Challenger Society Conference 2024

Challenger Society Conference coming to Oban

The new conference website has launched:

The UK’s largest gathering of marine scientists, the Challenger Society Conference, will be coming to Oban 2-6 September 2024.

The biennial event is attended by around 300 scientists from around the UK and further afield.

SAMS Director Prof Nicholas Owens made the announcement during a speech at this year’s conference, hosted by the Natural History Museum, London.

SAMS was due to host the event in 2020 but was forced to cancel as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold. The Natural History Museum had already committed to hosting the 2022 event – the 150th anniversary of the Challenger Expedition.

The Challenger Society, which organises the conference, is named after the famous expedition (1872 – 1876), a highly influential scientific expedition that laid the foundations for modern-day marine science. Sir John Murray, who founded the forerunner to SAMS in 1884, was one of the scientists on board the HMS Challenger and following his return from the expedition compiled much of the discoveries in the Challenger Reports.

Prof Owens said: “The Challenger Expedition is rooted in the history of SAMS, one of the oldest independent marine science institutes in the UK, and we conduct a diverse range of marine science with the ocean on our doorstep.

“We are therefore a natural fit as hosts, and we are proud and excited to be bringing the 2024 conference to Oban.”

The Logo of the Challenger Society for Marine Science



Learn more about the Challenger Society.

The SAMS campus is near the village of Dunbeg, 3.5 miles north-east of Oban on the west coast of Scotland. It is built on a peninsula with 13th century Dunstaffnage Castle and the European Marine Science Park as its neighbours - where the past meets the future!

The perfect place for research and study

Within this rural coastal setting lies the SAMS campus, home to nearly 300 staff, students, fellows and business tenants. The location is conducive to researching, studying and experiencing all aspects of the marine environment. The stunning natural environment surrounding SAMS furthermore facilitates thinking and reflection.

Diverse and accessible oceanographic domains and marine habitats

Our location is perfect for marine science with diverse oceanographic environments on the doorstep, relatively clean waters supporting high marine biodiversity all around us and sheltered deep-water sites within nearby sea lochs where we can test and deploy marine technologies. 

Remote, perhaps, but well connected

Oban is 2-3 hours from Glasgow and Edinburgh. It is serviced by regular train and bus services, as well as a small airport in North Connel and a major ferry port connecting us to many of the Hebridean islands.

This conference in Oban is anticipated to draw around 300 marine scientists from both international and UK backgrounds.

If you wish to sponsor this conference, display cutting-edge technology, present data solutions, or advertise career opportunities, please get in touch with commercial exhibition organiser Terry Sloane.

Terry will be happy to discuss any requirements that you may have.


or phone 01276 427 971