Outstanding researcher honoured by leading national body

Friday 22 March 2013

Professor Andrew Whiten

A leading scientist at the University of St Andrews has been honoured with a major prize by Scotland’s national academy.

Professor Andrew Whiten, an expert in primate behaviour and psychology, has been awarded the senior prize for the Life Sciences by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.  In being honoured with the Sir James Black Prize and Medal, Professor Whiten is recognised for his “outstanding contributions to making Scotland foremost in the UK in the study of primates and animal behaviour”.

The Prize is named after Professor Sir James Black, co-incidentally a graduate of St Andrews.  Sir James was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1988 for his development of beta-blockers and appointed to the Order of Merit in 2000.

This year two medals are being awarded – the second will go to Professor Christopher Haslett of the University of Edinburgh.  Professor Whiten will deliver his prize lecture “Social Learning and the Cultural Transmission of Behaviour in Human and Non-human Animals: A ‘Second Inheritance System’ in Biology” later in the year.

Announcing the awards, RSE President, Sir John Arbuthnott, said, “One of the greatest privileges of the role of being President of the Society is the opportunity to meet many of the most talented people working in Scotland today. Through these awards we are recognising outstanding individuals at points in their lives from those showing great potential at early stages of their career to those who have reached the pinnacle of their discipline and are regarded as such on an international basis.

“The process of deciding upon these awards provides an opportunity for the RSE and hopefully the research community at home and internationally to learn more about the outstanding and innovative work that is being undertaken in Scotland.”

Professor Whiten, Professor of Evolutionary and Developmental Psychology and Wardlaw Professor of Psychology, commented, “I’m delighted and honoured to be receiving this award. It’s particularly nice that the medal is named for so eminent a scientist as the Nobel laureate Sir James Black, a graduate of St Andrews.”


Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews

Contact Gayle Cook, Senior Communications Manager on 01334 467227, 07900 050 103 or email: [email protected]

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