The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) names the latest cohort of new Fellows 2019.

Jump to RSE Fellows 2019

  • 61 Fellows have been elected to join The Royal Society of Edinburgh from the worlds of business, science, creative arts, health, technology, law, public engagement and international development.
  • Among those joining are Scientific Director at Dynamic Earth, Hermione Cockburn; forensic soil expert, Lorna Dawson; founding Director of V&A Dundee, Phillip Long; and partner in the law firm Weber-Steinhaus & Smith, Lesley-Jane Smith.

The RSE, Scotland’s National Academy, today announces the addition of 61 new Fellows in 2019 from the worlds of business, science, creative arts, health, technology, law, public engagement and international development.

They join an existing Fellowship of over 1,600 individuals who give their time and expertise for free to support the RSE in delivering its mission of ‘knowledge made useful’.

RSE delivers on that mission through

inspiring and supporting young talent through a wide-ranging programme of research grants and awards

Engaging the public across Scotland on key contemporary issues through its outreach programme RSE@ and a wide-ranging programme of public events

providing impartial advice and expertise to inform policy and practice through in-depth examination of major issues and providing expert comment on topical matters – promoting Scotland’s interests overseas through building relationships with sister academies across the world and facilitating research collaborations.

Hermione Cockburn standing on top of a sandy beach
Hermione Cockburn FRSE
A man wearing a suit and tie
Mario Herrero CorrFRSE
A man wearing a suit and tie
Deepak Uttamchandani FRSE
Prof Lorna Dawson smiling for the camera
Lorna Dawson FRSE

Figures joining the RSE this year include Christine Bell, Professor of Constitutional Law and Assistant Principal at the University of Edinburgh; Jenny Brown, literary agent; Hermione Cockburn, Scientific Director at Dynamic Earth; Alastair Ager, Director of the Institute of Global Health and Development at Queen Margaret University; Philip Long, Director of V&A Dundee, Jane Duckett, Director of the Scottish Centre for China Research at University of Glasgow who is the key person in Scotland working on Chinese politics and, in 2014, was elected President of the British Association for Chinese Studies, and John McAslan, Executive Chairman at John McAslan and Partners and named “World Architect of the Year” in 2009. 

Professor Johannes Clevers HonFRSE
Donald Runnicles wearing a suit and tie
Donald Runnicles HonFRSE

In 2019, two Honorary Fellows and four Corresponding Fellows join the cohort of new RSE Fellows 2019

Two Honorary Fellows have also been appointed in this new intake: Johannes Clevers, Professor of Molecular Genetics at the Hubrecht Institute;the first person to identify stem cells in the intestine and one of the world’s leading researchers on normal stem cells and their potential for regenerative therapy; and Donald Runnicles, Generalmusikdirector at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. He holds one of the top posts in opera in the world and has conducted the best orchestras and opera companies internationally. Edinburgh born, Runnicles still maintains strong links with Edinburgh and Scotland, including as Conductor Emeritus of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Four Corresponding Fellows have also been appointed. These are those who have attained high international standing in any subject within the Society’s disciplinary domains and are not normally resident in the UK. 2019’s intake includes Swapan Chattopadhyay, Distinguished Scientist at Fermilab, Peter Currie, Director of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University, Mario Herrero, the Chief Research Scientist of Agriculture and Food at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, and Lesley Smith, Solicitor and Partner at Weber Steinhaus & Smith.

Swapan Chattopadhyay wearing a hat
Swapan Chattopadhyay CorrFRSE
Silvia Paracchini wearing glasses
Silvia Paracchini FRSE
A man wearing glasses posing for the camera
Lesley Jane Smith CorrFRSE

Young Academy of Scotland members become new RSE Fellows in 2019

The RSE is also pleased to welcome seven current and former members Young Academy of Scotland (YAS), which is made up of over 120 young professionals and academics. Members do not automatically become Fellows, but this year, YAS members who do join the Fellows of the RSE include Silvia Paracchini, Royal Society University Research Fellow, University of St Andrews who has made ground-breaking contributions to her field of human genetics by identifying several key genes as well as contributing to the understanding of their role during brain development; and Stuart Reid, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Strathclyde, who is an experimental physicist who is successful in both biomedical and astronomical research areas. He co-invented the ‘nanokicking’ technique that uses vibrations to manipulate and control stem cell behaviour, recently widely-reported for its use in treating osteoporosis.

Commenting on the new RSE Fellows for 2019, President of the RSE, Professor Dame Anne Glover:

Anne Glover wearing a purple shirt
Professor Dame Anne Glover:

The calibre of our Fellows never ceases to amaze me and this year is no different. For such a small country we surpass ourselves with the talent and expertise that exists across our academic, cultural and business landscape. All of our Fellows are assets, not just to the RSE but to Scotland and the rest of the world, and I look forward to welcoming and working with them

The full list of new RSE Fellows 2019 are as follows:


Johannes (Hans) Carolus Clevers
Professor of Molecular Genetics, Hubrecht Institute.

Donald Cameron Runnicles OBE
Generalmusikdirektor, Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Corresponding FELLOWs

Swapan Chattopadhyay
Distinguished Scientist, Fermilab; President’s Professor of Research, Scholarship and Artistry and Director of Accelerator Research, Northern Illinois University; Visiting Professor, University of Oxford and University of California at Berkeley.

Peter David Currie
Director, Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash University.

Mario Herrero
Chief Research Scientist, Agriculture and Food, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Lesley Jane Smith
Solicitor and Partner, Weber Steinhaus & Smith; Professor of Law, Leuphana University Luneburg.


Ian David Abrahams
NM Rothschild and Sons Professor of Mathematics, Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences; Director, Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences.

Dave John Adams
Professor of Chemistry, University of Glasgow.

Alastair Kenneth St.Clair Ager
Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for International Development; Professor of Population and Family Health, Columbia University; Director, Institute of Global Health and Development, Queen Margaret University.

Geoffrey John Barton
Professor of Bioinformatics and Head of the Division of Computational Biology, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee

Linda Caroline Bauld
Bruce and John Usher Chair in Public Health, University of Edinburgh; CRUK/BUPA Chair in Behavioural Research for Cancer Prevention, Cancer Research UK

Christine Bell
Professor of Constitutional Law and Assistant Principal (Global Justice), University of Edinburgh.

Luke Alexander Bisby
Professor of Fire and Structures, University of Edinburgh.

Jenny Brown
Literary Agent, Jenny Brown Associates

Dame Susan Margaret Bruce DBE
Electoral Commissioner, Scotland, Electoral Commission; Convener of Court, The University of Strathclyde; Chair, The Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Trustee, The Prince’s Foundation; Non Executive Director, SSE Plc.

Elise Cartmell
Chief Scientist, Scottish Water.

James Peter Chalmers
Regius Professor of Law, University of Glasgow

Hermione Cockburn
Scientific Director, Dynamic Earth

Victoria Haigh Cowling
Principal Investigator, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee; Deputy Director of Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression, University of Dundee.

Shireen Anne Davies
Professor of Integrative Cell Signalling, University of Glasgow.

Lorna Dawson
Principal Scientific Officer, Head of Soil Forensic Science Group, The James Hutton Institute and SEFARI Advisor

Iain Wilson Docherty
Professor of Public Policy and Governance, University of Glasgow.

Jane Duckett
Edward Caird Chair of Politics and Director of the Scottish Centre for China Research, University of Glasgow

David Robert Fitzpatrick
Professor and Group Leader, MRC Human Genetics Unit, University of Edinburgh.

Elizabeth Grant
Assistant Principal, Professor of Global Health and Development and Director of the Global Health Academy, University of Edinburgh.

Thomas William Greggs
Marischal Professor of Divinity and Head of Divinity, University of Aberdeen.

Robert Hugh Hadfield
Professor of Photonics, University of Glasgow.

James Harris
Professor of the History of Philosophy, University of St Andrews; Head of Philosophy, University of St Andrews.

Peter Michael Hollingsworth
Director of Science, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Christopher Johnson
Professor of Computing Science and Head of Computing Science, University of Glasgow.

Mirella Lapata
Personal Chair in Natural Language Processing, University of Edinburgh.

Stephen Lawrie
Head of Psychiatry & Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroimaging, University of Edinburgh.

Karl Leydecker
Vice-Principal Learning and Teaching, University of Dundee.

Paul Little
Principal and Chief Executive Officer, City of Glasgow College.

Philip Reginald Long
Director, V&A Dundee.

John McAslan CBE
Executive Chairman, John McAslan and Partners; Chairman, Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust.

Gail McConnell
Professor of Biophotonics, University of Strathclyde.

Eric John Logan McInnes
Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Manchester.

Sally Louise Mapstone
Principal and Vice Chancellor, University of St Andrews.

John Frederick Henry Nicholls
Chief Commercial Officer, M Squared Lasers Ltd.

Peter William Nienow
Professor of Glaciology, University of Edinburgh.

Dónal O’Carroll
Professor of Stem Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh.

Silvia Paracchini
Royal Society University Research Fellow, University of St Andrews.

David Jonathan Price
Professor of Developmental Neurobiology, University of Edinburgh.

Stephen Redpath
Professor of Conservation Science, University of Aberdeen

Sarah Reece
Chair of Evolutionary Parasitology, University of Edinburgh.

Graeme Thomas Reid
Professor of Science and Research Policy, University College London

Stuart Reid
Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Strathclyde.

Richard Rose
Professor and Director, Centre for the Study of Public Policy, University of Strathclyde; Visiting Professor, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin; Visiting Fellow, European University Institute Florence

Kathryn (Kate) Rudy
Professor of Art History, University of St Andrews.

Elizabeth Jane Ryder
Chair, Historic Environment Scotland.

Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez
Chair of Biomedical Engineering and Head of Division of Biomedical Engineering, University of Glasgow.

Philippa Tansy Kemp Saunders
Professor of Reproductive Steroids, University of Edinburgh; Registrar, Academy of Medical Sciences.

Alexandra Shepard
Professor of Gender History, University of Glasgow.

Jan Skakle
Professor of Physics, University of Aberdeen.

Kenneth Gavin Neil Sutherland
President, Canon Medical Research Europe Ltd.

Camilla Toulmin
Senior Associate, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED); Professor, Lancaster University; Visiting Research Associate, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

Deepak Gulabrai Uttamchandani
Professor of Microsystems Engineering, University of Strathclyde.

Stephen John Wigmore
Professor of Transplantation Surgery and Honorary Consultant Surgeon, University of Edinburgh.

Lena Cooper Wilson
Non Executive Director, The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc; Non Executive Director, Scottish Power Renewables; Non Executive Director, Intertek plc; Visiting Professor, Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde.

The Right Honourable James Wolffe QC
Lord Advocate