The Royal Society of Edinburgh recognises, supports and mobilises expertise from across academia, business and public service for the benefit of Scotland and the wider world. Our Fellows from academia, business and public service are among the most distinguished in their fields.
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Leading thinkers and practitioners elected as RSE Fellows
Last updated on 20 April 2023
Home » News » Leading thinkers and practitioners elected as RSE Fellows
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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