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Leading St Andrews academics recognised by the Royal Society of Edinburgh

A philosopher, a geneticist and a medieval manuscripts expert from the University of St Andrews join Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sally Mapstone as new Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).

The RSE, Scotland’s National Academy, today (Friday 1 March) announces 62 new Fellows from the worlds of education, business, science, creative arts, health, technology, law, public engagement and international development.

Leading University of St Andrews academics Professor James Harris, Head of Philosophy in the School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies; Dr Silvia Paracchini, Royal Society University Research Fellow; and Professor Kate Rudy from the School of Art History join Professor Mapstone as new Fellows of the RSE.

Professor Mapstone has led a key strand of work by Scottish universities to widen access to higher education north of the border by reshaping admissions policies. She is a member of the Board of Universities UK, a member of Advisory Board of the Higher Education Policy Institute and the first female president of the Saltire Society.

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.

The new Fellows join an existing group of more than 1600 individuals who give their time and expertise for free to support the RSE in delivering its mission of ‘knowledge made useful’.

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.

The RSE also welcomes seven current and former members of the Young Academy of Scotland (YAS) which is made up of more than 120 young professionals and academics. YAS members joining the Fellows of the RSE in 2019 include Dr Silvia Paracchini 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.

Commenting on the new fellows, President of the RSE, Professor Dame Anne Glover, said: “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.”

Figures joining the RSE this year include Christine Bell FBA, Professor of Constitutional Law and Assistant Principal at the University of Edinburgh; Jenny Brown, literary agent; Mark Cousins, filmmaker, writer, historian and curator; 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 FBA, Director of the Scottish Centre for China Research at the 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 CBE, Executive Chairman at John McAslan and Partners and named World Architect of the Year in 2009.

The new Fellows will be inducted in May 2019. More information on the current membership and the work of the RSE can be found online.


Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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