RSE welcomes 56 new Fellows

Published: 3 March 2015

The names of 56 distinguished individuals elected to become Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh are announced. Spanning the arts, business, and science and technology sectors, they join the RSE in its work to place the advancement of learning and useful knowledge at the centre of public life in Scotland.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) is heartened to see its multi-disciplinary purpose reinforced by an increase in the number of new Fellows from the arts, business, professional and political spheres.

They include:

  • Ian Rankin OBE, one of Scotland’s most outstanding contemporary literary figures, famous for his Edinburgh-set Inspector Rebus novels.
  • Don Paterson OBE, one of Scotland and UK’s pre-eminent poets, as well as Professor of Poetry at the University of St Andrews.
  • Margaret Ford, Baroness Ford of Cunninghame, Chairman of STV Group Plc.
  • Dame Seona Reid, Chair of National Theatre of Scotland and former Director, Glasgow School of Art.
  • Sir George Reid PC, Former Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament.
  • Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy for Climate Change and former President of Ireland, who becomes an Honorary Fellow.

Several new Fellows are notable not only for their individual successes, but also as inspirational figures for young women who want to excel in their chosen profession.

They include the leading Scottish academics:

  • Professor Anne Anderson OBE, Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Social Sciences, University of Glasgow.
  • Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Glasgow Caledonian University.
  • Professor Dorothy Miell, Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Humanities and Social Science, University of Edinburgh.
  • Professor Petra Wend, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen Margaret University.

A number of our new Fellows represent the highest calibre of scientific enquiry taking place across the UK-level:

  • Sir David Baulcombe, Regius Professor of Botany, University of Cambridge, becomes an Honorary Fellow in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the field of plant molecular biology.
  • Professor Guy Lloyd-Jones, Forbes Professor of Organic Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, enters the Fellowship as a scientist who has made significant and wideranging contributions to UK chemical science.
  • Professor Louise Heathwaite, joins the RSE in her dual roles of Chief Scientific Adviser for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment, Scottish Government;
  • and Professor of Land and Water Science, The Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University.

Further strengthening the international arm of the RSE Fellowship are several highlydistinguished scientists, such as:

  • Professor Chunli Bai, President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and pioneer of nanoscience technology, becomes an Honorary Fellow.
  • Professor Connie Eaves, Distinguished Scientist, Terry Fox Laboratory, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, and leader in the field of stem cell biology.
  • Professor Jin-Guang Teng, Chair Professor of Structural Engineering and Director of Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development, Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
  • Professor Nancy Reid, Canada Research Professor of Statistical Theory and Applications, University of Toronto and internationally-recognised theoretical statistician.

President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, said, “I am delighted to welcome such a wide range of outstanding individuals to the Fellowship. Each of our new Fellows is elected on the distinguished merit of their work. In joining the RSE, they strengthen our capacity to support excellence across all areas of academic and public life, both in Scotland and further afield.”

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

For more information, contact
RSE Press Officer
Jordan Ogg
t: 0131 240 2792


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