The Life Science Trust

The Life Science Trust was set up by Dr. Margaret Colquhoun (1947-2017) as a Scottish Charity in 1992 to further the work of Goethean Science and develop this work in the fields of education, the arts and sciences, medicine, agriculture, horticulture, architecture, ecology, philosophy, religion, social development and welfare and otherwise for the public benefit. Key personnel of the Trust were teaching the scientific methods of Goetheanism for some time before the land base study centre was acquired, a research and demonstration base, led to the decision to undertake this project.

A Company Limited by Guarantee with Charitable Status, incorporated in October 28, 1992.

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Board of Trustees

Christian Thal-Jantzen

Christian Thal-Jantzen

Thal-Jantzen is a stalwart of ethical investment. He has worked in the sector since 1988 when he joined Bromige.

“I was involved with helping projects that had a strong social and spiritual dimension to addressing social questions – how could human beings be more creative?, how could they have more fulfilled lives?, and how could they take more responsibility for their lives? Those are the sort of issues that interested me”.

To find more on Christian Thal-Jantzen read here his interview in Blue&Green.

Dr. James Dyson

Dr. James Dyson

Dr. James Dyson trained as a doctor in London at the same time as pursuing his studies in Anthroposophy. He now lectures internationally on a wide range of subjects. Besides his work as an adult educator and a doctor, he was also was one of the founder members of the Park Attwood Clinic where patients were able to be treated with Anthroposophical medicine and therapies. He worked there for twenty-five years.

Betty Stolk

Betty Stolk

Betty Stolk is the manager of the Corbenic Camphill Community in Scotland. In this community, 65 people live, including 27 adults with learning disabilities.  Residents, volunteers, and employees live in 5 households within 50 acres of agricultural and forestry land.

The community is based on the principle of living and working together with those who have special needs.

Find more information here on the Corbenic community.

The Steering Group 

Our steering group is composed of local people who are supportive of the project and meet monthly to ensure appropriate steerage by the team of co-workers and volunteers working on the land.

John Donald

 John Donald

A serial high-tech entrepreneur based in East Lothian, Scotland. He spent the last 30 years building up numerous businesses from scratch both in Scotland and also in the United States. His latest venture, Robop, started more than 10 years ago and its purpose is to make Robotic falcons. This is a unique product conceived, designed and manufactured in Scotland that Robop sells mostly to large companies and public bodies all over the world to keep birds such as gulls and pigeons off their buildings. Visit his Linked In profile here.

Roger Burroughes

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Roger is a computing officer at the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. Established in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is one of the  most important and historic Higher Education institutions in the world. Roger is a great animal lover, and he is always very supportive  with our horses in Pishwanton. 

Michael Williams

Lord-Lieu_MWilliams305x250HM The Queen appointed Michael Williams MBE as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant in February 2014.  Mr Williams was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant in 1997 before becoming vice Lord-Lieutenant in 2010.  Following the death of his predecessor, Sir Garth Morrison in May 2013, Michael became the interim Lord-Lieutenant for the county.

Our Patron

Chris Bonington

10351595_10152263820856487_8090275888279019956_nChris, the mountaineer, writer, photographer and lecturer, started climbing at the age of 16 in 1951. It has been his passion ever since. He made the first British ascent of the North Wall of the Eiger and led the expedition that made the first ascent of The South Face of Annapurna, the biggest and most difficult climb in the Himalaya at the time. He went on to lead the successful expedition making the first ascent of the South West Face of Everest in 1975 and then reached the summit of Everest himself in 1985 with a Norwegian expedition. He is still active in the mountains climbing with the same enthusiasm as he had at the beginning.

He has written 17 books, fronted numerous television programmes and has lectured to the public and corporate audiences all over the world. He received a knighthood in 1996 for services to mountaineering, was president of the Council for National Parks for 8 years, is Non-Executive Chairman of Berghaus and Chancellor of Lancaster University. More information available here on his official website.

Key supporters Roland Playle

Rolan-Playle

Roland is one of our great friends who has been supporting us for the last six years. Roland has worked in a number of places internationally, with marginalised people and in conflict regions. He is a graduate of the MSc in Holistic Science at Schumacher College (2008). He takes a Goethean phenomenological approach to social and environmental work in communities and NGOs. He is currently helping us to review the Pishwanton Project applying a Goethean Scientific process. Roland is involved in a facilitative project in suburban North Glasgow working with people and the landscape. Roland was the recipient of the 2012 Think OutWord Credere Fund.

Key project personnel that made Pishwanton possible

Architects and engineers

Professor Christopher Day

P. Christopher Day

P. Christopher Day is the Trust´s main architect. He has designed ecological villages in Sweden, the Netherlands and Wales and sustainable mixed urban development in USA. His projects have won several prizes including a Prince of Wales Award. Author of Places of the Soul and Building with the Heart. He is in demand for design and consultancy with projects as far afield as California and Siberia. He also has considerable experience in self-building projects in the UK.

Richard Shorter Architect

Richard Shorter is based in Edinburgh and specialises in the conservation and upgrading of historic buildings, and also new design in sensitive contexts. Richard Shorter holds RIAS Advanced Conservation Accreditation and was one of the first architects to achieve this. Richard has 30 years of experience in the building industry and set up the practice in 1999.

The underlying theme of the practice is conservation, the conservation of buildings, of places, of resources and of energy, and this interest and enthusiasm is brought to each project. The practice has considerable experience in the use of traditional materials and also seeks to deliver environmentally conscious buildings.

Richard enjoys working with communities of building users to develop their ideas and believes that the best results are arrived at by a process of consensus.

Please find more about his work in his website (click here). 

David Tasker- Structural Engineer

David is a design-orientated engineer who works closely with creative architects and aspires to engineer elegant structures, which are affordable, environmentally sensitive and socially beneficial. His approach to structural design is based on a collaborative ‘shared vision’ within the design team, allowing each project to generate its own specific structural solutions; this has resulted in a very diverse range of materials and systems, from simple frames and trusses to stressed shells and membranes.

David is a chartered Civil Engineer and has a master’s degree in Architecture from the Bartlett School. He was a project engineer at Anthony Hunt Associates for many years working primarily on lightweight structures and director of special structures at Travers Morgan. He received a structural steel design award for his work at Manchester Airport, was a tutor at the Architectural Association and lectures at universities throughout the UK. His current research projects are the geometry of structural form and the environmental impact of building materials.


Please find more information on his official website.  Available here.

Peter John Corbett- Engineer

Peter John graduated from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh with a first class masters degree in 2005 having received many University awards including the Watt Club Medal for achieving the highest grades in the Civil Engineering Department in 2005. During his student years, he was also awarded the Institute of Structural Engineers’ Prize for the “Most Deserving Student in Structural Design” and completed his Masters year at the Czech Technical University in Prague.

Since graduating, he has gained a wide range of experience in both large and small projects leading the structural design from scheme stage through to construction. During his time with Gifford LLP and Ramboll Peter has gained expertise in steel and concrete structures, and particularly in timber design. His projects have included a number of high profile and award winning structures, many noted for their innovative use of materials and exemplary environmental standards. He is a chartered member of the Institution of Structural Engineers.

Peter is a director and founding member of NGO Tapini eV, which works to improve access to potable water in the East Transkei region of South Africa through a range of practical and educational programmes.

We recommend visiting his official website here.

Malcolm G. Lemmon

Malcolm is a very experienced and qualified traditional carpenter and builder with many years of being involved in traditional building methods and ecological construction. He is also a qualified forester.

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Dr. Margaret Colquhoun

Dr. Margaret Colquhoun (1947 – 2017) was a biologist, landscaper, consultant, and freelance Goethean scientific researcher and teacher with an extensive background in research and teaching using the Goethean methodology.

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Registered Office Quince Cottage

Quince Cottage, 4 Baxtersyke

Gifford, East Lothian (Scotland)

EH41 4PL

Company Registration Number 140925
Charity Number SCO20705 Life Science Trust