IT’S not what most people associate with the late Tam Dalyell, but the long-serving MP was very keen on science and wrote a column for the New Scientist for 36 years.

He loved Edinburgh, too, and was Rector of Edinburgh University from 2003 to 2006, so you guess Tam would have liked the fact that a prize in his name was been awarded to a state-of-the-science series of virtual tours exploring the city’s role in the history of science, technology and medicine.

Dr Niki Vermeulen of the School of Social and Political Science has been awarded Edinburgh University’s Tam Dalyell Prize for Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science for his project, Curious Edinburgh. The university accolade is given each year to an outstanding science communicator.

Curious Edinburgh participants tour Edinburgh by foot or public transport, using a phone app.

Vermeulen said: “I am very honoured to receive the Tam Dalyell Prize for Curious Edinburgh. It is a wonderful recognition of our work and it is helping us to continue and expand the project.

“Edinburgh has so many interesting stories to tell, and we hope that people will view the city with different eyes after knowing the important role it has played in the history of science, technology and medicine.