The James Hutton Institute brought together the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute and SCRI on 1 April 2011. The new organisation combines existing strengths in crops, soils and land use and environmental research, and will make major, new contributions to the understanding of key global issues, such as food, energy and environmental security, and developing and promoting effective technological and management solutions to these. The James Hutton Institute is an internationally networked organisation and operates from multiple sites, including two main ones in Scotland at Aberdeen and Dundee. It employs more than 600 scientists and support staff, making it one of the biggest research centres in the UK and the first of its type in Europe. The institute is one of the Scottish Government’s main research providers in environmental, crop and food science and will have a major role in the Scottish knowledge economy. James Hutton (1726 – 1797) was a leading figure of the Scottish Enlightenment, an eighteenth century golden age of intellectual and scientific achievements centred on Edinburgh. He is internationally regarded as the founder of modern geology and one of the first scientists to describe the Earth as a living system. His thinking on natural selection influenced Charles Darwin in developing his theory of evolution.