I much appreciated Rob Edwards's article on the decision to abandon Higher geology qualifications in 2015 (Fight to save geology in Scots schools, News, March 3).

It is a very short-sighted decision. A professional geologist with 25 years experience, I was inspired to take up geology by studying at school.

I work in the oil and gas industry in Aberdeen, which is currently facing a shortage of trained geologists. This can only get worse if Higher geology is dropped from the curriculum, which can only harm Scotland in the long run. The article also pointed out that geology is an important subject in its own right, requiring a unique skill set to understand and appreciate it. You don't get this same exposure and experience by splitting it up with other subjects.

Dr Robert Trythall


I had the good fortune to take my class of nine Higher geology students to the Scotland Rocks conference last weekend. It was uplifting to see how much their understanding of geology deepened by the opportunity to mix with university academics and students, geologists from industry, and pupils from other schools. The key message was the importance of geology to modern society. We rely on it for many things: the fuel to power transport systems and heat homes; the rare metals that underpin many electronic devices; construction materials for buildings and roads; and to make artificial materials such as plastics. Geologists are literally the bedrock of our way of life.

It's a pity this message does not seem to have an impact on the Scottish Government or the Scottish Qualifications Authority. Scotland, particularly an independent one, must continue to rely on the benefits that geology provides, from the significant income derived from oil and gas exploitation to the less tangible benefits gained from tourism. The decision to axe geology as a subject does not sit comfortably with this objective.

Dr JJ Doody West Calder High School