Stay Young

Friday 19 May 2023

The University welcomed Scotland’s brightest young researchers and professionals as hosts of the 2023 RSE Young Academy Scotland (YAS) Spring Plenary meeting.

The event, which took place at the School of Medicine this week (Thursday 17 May), saw cyclist Mark Beaumont BEM FRSE give a keynote address on the differences between one’s self-perception and public image.

Speaking on his visit to the event, Mark said: “It’s a pleasure to speak with members of the Young Academy of Scotland about my journeys in cycling and business, and to share some of the lessons these have taught me on creating a positive impact. It’s also inspiring to hear about their work programme, and I look forward to seeing the public benefit to this amazing portfolio.”

The Young Academy of Scotland (YAS) was established by the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2011 to provide a platform for innovative young professionals from all areas of academia, business, third sector organisations and public life to work together to address the most challenging issues facing society in Scotland and beyond.

Man in suit presents in a lecture theatre
Mark Beaumont presenting at the Spring Plenary

YAS brings together entrepreneurs, academics, business leaders, teachers and other professionals to work collaboratively for the benefit of society. YAS’s mission is to achieve transformative societal change through citizenship, innovation, collaboration, evidence, and leadership.

This meeting saw YAS unveil three new Grand Challenges, which will guide its work until 2026. These challenges are:

  • ENVIRONMENT – Enabling people in Scotland to thrive sustainably
  • EQUITY – Enabling a more equitable, diverse, and just Scottish society
  • EXCHANGE – Enabling a respectful and inclusive societal exchange.

During the event, members broke into discussion groups around each of the Grand Challenges to develop and progress projects that form YAS’s work programme.

The University currently has 19 members of the Young Academy of Scotland: Dr Claire Cousins, Dr Louise Reid, Dr Anne-Marie Weijmans, Dr Ellen Garland, Professor Jonathan Fraser, Dr Bernhard Blumenau, Dr Amanda Seed, Dr Nathan Bailey, Dr Areti Manataki, Dr Giuseppe Pezzini, Dr Stavroula Pipyrou, Dr Maarten Zwart, Dr James Rae, Dr Michael Byrne, Dr Ashraf Mousa, Dr Kate Cowcher, Dr Amelia Penny, Dr Panna Muqit and Dr Manal Khatib.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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