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Dundee Discovery Walk to honour great Dundonians

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Famous Dundonians, chosen by Dundonians, are to be honoured in the heart of the waterfront development.

The first 10 to be immortalised in bronze in Discovery Walk have been chosen by the public and will be installed in the pavement later this year.

They include scientists, writers, social reformers and medical practitioners from the last 200 years, selected for having made a notable or influential discovery either in Dundee or clearly linked to the city.

The list includes philanthropist Mary Ann Baxter, social reformer Mary Lily Walker, medical practitioners Margaret Fairlie and James F Riley, writer and editor RD Low, and scientists Geoffrey Dutton, Alfred Ewing, D’Arcy Thompson, and Walter Spear and Peter Le Comber (who will share a plaque for their joint discoveries).

It is hoped the nine plaques will be the first of many to be installed throughout the open space area of the newly-named Slessor Gardens at the heart of the waterfront development.

Hundreds of people responded and school pupils were also canvassed for their views on which famous Dundonians should be selected.

Discovery Walk, which is supported by the Dundee Waterfront Project, is intended to highlight the fascinating stories of individuals whose discoveries and inventions have made many important and exciting contributions to modern life.

The criteria for selection are that the nominees must be deceased, and must have been born or spent much of their lives in Dundee.

They must have made a notable or influential discovery either in Dundee or clearly linked to the city.

Working with finite resources, the steering group could only plan for nine plaques in the first phase, but additional sources of funding, perhaps involving crowd-funding, are being explored.

Discovery Walk is the brainchild of Kelly Marr, an Australian who was inspired by the famous Writers’ Walk around Sydney Harbour and wanted to bring this to her Dundee home.

“Discovery Walk will ensure that this part of the city’s heritage is never forgotten, and it will mean the city can take an enormous pride in the people that are celebrated,” she said.

Dundee artist and illustrator Suzanne Scott, who works under the name WhimSicAL LusH, has been commissioned to design the first nine plaques.

She is inviting people to get involved in the design of the plaques with their own comments and suggestions.

Visit whimsicallush.co.uk/discovery-walk/ to make your contribution.

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