Elected: 1985
Discipline: Informatics, Mathematics and Statistics
Sir Michael Francis Atiyah OM FRS HonFREng HonFMedSci Hon FFA PPRSE, HonFLSW

Honorary Professor, University of Edinburgh.

Those elected to the office of President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) are by any standards, outstanding and distinguished individuals. But even by these elevated standards, Sir Michael Atiyah was truly exceptional.

He was the first to be President of the RSE, Scotland’s National Academy, after having been President of the Royal Society in London – the world-renowned science academy. Only Lord Kelvin has also been President of both Royal Societies.

Sir Michael became an Honorary Fellow of the RSE in 1985; its highest category of Fellowship, given in recognition of his exceptional brilliance in mathematics. He was awarded the Fields Medal in 1966.

In 1990 he concurrently became President of the Royal Society (until 1995), Master of Trinity College Cambridge, and Director of the Isaac Newton Institute – a feat only possible for someone of his extraordinary energy, drive and retentive memory. Read more about Michael Atiyah