The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) names new Fellows 2021

Jump to RSE Fellows 2021

  • 87 Fellows have been elected to join The Royal Society of Edinburgh from across the sciences, education, the arts, business, and public life.
  • The latest cohort of new members includes public health expert, Professor Devi Sridhar; Global leader in the antimicrobial stewardship programs, Professor Dilip Nathwani OBE; Distinguished academic philosopher and politician, Baroness Onora O’Neill of Bengarve; and comic book artist Vincent Deighan.
A group of people posing for the camera
RSE new Fellows 2021

The RSE, Scotland’s national academy, has revealed its newly selected 2021 Fellows. These new Fellows will join the RSE’s current roll of around 1,600 leading thinkers and practitioners from Scotland and beyond, whose work has a significant impact on our nation.

This year’s cohort includes many new Fellows who have made a positive impact during the global Covid-19 pandemic: either as a result of their academic research or through their contribution to arts or for the role they have played in communicating complex information with the public. Those who are elected to the Fellowship have undergone a rigorous assessment of their achievements, professional standing and the contribution they and their work make to wider society.

The list includes many leading academics such as Professor Devi Sridhar, Chair of Global Public Health and Director of Global Health Governance Programme at Edinburgh University. Professor Sridhar, whose research considers the effectiveness of public health interventions, has become a household name in the last 12 months as a public health expert during the coronavirus pandemic.

Also becoming a Fellow is Louise Macdonald OBE, who has been instrumental in helping to shape Scotland’s future for young people through her work as CEO at Young Scot, and has recently been appointed as National Director of IoD (Institute of Directors) Scotland. She has also co-chaired the RSE Post Covid-19 Futures Commission’s Public Debate and Participation Working Group and the First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls.

Professor of Infection at the University of Dundee, and Chair of the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group Dilip Nathwani, has also been elected. Professor Nathwani is a global leader in advocating for the pivotal role that healthcare professionals have in dealing with the global pandemic of antimicrobial resistance, supporting their education in understanding how antibiotics work and improving their prescribing behaviour, a situation which has been exacerbated by the current Covid-19 crisis.

Professor Devi Sridhar commented

A woman standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera
Professor Devi Sridhar

It is a great honour to have been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The Society has a long and esteemed history, but I’m particularly supportive of their recent work in raising the profile of women scientists. Scientists have played a vital role in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic and it is scientific advances which will ultimately provide the path out of the pandemic.

Louise Macdonald OBE said: “I am honoured to have been selected as an RSE Fellow alongside so many remarkable people doing such extraordinary work here in Scotland and around the globe. I look forward to being actively involved in the work of the RSE, and in particular sharing its work and creating new opportunities for collaboration with a wider audience, including diverse young people.”

Alongside the 79 Ordinary Fellows, is Honorary Fellow Baroness Onora O’Neill of Bengarve, who is known globally for her work in political philosophy and ethics, and seven Corresponding Fellows from across the world. While these Fellows are not based in Scotland, their work is vital in addressing the most important challenges facing our country. One such Fellow is Dr Mhoira Leng, who was one of Scotland’s first specialists trained in palliative care and is now a lead advisor on palliative care for many international agencies and institutions.

Professor Dame Anne Glover, President of The RSE said:

Anne Glover wearing a purple shirt

Professor Dame Anne Glover

“As Scotland’s national academy, we recognise excellence across a diverse range of expertise and experience and its effect on Scottish society. This impact is particularly clear this year in the latest cohort of new Fellows, which includes scientists who are pioneering the way we approach the coronavirus, those from the arts who have provided the rich cultural experience we have all been missing, and some who have demonstrated strong leadership in guiding their organisations and communities through this extraordinary time. Through uniting these great minds from different walks of life, we can discover creative solutions to some of the most complex issues that Scotland faces. A warm welcome is extended to all of our new Fellows.”

The full list of new RSE Fellows 2021 are as follows:


Onora O’Neill combines work in political philosophy and ethics with public life. She was Principal of Newnham College and Professor

Corresponding FELLOWs

Kofi Anyidoho has made diverse contributions as an organic intellectual, cultural activist, creative/performing artist, prize-winning bi-lingual (English-Ewe) poet and dramatist
Philip Cotton is Head of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program—an initiative dedicated to developing Africa’s next generation of transformation leaders
Ryan Gilmour (b. 1980) received a Masters degree in Chemistry with Advanced Chemistry from the University of St Andrews where
Alan has been a Consultant Dermatologist in Children’s Health Ireland and St. James’s Hospital, Dublin, since 2002 and Professor of
Jürgen Kurths studied mathematics. He has been Professor of Nonlinear Dynamics at the Humboldt University and chair of the research
Graduating from Aberdeen University Dr Mhoira Leng was one of the first Scottish specialists trained in palliative care then consultant
James C. Rautio received the B.S.E.E. degree from Cornell University in 1978, the M.S. degree in systems engineering from the


Sam Alberti is Director of Collections at National Museums Scotland, and an Honorary Professor in Heritage Studies at the University
Architect and founding partner of architectural design practice Anderson Bell Christie with awards for architecture and urban design. Former chair
Dr Malcolm Appleby MBE Designer Engraver Silversmith Goldsmith Jeweller 1946 Born Beckenham, Kent 1961 – Beckenham School of Art, Ravensbourne
BSc and PhD from Univ.of Dundee. 40 years with GSK and legacy companies working in Manufacturing and R&D. Currently Professor
I am working on male reproductive health. This involves examining factors which contribute to infertility (inability to have children) and
I am a physician by background specialising in acute medical care, with 40 years experience in the NHS on both
Professor Kirstie Blair is a Chair in English at Strathclyde, and has previously worked at the universities of Stirling and
Professor Helen Bond is an academic specialising in the social, political and religious history of Roman Judaea and the characters
Holly Branigan is Head of the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences and Professor of Psychology of Language and
Professor Tara Brendle works in topology and group theory, with particular expertise in braid groups and mapping class groups of
Ian Brown, playwright (produced UK-wide and abroad and Scottish Society of Playwrights Founder-Chair), poet, Emeritus Professor in Drama (Kingston University,
Malinda Carpenter is a Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of St Andrews. She studies social and prosocial development
Calum Colvin’s expertise is in the area of contemporary art practices and he is Professor of Fine Art Photography at
Lorne is the founding Partner and Executive Chairman of leading commercial law firm Harper Macleod LLP. He is Emeritus Professor
James originally researched in meteorology, oceanography and hydrology. He was previously Chief Executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and
Maria Dornelas is a macroecologist, who studies biodiversity change. She combines synthesis of existing data, and novel monitoring technologies to
Professor Eddleston is a clinical pharmacologist and toxicologist. His research particularly aims to reduce deaths from pesticide self-poisoning, a cause
Heather Ferguson is a Professor of Medical Entomology and Disease Ecology at the University of Glasgow.  Her research focuses on the
Neil Firth is Director of the Pier Arts Centre and a native of Orkney. He has over thirty years’ experience
Julie Fowlis is a multi-award winning singer, musician, composer and voice artist. Originally from the Hebrides, she is now based
Nick Fraser is a vertebrate palaeontologist broadly interested in global biotic change through Deep Time. Collaborating with a number of
Professor Nikolaj Gadegaard is a biomedical engineer working at the interface of nanotechnology and life sciences. After graduating from University
Professor Gilbert is Professor of Radiology and Head of Department at the University of Cambridge. Her clinical expertise is in
Paul Glendinning is an applied mathematician at the University of Manchester working on dynamical systems, differential equations, bifurcation theory and
Anne is CEO and Co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners, which has raised over $1bn for investment into over 170 high
Faye Hammill is a literary critic, and her research and teaching focus on early to mid-twentieth-century writing. She is particularly
2019-date Director, Centre for Biological Diversity, University of St Andrews 2017-date Professor, School of Biology, University of St Andrews 2012-17
Patrick Hodge’s principal areas of experience are in commercial law and advocacy. He has an interest in the structures and
Professor Andrew Horne has held a Personal Chair in Gynaecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Edinburgh since 2014.
Professor Paul Hoskisson is The Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in Engineering biology of Antibiotic Production at the Strathclyde
Dr Kirsty Hughes has had a notable career in international public policy. She has worked in academia, think tanks (in
Professor Alison Hulme’s research integrates synthetic chemistry and chemical biology to provide molecular level insight to challenges in biology and
Alvin Jackson is Richard Lodge Professor of History at the University of Edinburgh, and is both an honorary member of
Professor Aggelos Kiayias is chair in Cyber Security and Privacy and director of the Blockchain Technology Laboratory at the University
Olga is the Director of Innovation and Industry Engagement at the University of Strathclyde where she leads entrepreneurship and investment
Professor Nina Laurie is an internationally leading human geographer with interests in global challenges that sit at the interface between
Professor Lawton is an Environmental Microbiologist who studies cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) and the powerful toxins (cyanotoxins) that they produce in
Mariot Leslie is a former British diplomat with wide experience in Europe, Asia and multilateral diplomacy. She has been UK
Bicentennial Research Professor in environmental governance and diplomacy at Heriot-Watt University, John took on the professorship with a focus on
Professor Lesley McAra CBE is the Director of the Edinburgh Futures Institute and Assistant Principal (Community Relations) at the University
Louise believes that cross sector collaboration and community empowerment are key to creating the just and equal society we are
Malcolm is Chair of Applied Space Technology at the University of Strathclyde. He is also distinguished by his media profile
Nicola McEwen is Professor of Territorial Politics at the University of Edinburgh, and a fellow of the Centre on Constitutional
Professor Heather Jane McGregor, CBE is the Executive Dean of Edinburgh Business School, Heriot Watt University. She is a non-executive
Stuart was born in Edinburgh and raised in St. Andrews, studying at Madras College. He completed a BSc and PhD
Professor Andrew McIntosh’s research focusses on identifying the causes and consequences of depression. His particular expertise is in the use
Professor Paul McKenna is a laser-plasma physicist at the University of Strathclyde. His research focuses on ultra-intense laser-plasma interactions and
Ross McLure is an astrophysicist who uses the latest generation of observing facilities to study the evolution of galaxies in
Professor Lesley McMillan is Professor of Criminology and Sociology and Theme Lead for Violence, Crime and Justice Research at Glasgow
Dr Poonam Malik is an entrepreneurial academic business strategy leader and an investor in Innovation. She has extensive experience of
Professor Matthias Marti is a leading molecular and cell biologist studying human malaria parasites. His work is particularly focused on
I grew up in Cornwall, the first member of my family to go to university, spent 30 years mixing clinical
Richard graduated from University of Glasgow Veterinary School and after two years in small animal practice, he completed a 3
Simon Milne was appointed Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) in February 2014. He was educated at
My major contributions to healthcare have been in the context of cleft lip and palate and more generally in health
Professor Murphy is a nuclear and particle astrophysicist at the University of Edinburgh, interested in the origin and nature of
Professor Dilip Nathwani MB; DTM&H, FRCP [Ed & Lon], FRSE,OBE. Dilip is a global leader for advocating the pivotal role
Dr. E. Elizabeth Patton is currently a Group Leader at the MRC Institute for Genetics and Molecular Medicine in Edinburgh,
Yvan Petillot is a Professor of Robotics and Autonomous Systems at Heriot-Watt University. He is interested in developing robotics solutions
Professor Douglas Philp is a chemist whose research probes the processes that were central to the emergence of life on
A veterinarian by training, Eleanor obtained her first degree in cellular pathology and her PhD in immunology and parasitology. She
Professor Ian Rivers is Associate Principal and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University
Professor Robertson is an authority on Gaelic education with expertise in teacher education, curriculum development, lexicography and the production of
Bernd Schroers is a mathematical physicist and currently professor of mathematics at Heriot-Watt University. Originally from Germany, he attended the
Professor Nigel Seaton has been Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Abertay University since 2012, having previously had senior roles at the
Jim Skea CBE is Professor of Sustainable Energy at Imperial College London. His research focuses on climate change, energy and
Professor Andy Sloan is Managing Director of COWI in the UK, one of Scandinavia’s leading engineering consultants. He is Visiting
Jennifer Smith is Professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of Glasgow. Her research focusses on varieties of Scots, and how
Devi Sridhar is a Professor at the University of Edinburgh Medical School and holds a Personal Chair in Global Public
Ian Stevens has been CEO of thin dissolving film manufacturer Bsolve Dental since 2017. Ian is a graduate of Edinburgh
John Swinton is Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care and Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies at the University
As the Scotland Hydro Nation Chair, Professor Andrew Tyler provides the leadership to forge the collaborative relationships across the Scottish
Professor Neil Vargesson is a developmental biologist interested in understanding how embryos form normally and determining how some drugs cause
Judy has experience and expertise in strengthening Boards and senior management teams of predominantly, but not exclusively, Scottish based businesses,
Professor Philip White works at The James Hutton Institute on the mineral nutrition of crops. His research has three broad
Professor Chris Williams joined the University of Edinburgh in 1998, and has been Chair of Machine Learning there since 2005.
Prof Jim Flett Wilson holds a personal chair in human genetics at the University of Edinburgh and is an MRC
Graham has over 40 years of advanced Science and Technology business and public sector experience, serving on over 30 company