Professor Rab Houston from the School of History has been elected a fellow of Academia Europaea.
Founded in 1988, the academy is an international, non-governmental association of individual scientists and scholars from all disciplines, who are experts and leaders in their own fields as recognised by their peers. It exists to promote inter- disciplinary and cross-border scholarship and to make recommendations to governments and international agencies.
One of the UK’s most outstanding social and cultural historians, Professor Houston was appointed because of his commitment to setting historic Scotland in its European context. The section under which he was appointed (Humanities 1) includes, among its British members, the present and past two chairmen of the British Academy (one of whom is the Chancellor of the University of St Andrews Sir Kenneth Dover). Rab is one of only a handful of fellows living and working in Scotland.
Last year, Professor Houston claimed that his discoveries into mental illness in 18th Century Scotland could have implications for psychologists and psychiatrists throughout the country. Following the five-year study which looked at civil and criminal court records, family papers and asylum documents, Professor Houston’s research revealed a string of new discoveries about the way mental illness was dealt with, identified evidence of autism two centuries before it was formally classified and also revealed the 18th Century existence of stalkers.
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