The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) is Scotland’s oldest and largest independent marine science organization based in Oban on the Scottish west coast. It was set up in 1884 by Sir John Murray as a marine station in Edinburgh for training future polar explorers and scientists such as Fridtjof Nansen and William Speirs Bruce. It soon relocated to Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae where it remained until the organization moved to its current location in 1968/9. In 1901 the organization became a membership organization and has operated as a learned society ever since.The SAMS mission is to deliver world-class marine science that supports society with innovative solutions to developing a sustainable relationship with the marine environment. SAMS delivers this mission through research, education, services to business, learned society activities and public engagement initiatives. SAMS strives for a global reputation for excellence in marine science. While administered through four departments (Ecology; Microbial and Molecular Biology; Biogeochemistry and Earth Science; Physics and Technology), much of SAMS research is highly multidisciplinary. This is reflected in the research themes, e.g. Arctic Science and Blue Energy, and the recent creation of three Research and Innovation Centres in Aquaculture, Marine Biotechnology, and Society and the Sea. The Arctic programme has a long pedigree of multidisciplinary studies and field operations in polar regions. The Blue Energy Research Group focuses on dual renewable energy strands of environmental interactions and algal biofuel source assessment and development. Aquaculture at SAMS focuses on environmental interactions and invertebrate and macro-algae cultivation. The Marine Biotechnology centre provides a clear focus on natural products, bioremediation and algal bioenergy. The Society and the Sea innovation centre is based on innovative approaches to understanding the social and policy arena around the changing marine environment.