St Andrews academics recognised by RSE Young Academy of Scotland (YAS)

Thursday 12 July 2018

An astrobiologist seeking to understand how planetary environments support microbial life, a Medical Research Council (MRC) Research Fellow and a child development expert from the University of St Andrews are among 53 new RSE Young Academy of Scotland (YAS) members announced this week (10 July 2018).

A total of eight academics from across the University were among the 53 new members of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland (YAS):

  • Dr Ruth Bowness – Medical Research Council Research Fellow, School of Medicine
  • Dr Jonathan Fraser – Lecturer in Mathematics, School of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Dr Ellen Garland – Royal Society Research Fellow, School of Biology
  • Dr Giuseppe Pezzini – Lecturer in Latin, School of Classics
  • Dr Amanda Seed – Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Dr Claire Cousins – Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Fellow, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Dr Nathan Bailey – Natural Environment Research Council Independent Research Fellow, School of Biology
  • Dr Heidi Burdett – Honorary Professor, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

The group, comprising 31 women and 22 men in their early-to-mid careers from across Scotland, make up the fifth intake of new members since YAS was founded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2011. They will join YAS’s existing members in realising its mission ‘to achieve transformative societal change through citizenship, innovation, collaboration, evidence, and leadership’.

RSE_Young Academy fellows
From left: Claire Cousins, Heidi Burnett, Jonathan Fraser, Ellen Garland

The cohort includes three members who have been appointed through YAS’s At-Risk Academic/Refugee (ARAR) membership initiative. The ARAR initiative was launched in 2016 to recognise young professionals of outstanding talent from Scotland’s refugee and displaced migrant communities. YAS has committed to reserving membership spaces for at-risk academics and refugees in its recruitment rounds until at least 2020.

The new cohort also includes a diverse group of academics with specialisms ranging from astrobiology to theology. In addition to academic achievements, the selection committee placed significant emphasis on public outreach and interdisciplinary collaboration.

From left: Nathan Bailey, Amanda Seed, Giuseppe Pezzini, Ruth Bowness

Professor Nasar Meer, YAS co-chair, commented: “This is an incredibly talented cohort that brings to YAS a variety of expertise which promises to both enrich and expand our wide-ranging activities. We are delighted to welcome them and look forward to working collaboratively in the pursuit of transformative societal change.”

RSE Young Academy logoProfessor Dame Anne Glover, President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, commented: “I am pleased to welcome this diverse and accomplished group of new members to the Young Academy of Scotland. I also congratulate the Young Academy on their continuing commitment to bringing at-risk academic and refugee professionals into its membership, and look forward to seeing the contributions they make to the Academy’s activities.”

The RSE Young Academy of Scotland (YAS) fosters interdisciplinary activities among emerging leaders from the disciplines of science and humanities, the professions, the arts, business and civil society. Established by the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2011, the Young Academy of Scotland provides a platform for young entrepreneurs, professionals and academics to develop a coherent and influential voice, and to address the most challenging issues facing society in Scotland and beyond.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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