Young St Andrews academics the ‘talent of the future’

Friday 16 September 2011

Six researchers from the University of St Andrews have been named among the most talented and creative members of a rising generation of Scottish academics.

The select half dozen have been chosen as some of the first members of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s new Young Academy of Scotland.

Hailed by Education Secretary Mike Russell as ‘the ideal forum for talent in science, engineering and the arts’, the Academy is a unique opportunity to bring together some of the most able and innovative young academics in Scotland.

The aim of the initiative is to stimulate creative ideas and collaborative working that will help address some of the key challenges facing Scotland and contribute to solving some of the global challenges facing the 21st century.

A rigorous selection process resulted in 68 young academics, entrepreneurs and professionals being chosen to be the first members of the initiative.  Among them are St Andrews’ Sharon Ashbrook (School of Chemistry), Ineke De Moortell (School of Mathematics & Statistics), Aileen Fyfe (School of History), Jeffrey Muruer (School of International Relations), Crag Smith, (School of Philosophy) and Nicole Tausch (School of Psychology).

The Young Academy will provide a platform for the best and most forward-looking people of their generation to develop a distinctive, coherent and influential voice to address many of the challenging issues facing today’s society. It will provide a forum for its members to engage with talented individuals beyond their own discipline or profession.

Speaking at the time of the announcement, Cabinet Secretary Mike Russell MSP commented, ‘The new Young Academy is supporting the talent of the future, exposing our best young people to the experience and expertise of the RSE Fellowship.  It provides the ideal forum for talent in science, engineering and the arts to mix with each other as well as supporting research excellence.”

Described by RSE President Lord Wilson of Tillyorn as ‘an exciting and important initiative’, the Academy was created with the aim of supporting and engaging with the most talented and creative members of the rising generation.

Welcoming the news St Andrews’ Deputy Principal Professor Chris Hawkesworth commented, “We are delighted that six of our young academics have been selected to join their peers in what will be an important forum for our academic leaders of the future. Together they form a vital pool of knowledge aimed at addressing the future needs of the nation and we are proud to be part of that.”


Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews

Contact Victoria Herd on 01334 462530/07850 900351

Ref: (RSE 16/09/11)

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