St Andrews professors elected to prestigious RSE roles

Wednesday 14 April 2021
Professor Stephen Reicher, Professor Kathryn Rudy, Professor Russell Morris

Three professors at the University of St Andrews have been elected to senior posts at the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), Scotland’s national academy.

Professor Stephen Reicher, of the School of Psychology, has been elected as Vice-President of the RSE (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences); Professor Russell Morris, of the School of Chemistry, has been elected for a second year as Vice-President (Physical Sciences); and Professor Kathryn Rudy, of the School of Art History, has been elected Curator.

Professor Reicher said: “It is a daunting challenge to represent the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in the RSE, but I think there are important opportunities that we must grasp.

“The unprecedented year we have just lived through has demonstrated the importance of our disciplines both for public policy and public understanding. My ambition is to consolidate the links that have been formed and to ensure that all parts of the Royal Society of Edinburgh can play a full part in contributing to Scottish society.”

Professor Reicher is a social psychologist with a particular interest in group processes covering such issues as crowd behaviour, leadership, conformity and intergroup hatred.

He is a fellow of the British Academy, of the Academy of Social Sciences and of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research as well as the Royal Society of Edinburgh, winner of the Lasswell and Sanford prizes from the International Society for Political Psychology and this year’s theoretical innovation prize from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

Over the past year he has served on the advisory groups to the UK and Scottish Governments on Covid-19 and has also been a member of the Independent SAGE group and convenor of its Behavioural Group.

Professor Morris’ role will be to represent science and engineering on the Council of the RSE and to act as a Trustee for the charity.

Professor Morris said: “I am delighted to be representing the interests of the physical science and engineering community within the RSE –  with the COP26 climate change conference happening in Scotland in November it will be important for us to capitalise on the progress that is made in those discussions.”

Born and brought up in north Wales, Professor Morris is currently Bishop Wardlaw Professor of Chemistry at the University of St Andrews. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE), the Learned Society of Wales (FLSW), a Member of the Academia Europea (MAE) and the holder of an ERC advanced grant.

Professor Morris has a long track record of developing new concepts that not only impact fundamental porous materials science but also change approaches beyond his own field.

Through his many contributions, Professor Morris is regarded as a leader in the metal-organic framework (MOF) community (Inaugural President, International Zeolite Association MOF commission 2012-2018).

He was recipient of the 2017 Cronstedt Award for the most important work done from 2011-2016 by a European in the field of porous materials and the 2019 Tilden Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 2018 he was awarded a Mercator Fellowship by the German Research Foundation.

As Curator, Professor Rudy will now be responsible to Council for the Society’s library, matters relating to the National Library of Scotland, and for ensuring the proper security, care and maintenance of the Society’s furnishings, treasures, pictures, archives and other such property.

Professor Rudy said: “I feel incredibly honoured that the Fellows have elected me Curator. I am looking forward to working with RSE staff and Fellows, who are such engaging, complex people. I endeavour to organise talks, exhibitions and digital projects that will benefit not just Fellows, but all the people of Scotland.”

She will have oversight of matters concerning the Society’s archives and manuscript collections, notably the Hume Papers (a large collection of the Scottish philosopher and historian’s correspondence and manuscripts held at the National Library of Scotland) and the storage and retention of the RSE’s Residual Library.

She will also be involved with the RSE’s publications. As part of the role, she is a member, ex officio, of the RSE Scotland Foundation and Editorial Boards for the Society’s journals.

Professor Rudy is the former Curator of Manuscripts at the Royal Library of The Netherlands and has worked on exhibitions of medieval, early modern, and contemporary art in five countries. Professor Rudy is an expert in the field of contemporary use and reception of late Medieval manuscripts, specialising in those from the Low Countries.

For her first project as RSE Curator, Professor Rudy plans to organise a series of activities around the Scottish eighteenth-century geologist James Hutton (1726-97) the father of modern geology. His Theory of the Earth introduced the concept of deep time.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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