that every child deserves a fighting chance, and that learning can help empower them to face whatever the world might throw at them (and that if it can be great fun in the process then so much the better), made her an exceptional champion of our Learning programmes.

She ran Generation Science, our programme of workshops and shows enjoyed by 55,000 primary school pupils each year in classrooms across Scotland. More recently she masterminded Careers Hive, our highly appreciated careers event for S1–S3 pupils. In her time with Edinburgh Science, she has overseen the delivery of inspirational events and experiences for over half a million young people. This spectacular commitment and achievement has changed the lives of many young people and exemplified her passion for knowledge, championing of the underdog and her flying of the flag for women in science.

We will all miss Joan deeply. She was always kind, friendly, positive and unflappable even through periods of total disruption, such as when the Beast from the East in 2018 stranded touring teams right across Scotland and shut down Careers Hive. She touched the lives of so many people, made countless friends amongst those who worked with her and with the teaching profession across the country, and was very much loved by her team and colleagues.

We will find the right way of honouring and marking Joan’s immeasurable contribution over the next few weeks. She may be gone but her spirit and legacy will live on in every child in whom her work ignited a spark of curiosity and wonder, and in the work we will continue to do feeding the minds of curious young people.

Her family and friends have set up this page with links to two charities which Joan had supported and which are true to her values and principles of equality for all when it comes to young people and science.

Honouring Joan