The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) has announced the 2024 cohort of new Fellows, and among the names are BAFTA and Emmy-winning satirist Armando Iannucci and award-winning journalist and charity founder Sally Magnusson.

  • Among the 57 Fellows on the list of those joining the RSE are entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr Michael Welch, Leonie Bell, Director of the V&A Dundee, public health advocate Professor Jason Gill, and Professor Elham Kashefi, a world leader in the field of quantum computing
  • New Fellows have been elected from institutions from across the UK, including Dundee, Aberdeen, St Andrews, Stirling, Highlands and Islands, and from countries around the world including the Netherlands, Germany, USA, and China
Stephen L. Brusatte, Elham Kashefi, Bill Buchanan, Armando Iannucci, Sally Magnusson, Mike Welch posing for a photo
L:R Leonie Bell; Ana Stewart; Armando Iannucci; Mike Welch; Apala Majumdar; Elham Kashefi; Jason Gill; Keith Methieson; Stephen Brusatte; William Buchanan; Sally Magnusson.

Nominated for their individual excellence in a wide range of fields such as physics, chemistry, informatics, literature, law, social sciences, and business, they will be joining the 1,800 current Fellows of the RSE, Scotland’s National Academy.

Armando Iannucci was elected as an Honorary Fellow, known for award-winning satirical films and programmes such as The Death of Stalin and The Thick of It. He is vice president of the Royal Television Society and takes an active interest in political issues and the functioning of democracy.

RSE new Fellow 2024: Armando Iannucci wearing a suit and tie
Armando Iannucci, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 2024

I am thrilled to be elected to the Fellowship of the RSE; this is confirmation from the champions of the highest standards of academic and cultural excellence in Scotland that writing jokes is an honourable pursuit.

This recognition will spur me on to make more people laugh louder, longer and harder than ever before, and will remind me at all times that it’s as equally important to make people think as well as laugh. I promise to do my best.

Armando Iannucci was elected alongside one other Honorary Fellow, health and social care expert, chair of both the Royal College of Physicians and Dementia UK, Professor David Croisdale-Appleby.

Broadcaster and journalist Sally Magnusson was also elected for her charity work and her own dementia charity Playlist for Life.

RSE new Fellow 2024: Sally Magnusson sitting at a table in front of a book shelf
Dr Sally Magnusson, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 2024

It’s a tremendous honour to be elected as a Fellow. The RSE has a centuries-old history as Scotland’s National Academy and I’m proud to belong to it. I Iook forward to playing my part in its longstanding mission to deploy knowledge for public good.

Among the 57 new Fellows elected to the Society is Professor Lorna Marson, an outstanding leader in surgery and surgical training. Already a Fellow of the Faculty of Surgical Trainers, she is the first woman to be appointed Professor of Transplant Surgery by the University of Edinburgh and the first woman to be elected President of the British Transplant Society, as well as being Chair of the UK Organ Donation and Transplantation Research Network.

Professor Jason Gill, Professor of Cardiometabolic Health at the University of Glasgow, was elected for his major contributions to the prevention and management of vascular, metabolic, and chronic diseases. As well as influencing national health guidelines, he has contributed to the communication of these public health issues with a range of television programmes, broadcast on BBC1, BBC2, ITV, and Channel 4.

RSE new Fellow 2024: A man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera
Professor Jason Gill, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 2024

The broad and multi-disciplinary nature of the Society has never been more important, given the complex nature of the challenges facing society which increasingly require solutions involving collaboration across disciplines and sectors.

My own work exploring how physical activity, diet and excess body weight affect health, why these effects are different in different people, and how to target and support effective long-term health behaviour change provides a key example of the need for multi-disciplinary collaboration between biological, medical, and social scientists working together with external stakeholders to develop effective solutions. I am honoured to have been elected.

Professor Donna Heddle of the University of Highlands and Islands (UHI) was elected for her own outstanding contributions to research. She set up and now leads the UHI’s Institute for Northern Studies, a world-leading establishment combining research, teaching, and community engagement.

Professor Elham Kashefi of the University of Edinburgh and Chief Scientist at the UK National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) is a world-leader in her field. Among a raft of achievements, she developed the world’s first method for secure cloud quantum computing. She called her election “a thrilling opportunity.”

RSE new Fellow 2024: Elham Kashefi smiling for the camera
Professor Elham Kashefi, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 2024

Scottish universities have pioneered all aspects of quantum technologies for the last few decades. Only last year, we opened Quantum Software Lab (QSL) in partnership with the UK National Quantum Computing Center (NQCC), making Edinburgh one of the quantum capitals of the world. As the director of the QSL and NQCC Chief Scientist, I’m delighted to have the opportunity to utilise the RSE’s platform to bring the quantum wave beyond our academic circles, influencing policymakers. Our rich innovative ecosystem in Scotland will ensure everyone is aware and ready for this mind-blowing new emerging technology.

BAFTA-winning Professor Paul Mealor is also on the list of newly elected Fellows. He is an internationally renowned composer as well as Professor of Composition at the University of Aberdeen. In 2020 Universal Music announced that he had made his way into the top ten “most performed living and recorded composers alive.”

President of the RSE, Professor Sir John Ball PRSE, said:

John M. Ball wearing a suit and tie
Professor Sir John Ball PRSE, President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

It is an immense honour to extend a warm welcome to each of our distinguished new Fellows.

Individually, they embody exceptional dedication and accomplishment spanning multiple sectors and disciplines. Collectively, they demonstrate a profound commitment and determination to make meaningful contributions through their endeavours.

From groundbreaking research that redefines our understanding to the creative pursuits that inspire and enrich our cultural landscape, the RSE proudly embraces the brightest minds, leveraging their unique expertise and perspectives for the betterment of society.

As Scotland’s National Academy, we remain committed to mobilising a diverse array of expertise to confront society’s most pressing challenges, and I am certain that our new Fellows will prove invaluable assets to the RSE.

The complete list of new Fellows 2024 are below:

RSE Honorary Fellows 2024

  • Professor David Croisdale-Appleby
    Chair, Healthwatch England
  • Armando Iannucci
    Writer and political satirist

RSE Corresponding Fellows 2024

  • Professor Miguel Ferrer Baena
    Research Professor, Department of Ethology and Biodiversity Conservation, Spanish National Research Council
  • Professor John Cioffi
    Professor Emeritus of Engineering, Standford University
  • Professor Donald Dingwell
    Director, Department for Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
  • Professor De-Zhu Li
    Professor of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences Kunming Institute of Botany
  • Professor Alan Reid
    Professor of Mathematics, Rice University
  • Professor Ann Rigney
    Professor in Comparative Literature, Utrecht University

RSE Fellows 2024

  • Professor David Batty
    Professor of Epidemiology & Public Health, University College London
  • Professor Lindsay Beevers
    Chair of Environmental Engineering and Head of Research Institute, University of Edinburgh
  • Leonie Bell
    Director, V&A Dundee
  • Professor Stephen Brusatte
    Professor of Palaeontology and Evolution, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor William Buchanan
    Professor of Applied Cryptography, Edinburgh Napier University
  • Professor Nicole Busby
    Professor of Human Rights, Equality and Justice, University of Glasgow
  • Professor Neil Carragher
    Professor of Drug Discovery, Institute of Genetics & Cancer, University of Edinburgh
  • Michael P Clancy
    Director of Law Reform, Law Society of Scotland
  • Professor Sinéad Collins
    Professor of Microbial Evolution, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Sarah Coulthurst
    Professor of Microbial Interactions, University of Dundee
  • Gillian Docherty
    Chief Commercial Officer, University of Strathclyde
  • Professor David Dockrell
    Chair of Infection Medicine / Director of the Centre for Inflammation Research, University of Edinburgh
  • Laura Dunlop
    President, Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland
  • Professor Marc Dweck
    Professor of Clinical Cardiology, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor J Ross Fitzgerald
    Personal Chair of Molecular Bacteriology, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Ross Forgan
    Professor of Supramolecular and Materials Chemistry, University of Glasgow
  • Professor Paul Foster
    Professor in New Testament Language, Literature & Theology, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Sonja Franke-Arnold
    Professor in Atom and Quantum Optics, University of Glasgow
  • Professor Jonathan Fraser
    Director of Research, Mathematics, University of St Andrews
  • Professor Vernon Gayle
    Professor of Sociology and Social Statistics, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Sayantan Ghosal
    Adam Smith Chair in Political Economy, University of Glasgow
  • Professor Jason Gill
    Professor of Cardiometabolic Health, University of Glasgow
  • Professor Kirsty Gunn
    Professor of Creative Writing, University of Dundee
  • Professor Tomasz Guzik
    Regius Chair of Physiology and Cardiovascular Pathobiology, University of Glasgow
  • Professor Ailsa Hall
    Former Director, Sea Mammal Research Unit
  • Professor Donna Heddle
    Director, Institute for Northern Studies, University of the Highlands and Islands
  • Professor Peter Hopkins
    Professor of Social Geography, Newcastle University
  • Professor Elham Kashefi
    Personal Chair in Quantum Computing, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Jason König
    Professor of Classics, University of St Andrews
  • Professor Fiona Leverick
    Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, University of Glasgow
  • Patrick Macdonald
    Chair, Institute of Directors
  • Professor Keith Mathieson
    Professor of Neurophotonics, University of Strathclyde
  • Dr Sally Magnusson
    Founder, Playlist for Life / Broadcaster and journalist
  • Professor Malcolm Macleod
    Professor of Neurology and Translational Neurosciences, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Lorna Marson
    Professor of Transplant Surgery at the Transplant Unit, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
  • Professor Paul Mealor
    Chair in Composition, University of Aberdeen
  • Professor Apala Majumdar
    Professor of Applied Mathematics, University of Strathclyde
  • Professor Victoria Martin
    Professor of Collider Physics, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Kirsteen McCue
    Professor of Scottish Literature and Song Culture, University of Glasgow
  • Professor Gabriela Medero
    Associate Principal for Business and Enterprise / Professor in Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Heriot Watt University
  • Professor Patrick Meir
    Personal Chair in Ecosystem Science, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Judith Phillips
    Deputy Principal (Research), University of Stirling
  • Professor Hamish Simpson
    Professor of Orthopaedics and Trauma, and Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, University of Edinburgh
  • Chris Stark
    Chief Executive, Climate Change Committee
  • Ana Stewart
    Chair, Pathway Forward
  • Professor Emma Sutton
    Professor of English, University of St Andrews
  • Professor Emma Thomson
    Professor in Infectious Diseases (Virology), University of Glasgow
  • Professor Marc Vendrell
    Chair of Translational Chemistry and Biomedical Imaging, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Michael Welch
    President and CEO of Tirebuyer.com / Founder and Chairman of The Welch Trust