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Leading academics recognised by The Royal Society of Edinburgh

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A leading playwright, a mathematician and a philosopher from the University of St Andrews are among 66 new Fellows elected by The Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) 2018 Fellows honours three academics from across the University, including Zinnie Harris, arguably Scotland’s leading playwright, screenwriter and Theatre Director, from the School of English.

Harris writes for large national companies, including the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre of Scotland, and directs plays for the National Theatre of Scotland, and the Traverse and Lyceum Theatres. As a screenwriter she has written for BBC1 and Channel Four, most prominently with the hit TV series Spooks.

Leading academics, Professor Jessica Brown, from the School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies, and Professor Peter Cameron, School of Mathematics and Statistics are also elected Fellows, joining former Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown and the US-based philanthropist and former pianist, Carol Colburn Grigor, who are elected as Honorary Fellows.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh is a leading educational charity which operates on an independent and non-party-political basis to provide public benefit throughout Scotland.

Fellows help the RSE to continue to provide independent and expert advice to policymakers, support aspiring entrepreneurs, develop research capacity and leadership, inspire and facilitate learning, and engage with the general public through inspiring events.

Established by Royal Charter in 1783 by key proponents of the Scottish Enlightenment, the RSE now has around 1600 Fellows from a wide range of disciplines. The work of the RSE includes awarding research funding, leading on major inquiries, informing public policy and delivering events across Scotland to inspire knowledge and learning.

Commenting on the new Fellows, current President of the RSE, Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE, said: “Each year we welcome a selection of nominated extraordinary individuals into the Fellowship and this year is no exception. The diverse range of achievements of these individuals will be an asset to the RSE and I am sure they will strengthen the RSE’s standing as a national academy committed to providing public benefit to Scottish society. I also welcome the increasing number of female Fellows to the RSE, something we have focused on improving in past years and part of our wider commitment to diversity.”

New Fellows are elected to the RSE each year through a rigorous, five-stage nomination process. The St Andrews professors now join a distinguished list of over 1600 RSE fellows, whose varied expertise supports the advancement of learning and useful knowledge in Scottish public life.


Pictured (from left to right): Professor Peter Cameron, Professor Jessica Brown and Zinnie Harris

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office. Contact Christine Tudhope on 01334 467320 / 07526 624 243 or Christine.Tudhope@st-andrews.ac.uk.

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