• 91 Fellows have been elected to join The Royal Society of Edinburgh from across the sciences, education, the arts, business, and public life.
  • Among those joining are Olympian Dame Katherine Grainger; world record holder Mark Beaumont BEM; Cardiovascular specialist, Professor Lis Neubeck; former CEO of Wood Plc, Robin Watson CBE; and author Andrew O’Hagan.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), Scotland’s National Academy, has announced its 2023 intake of Fellows, with 91 names representing science, arts, business, sports, civil society and academia from across Scotland and beyond.

Photo credits: Dr Decker Forrest, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Robert Pereira Hind, Ross Fraser McLean / StudioRoRo, Jasmin Bauer Photography, Martin Shields, University of Aberdeen, Iain Myers-Smith, Julie Broadfoot; Daric Smith.

They will be joining the RSE’s current Fellowship, which comprises 1,800 people recognised as being some of the greatest thinkers, researchers and practitioners in their field working in or with organisations in Scotland today.

This year, Dame Katherine Grainger DBE, Chair of UK Sport, receives the coveted Honorary Fellowship in recognition of her ability to engage and inspire people. Dame Katherine is one of Team GB’s most decorated athletes and the only female athlete – in any sport – to gain medals in five consecutive Olympic Games.

She also works with several charities helping young people to access the benefits of sport and physical activity. Alongside her stellar sporting achievements, Dame Katherine has achieved a PhD in criminal law, and in 2020 was the first woman to be appointed Chancellor of the University of Glasgow since it was founded in 1451. 

Katherine Grainger wearing a blue shirt
Dame Katherine Grainger DBE

“I’m thrilled to be receiving the Honorary Fellowship. I have long admired the fantastic work the RSE does, and it is humbling to be joining such an impressive group of inspirational people making a positive impact in the world.

Dame Katherine Grainger DBE

Also joining the Fellowship this year is Andrew O’Hagan, the Scottish author whose 2020 novel, Mayflies, was recently adapted into a highly successful drama for BBC starring Martin Compston and Tony Curran.

Born in Glasgow and raised in Ayrshire, Mr. O’Hagan has had a decorated career, including three booker prize nominations. He won the Glenfiddich Writer of the Year Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and the E.M. Forster Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is currently Editor-at-Large of the London Review of Books, and is a contributor to Esquire, the New York Review of Books, and the New Yorker.

Others named as Fellows of the RSE this year include Mark Beaumont BEM, who holds the record for cycling round the world in less than 79 days. With a degree in economics and politics, Mr. Beaumont has spent 15 years working with a leading mid-market private equity firm and also became a partner at investment firm Eos Advisory in 2019. He was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to charity and sport in 2018.

Mr. Beaumont has already invested in Scottish innovation in science, engineering and technology, and his unique networks, passion for performance and skills in public engagement will make him an inspirational adviser and advocate for the RSE.

Mark Beaumont wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera
Mark Beaumont BEM

I am absolutely delighted and somewhat surprised to be invited to join the RSE, as my career has been anything but traditional.  I am passionate about making a positive impact in Scotland and the world, whether that is through sport and broadcast, or through business and education. With so much of my career still ahead of me I look forwards to playing my part in the RSE community and building on the fantastic legacy that it has across our community.

Mark Beaumont BEM

Professor Lis Neubeck, cardiac nurse and Head of Cardiovascular Health in the School of Health and Social Care at Edinburgh Napier University is another individual joining this year’s prestigious list of Fellows. Her research focuses on innovative solutions to secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, the identification and management of atrial fibrillation, and use of new technologies to improve access to health care.

Her work across the international healthcare community, from being an honorary professor at Sydney Nursing School, to past President of the Association of Cardiovascular Nurses and Allied Professionals of the European Society of Cardiology means she brings extensive experience of overseas collaboration to the RSE.

A person wearing glasses
Professor Lis Neubeck

I am honoured at this recognition from the Society and accept it proudly on behalf of all cardiac nursing professionals who have such an important role in patient experience. Scotland leads the way in cardiovascular health, and in a few weeks will be welcoming professionals from across the world to Edinburgh to share new scientific developments and technologies.

Professor Lis Neubeck

Robin Watson CBE, former chief executive of Wood Plc, the Scottish multinational engineering and consultancy company, was also elected as a Fellow for his services to business.
Mr. Watson stepped down from his role at Wood Plc in 2022, where he spent 10 years on the board, seven of which as chief executive. He transformed the business into one of the world’s foremost engineering and consultancy companies, and was awarded his CBE in Her Majesty the Queen’s 2020 Birthday Honours, in recognition of services to international trade.

A man smiling for the camera
Robin Watson

I am honoured to have been accepted as a Fellow of The Royal Society of Edinburgh. The RSE has a long, rich and diverse history with a purpose which has endured, advancing learning and useful knowledge.

In today’s challenging environment, this purpose appears more precious than ever, and I very much look forward to helping support the innovative thinkers of the future, as an RSE Fellow.

Robin Watson

His track record of global business impact, passion for developing the Scottish economy, huge appetite for encouraging academic and business partnerships and the reputation and standing to positively influence make him an asset to the RSE network.

It is a great privilege to welcome our new Fellows – they represent outstanding commitment and achievement at the highest level across a diverse range of sectors. From scientific advancement that changes lives to leading business innovation recognised across the world, the RSE welcomes the best minds to harness their unique insight and make knowledge useful for the greater good.

Harnessing our Fellows’ talents and ideas allows us to mobilise a wide range of expertise to tackle some of the most complex challenges society faces. In welcoming our new Fellows, I look forward to seeing the positive effect they will have on society in Scotland and beyond.

Professor Sir John Ball, President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

The full list of new Fellows 2023 are as follows:

Honorary Fellow

Katherine competed for Team GB at five Olympic Games from 2000 to 2016, winning medals at each of the Games,

Corresponding Fellows

Claire Connolly is Professor of Modern English at University College Cork. She has research interests in Irish and Scottish romanticism
Professor Hay was born in Kilmarnock and had his university education in Glasgow and Edinburgh. He trained in internal medicine
Moriba Jah is the Chief Scientist of Privateer, which he co-founded with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Privateer is a data
Dr. M. N. V. Ravi Kumar is a Distinguished University Research Professor and the Founding Director of the Center for
Professor Peifeng Li obtained his doctoral degree at medicine. He worked at the Max-Delbruck-Center for Molecular Medicine, Germany. Currently he
Dr. Mallik Tatipamula has been a trailblazer in the telecommunications industry, and his contributions resulted in major advances and new

Fellows

Trained in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Edinburgh, with a WHO Research Fellow post in a hormonal male contraceptive trial, then
Ross Anderson is Professor of Security Engineering at Edinburgh University and also at Cambridge University. He has made pioneering contributions
Paul is a Founding partner and active investor with Par Equity, one of the UK’s top performing venture capital firms.
Liz is Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Abertay University. She is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Scientist, and Chartered IT Professional, as
Retired from the Armed Forces as a Lieutenant General. Operational service in Northern Ireland, Balkans, West Africa and the Gulf.
Mark Beaumont spent the first chapter of his career building teams around sporting success and is best known as an
Appointed CEO of Scottish Financial Enterprise in October 2020. Prior to SFE, held a number of senior HR and Transformation
Gill is an enthusiastic and dedicated tertiary education professional, with a record of achievement in educational leadership at further and
Nehal Bhuta holds the Chair of Public International Law at University of Edinburgh and is Co-Director of the Edinburgh Centre
Professor Clare Bond is an Earth Scientist interested in global interactions of Earth processes and people. My research activities aim
Professor George Boyne has been Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen since August 2018. Originally from Aberdeen, Professor
Stephen is currently Chief Executive Officer of Glasgow Science Centre and is committed to building confidence and raising aspiration in
Chris Chapman, PhD is Professor of Education Policy and Founding Director of the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change, University
After school I worked in farming before a degree in Scottish Historical Studies at Edinburgh University, working part-time in conservation
Alessio Ciulli is a chemical structural biologist who studies the structure of proteins and their interactions with other molecules. He
Craig Clark is a visionary space engineer and entrepreneur, renowned for his pioneering work in commercialising small satellites. In 2005,
Jan is Professor of Clinical Effectiveness, Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry, University of Dundee, Professor of Clinical Dental Research at
Elizabeth (Liz) Connolly has over 20 years senior leadership experience within economic development at the education sector. Her interests lie
Professor Sharon Cowan completed an LLB (Hons) from Strathclyde University, and an MPhil in Criminology from the University of Cambridge.
Alison has played a leading role within the Scottish life sciences sector, in particular the pharmaceutical sector, for over 20
Albena Dinkova-Kostova is an internationally recognised scientist with expertise in cellular responses to stress and the links between oxidative stress,
Mark W. Elliott, schooled in Glasgow, then Law at Oxford, Divinity at Aberdeen and gained his PhD in Patristics at
Martin Evans is Professor of Statistical Physics at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests focus on the physics of
David Flynn is Professor of Cyber Physical Systems at the University of Glasgow, UK. Prof. Flynn’s research explores the challenges,
Maria Fusco is a working-class interdisciplinary writer. Born in Belfast, she lives and works in Scotland. Her award-winning work is
Cathy has over 20 years’ experience in the university sport sector and currently has responsibility for the strategic development of
Building on research interests in plant, forest, and landscape ecology, Jaboury Ghazoul explores the ecological dynamics of tropical and temperate
Born Edinburgh, educated York. Graduate (BA), Oxford, and (MA), King’s College, London. Long-standing journalist and editor: The Scotsman, LWT, The
Professor Frank Gunn-Moore is an academic and researcher in the field of neurodegeneration and dementia research. His group have made
Karen Halliday is Chair of Systems Physiology at the University of Edinburgh. She studies systems approaches to biological problems and
Ewen Harrison is Professor of Surgery and Data Science at the University of Edinburgh and a Consultant HPB Surgeon at
Awarded my PhD from the University of Glasgow in 1999, I began my Higher Education career at the University of
Peter holds a Personal Chair in Outdoor Environmental and Sustainability Education at the University of Edinburgh . He is Director
Professor Sascha Hooker is a marine scientist with wide interests in wildlife ecology, conservation, and environmental sustainability. Using technological tools
Professor David Ireland is a nuclear physicist with a special interest in studying the emergent properties of strongly interacting particles.
My work involves research, knowledge exchange, social policy and infrastructure development which all builds from community engagement with those adversely
Sarah is COO of retinal imaging company epipole. A graduate of both Strathclyde and Heriot-Watt Universities she has a BSc
Michel Kaiser is Professor of Fisheries Conservation at the Lyell Centre, Heriot-Watt University and was the University’s Chief Scientist until
Vittal is Professor of Public Health & Health Inequalities at the University of Glasgow and an honorary Consultant in Public
Uzma Khan is Vice-Principal for Economic Development and Innovation, and Deputy Chief Operating Officer at the University of Glasgow, which
Prof. Alex Lascarides’ research is in theoretical and computational linguistics and AI. Her research aims to model the semantics and
Alison Lumsden is Regius Chair in English Literature at the University of Aberdeen. She has published extensively on Scottish literature
Margaret McCartney is a practicing GP, Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of St Andrews, and Senior Associate at the
Professor Javier Martín-Torres is a NASA Award-winning theoretical physicist with interdisciplinary research interests, including astrobiology, planetary sciences, radiative transfer, the
Jacqui is a veterinary parasitologist. Her research focusses on using science to find solutions to control helminths in horses and
Karyn trained as a nurse, and then in psychology. She spent 21 years with the police and helped establish the
Professor Davy McCracken is an agricultural ecologist who has been Head of SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre since 2013
Dr Fiona McNeill gained her PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2006, focussing on dynamic data integration and ontology
Karina McTeague is a business leader and risk professional experienced in UK and international banking, financial services regulation, governance and
Stewart Mercer is an academic GP who researches the needs of patients with multiple long term conditions (multimorbidity), especially those
A highly experienced leader, having undertaken executive and non-executive roles in health and higher education sectors. Teaching and research interests
Lorna Milne is a Professor of French at the University of St Andrews where she has had a career spanning
Elisa Morgera is Professor of Global Environmental Law at the University of Strathclyde Law School and specializes in international biodiversity
Prof. Isla Myers-Smith is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and a global change ecologist. She studies plants
Professor Harish Nair is co-Director of Centre for Global Health as well as co-Director of WHO Collaborating Centre for Population
Lis Neubeck is Professor of Nursing in the School of Health and Social Care at Edinburgh Napier University. She is
Professor James Njuguna is the Strategic Lead for Engineering Research and Professor of Composite Materials at Robert Gordon University (RGU).
I graduated with a first class honours degree in Mathematics from Liverpool University in 1991. I then went on to
Prof. Conchúr Ó Brádaigh was appointed as Vice President and Head of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of
Professor Phillips O’Brien has a particular interest in the interrelationship of politics and grand strategy, and how these help shape
Born in Glasgow in 1968, Andrew O’Hagan is the author of 10 books. He has been nominated three times for
Chris is Chief Scientist at Forest Research and a member of their executive team. He has conducted applied research in
Professor Naeem Ramzan is a Full professor of AI and chair of Affective and Human Computing for Smart Environments at
Peter has worked across the private and public sectors as a civil engineer and programme manager, an infrastructure financier and
Graeme Roy is Dean of External Engagement and Deputy Head of College in the College of Social Sciences at the
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Angela Scott has a life-long passion for biological-sciences. After graduating, her career commenced at the
Robert Semple is Professor of Translational Molecular Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He trained in Biochemistry and then in
Amina Shah is the National Librarian and Chief Executive of the National Library of Scotland. She has more than 25
Alan Simpson is Lord-Lieutenant Stirling and Falkirk and Chair of Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling. Previously he was Chair of
Stephen’s expertise is in the area of functional ceramics with applications in energy technologies, including electrolysis, fuel cells, batteries and
Holding a Chair in Population Health Science at the University of Dundee, Blair is an academic general practitioner, currently also
I am a classicist and historian, and have been affiliated to the University of St Andrews since 1992. I spent
Professor Leigh Sparks is Deputy Principal (Education and Students) and Professor of Retail Studies at the University of Stirling. His
Steven Spoel is a Professor of Cell Signalling and Proteostasis at the University of Edinburgh as well as Head of
I am a historian of ancient Rome, with a specific focus on the political culture of the Roman Republic and
Alyson is a former Vice Principal for Learning and Teaching, and Emeritus Professor in Biology at Edinburgh Napier University. She
Professor Satnam Virdee is a historical social scientist employing both longue durée and conjunctural modes of analysis to understand social
Sarah Walmsley is a Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Sarah undertook her medical training at the
Jackie Waring is a trail blazing influential entrepreneur with a track record of over 30 years impactful advocacy for women’s
More than 35 years of engineering, industry and business experience, with the past 20 years spent in Executive positions across
Janette Webb MBE is Professorial Fellow, Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on societal responses to
Louise Welsh is the author of nine novels including The Cutting Room, The Plague Times Trilogy and The Second Cut.
Formerly CEO of STV Group plc (2007-2017) and founding Trustee of the STV Children’s Appeal. Rob led the turnaround of
Jackie Wylie is Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Theatre of Scotland, an ambitious and forward-thinking organisation. This