Who we are

RSE building at night

The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), Scotland’s National Academy was established in 1783 for “the advancement of learning and useful knowledge”.

Our contemporary mission remains the same – the deployment of knowledge for public good.

As Scotland’s National Academy, we use the combined knowledge of our 1,800-strong Fellowship to provide independent expert advice to policymakers and inspire the next generation of innovative thinkers.

This knowledge contributes to the social and economic wellbeing of Scotland, its people and the nation’s wider contribution to the global community.

Our Fellows from academia, business and public service are among the most distinguished in their fields.

We engage and connect nationally and internationally to share knowledge and tackle the most pressing challenges of the modern world.

As Scotland’s National Academy, we provide independent expert advice to government and inspire the next generation of innovative thinkers.

Our objectives

We deliver on our mission through our strategic objectives and impacts:


To inspire and support Scotland’s most promising young talent across the research, business and public sectors to create value for the economy and society.


To engage on critical contemporary issues by providing an impartial forum for public debate and discussion.


To ensure that Scotland’s policymakers and influencers have access to the best national and global knowledge.


To promote Scotland’s interests and reputation worldwide.

Our values

Our values form the basis on which we operate and underpin our objectives:


We recognise and reflect excellence and achievement and harness this for public good.


We take responsibility for our actions, hold ourselves accountable and are open and transparent.


We work with objectivity and without bias, favouritism or self-interest in Scotland’s interests.


We recognise and value the ideas, perspectives and experiences that others bring.


We embrace diversity in all its forms and are committed to building a fairer society.

View our policies and corporate documents

Working to inspire, engage, provide expertise and promote Scotland across the globe