As I sit writing this, I’m a little dismayed at just how quickly my year as the EIFF Screenwriter-in-Residence has shot in. But it has been a packed year. I’ve met fellows and scientists that have been looking at everything from curing cancer to bio-mining asteroids; trying to find an image that soothes everything that ails us humans, to understanding the destructive paths of forest fires; building gel matrix that can allow us to print organs from scratch, to designing computer programs that will allow us to hear sounds that have never existed. I could go on, but for the sake of brevity I will attempt to control myself.

All of the meetings people were kind enough to grant me, have been massively enriching to my creative process. And there’s been a script idea in almost every one of them. Ideas I am now going to let pollinate in my mind. Needless to say my science-fiction scripts are now going to be a lot more science than fiction!

The education I received over this year, and it really was an education, has totally revolutionized two of the scripts I’m currently working on: The first of which deals with the profound impact of sound on the human mind, and very kindly Heriot-Watt allowed me access to one of the quietest rooms on the planet. Getting me up close and personal with true silence. This gave me an insight into a world I could never have accessed with my imagination, because quite frankly it was beyond imagining.

Krysty-Wilson Cairns

My meetings with the Neuroscience, Alzheimer’s and Psychology departments informed by second feature project. Allowing me to understand the delicate way the brain functions, and how so much of what we are as an individual is utterly unknown, especially to ourselves.

I am truly sad to be finishing up, and although I’m no longer in residence, I do still feel very connected to the stellar universities, the staff and the fellows who were kind enough to selflessly spend their time with me this year. And I very much feel like this tremendous opportunity extends far beyond the last year. It’s allowed me to forge a network of experts that I can depend on throughout my career as a screenwriter.

So all that remains is for me to thank all the staff and fellows at The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier, Heriot-Watt University, and Queen Margaret University. It’s been an absolute pleasure for me to pick your brains, invade your labs, and badger you with questions.

And of course I’d like to wish the very best of luck to your next Screenwriter-in-Residence, the very talented, fellow Weegie, Nicole Taylor – I hope you have as much fun as I did!

Thanks to our Screenwriter-in-Residence partners. This project has been developed and supported by Wellcome in partnership with the Beltane Public Engagement Network who provide links and facilitate access to research at The University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Napier University and Queen Margaret University.