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RSE Welcomes 60 New Fellows

Posted: 15th February 2017


Outstanding Academics, Celebrated Professionals & Royalty

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The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) is delighted to announce that HRH The Duke of Cambridge has been elected to become an RSE Royal Honorary Fellow. We much look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with HRH, as we have with our Patron, Her Majesty The Queen, and our other Royal Fellows.¹


Also announced today are the names of 59 distinguished individuals who have been elected to become Fellows of the RSE. Hailing from sectors that range from the arts, business, science and technology and academia, they join the current RSE Fellowship whose varied expertise supports the advancement of learning and useful knowledge in Scottish public life.


The strength of the RSE lies in the breadth of disciplines represented by its Fellowship. This range of expertise enables the RSE to take part in a host of activities such as providing independent and expert advice to Government and Parliament, supporting aspiring entrepreneurs through mentorship, facilitating education programmes for young people and engaging the general public through educational events.


The RSE is heartened to see a continued increase in the number of new Fellows from the arts, business and professional spheres. They include:


One of the biggest names in crime writing, Val McDermid is a founding writer of what has become known as the ‘tartan noir’ genre.

GRICE, Sir Paul

Chief Executive, Scottish Parliament. Sir Paul Grice played a major role in the establishment of the Scottish Parliament and fosters connections between the Scottish Parliament and the world of academia.


BARONESS YOUNG OF OLD SCONE, Barbara (Honorary Fellow)

Life Peer, House of Lords. Baroness Young was the Chief Executive of Diabetes UK from 2010 to 2015. The Baroness is currently Chair of the Woodland Trust Board of Trustees.



Business women and founder of Genius Foods; the brand leader in gluten-free products in the UK.


ANGIOLINI, The Right Honourable Dame Elish Frances

The Right Honourable Dame Elish is the Principal of St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford and formerly the Solicitor General and Lord Advocate of Scotland.


KELLY, Dame Barbara Mary

Dame Barbara Kelly is the Chairman of The Robertson Trust and a central figure in rural affairs in Scotland having acted as the Chair for the £30M Millennium Forest for Scotland Trust.


WARK, Kirsty

Kirsty Wark is a Scottish journalist and television presenter. Best known for fronting BBC Two’s current affairs programme Newsnight, Kirsty also presented on the BBC’s Newsnight Review from 2002 to 2014.


A number of the new RSE Fellows are involved in the highest calibre of scientific enquiry and policy making:


SARGENT, Anneila Isabel (Honorary Fellow)

Ira S. Bowen Professor of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology. University of Edinburg Alumna of the Year 2002. Former President of the American Astronomical Society and Chair of the NASA Space Science Advisory Committee.


SIR WALPORT, Mark Jeremy (Honorary Fellow)

Chief Scientific Adviser to HM Government, Government Office for Science. Distinguished clinical scientist, scientific communicator and advisor. UKRI Chief Executive designate.

Strengthening the international work of the RSE, highly-distinguished individuals join the RSE as Corresponding Fellows, including:


JAMISON, Kay Redfield

The Dalio Family Professor in Mood Disorders, Johns Hopkins University


BAER, Thomas Michael

Executive Director, Stanford Photonics Research Centre, Stanford University


LIU, Congqiang

Professor, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences


New Fellows are elected each year through a rigorous five-stage nomination process. The breadth of the Fellowship—which includes over 1600 individuals from the UK and abroad —enables the RSE to provide a wide range of leadership and expertise.


President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, commented, “Each newly elected Fellow has been nominated on their exceptional and extensive achievements; it is a great honour to welcome such a range of outstanding individuals to the Fellowship. In joining the RSE Fellowship, they will strengthen the Society’s capacity to advance excellence across all areas of public life in Scotland and further afield.”


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