J.K Rowling becomes an Honorary Fellow  Lord Sutherland made President-elect

J.K Rowling becomes an Honorary Fellow Lord Sutherland made President-elect

More than sixty outstanding individuals have been elected to Fellowship of The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), including the international children’s author, J.K Rowling. The distinguished academic Lord Sutherland of Houndwood has also been made President-elect of the Society, following elections held at the RSE on Monday 4th March.

J.K Rowling’s books about the adventures of Harry Potter have had an international impact in reversing the world-wide trend in decreasing literacy. Her writing has attracted a huge number of children and younger adults who previously had difficulties in beginning to read, and her work has dispelled the myth that children lack the attention-span to engage with longer books. Honoured with an OBE for services to literature, Dr Rowling is the recipient of more than 40 literary prizes. As an organisation which, through its Royal Charter for the "advancement of learning and useful knowledge" is working to contribute to the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of Scotland, the RSE recognises J.K Rowling’s outstanding contribution to stimulating learning.

Lord Sutherland who is currently the Principal of the University of Edinburgh will formally take over as RSE President when Sir William Stewart demits office this October. The highly prestigious post of President has been held by other such distinguished figures as Sir James Hall, Sir Walter Scott, Thomas Stevenson and Lord Kelvin. The post is unpaid; the term lasts for 3 years and always provides a 6 month period of overlap for the incoming and outgoing Presidents. Prior to becoming Principal of The University of Edinburgh, Lord Sutherland was Vice-Chancellor of the University of London and is a former HM Chief Inspector of Schools in England. A member of the Board of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Lord Sutherland also sits on the Government's Council for Science and Technology. He chaired the recent Royal Commission on the Long Term Care of the Elderly, and last year, The House of Lords Appointments Commission named the then Sir Stewart Sutherland as one of 15 new independent life peers.

The current President of The Royal Society of Edinburgh, Sir William Stewart, who remains in office until October 2002 said:

I am particularly pleased that Lord Sutherland has been made President-elect. He is a highly distinguished individual who has outstanding leadership qualities. Stewart Sutherland’s appointment emphasises the multidisciplinary approach, which is one of the great strengths of the RSE. At the start of the twenty first century, science and technology must be related to the needs of Society and I am sure that Lord Sutherland will provide this and help the RSE to represent even more of a resource to Scotland.

I am also delighted that Joanne Rowling has been elected an Honorary Fellow. Dr Rowling is an inspirational author, whose books have had a hugely important influence on children’s reading habits in Scotland, in the UK and throughout the World. J.K Rowling’s writing has encouraged very many children to start reading. Without their taking that step, the advancement of learning and useful knowledge, which is at the heart of the Society’s Royal Charter, would not progress.

President-elect of The Royal Society of Edinburgh, Lord Sutherland of Houndwood said:

I regard it as a great honour to become President of The Royal Society of Edinburgh. I'm looking forward to helping ensure its particular role in scholarship in Scotland is as dynamic in the future as it has been in the past.


GORDON, Gerald Henry, Temporary High Court Judge; NURSE, Paul Maxime, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Director-General of Cancer Research UK; ROWLING, Joanne Kathleen, Author; SHARP, Phillip Allen, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Director, The McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.

HAAKONSSEN, Knud, Professor of Philosophy, Boston University; HALL, Peter Gavin, Centre for Mathematics and its Applications, Australian National University, Canberra; MILLER, David Andrew Barclay, Director, E.L. Ginzton Laboratory; W. M. Keck Foundation Professor of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University; ROSS, Sydney, Chemistry Department, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA; Founder, James Clerk Maxwell Foundation.

ALESSI, Dario Renato, Principal Investigator and Honorary Reader, MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit, University of Dundee; ARMSTRONG, Richard, Music Director, Scottish Opera; ARTHUR, John Willins, Technical Director, Thales-MESL; BAUCKHAM, Richard John, Professor of New Testament Studies and Bishop Wardlaw Professor, University of St Andrews; BELL, David Nevin Fraser, Professor of Economics, University of Stirling; BLOW, John Julian, Director, Cancer Research UK Chromosome Replication Research Group & Senior Lecturer, University of Dundee; BOYD, Ian Lamont, Director, NERC Sea Mammal Research Unit, Gatty Marine Laboratory; Chair in Biology, University of St Andrews; BROADIE, Sarah, Professor of Philosophy, University of St Andrews; BROWN, Alice, Professor of Politics and Vice Principal, University of Edinburgh; BURT, Peter Alexander, Executive Deputy Chairman, HBOS plc.; BYRNE, Richard William, Professor of Evolutionary Psychology, University of St Andrews; COLLIER CAMERON, Andrew, Reader in Astronomy, University of St Andrews; CONNELL, John Muir Cochrane, Professor of Endocrinology, University of Glasgow; DARGIE, Henry John, Consultant Cardiologist, Western Infirmary, Glasgow; Honorary Professor, University of Glasgow; DELLA SALA, Sergio, Professor of Psychology, University of Aberdeen; DRYSDALE, David Douglas, Professor of Fire Safety Engineering, University of Edinburgh; EARNSHAW, William, Professor and Wellcome Principal Fellow, University of Edinburgh; EDWARDS, Kevin John, Professor in Physical Geography, University of Aberdeen; GRETTON, George Lidderdale, Lord President Reid Professor of Law, University of Edinburgh; HALLETT, Christine, Deputy Principal, University of Stirling; HAMNETT, Andrew, Principal and Vice Chancellor, University of Strathclyde; HARRISON, Andrew, Professor of Solid State Chemistry, University of Edinburgh; HART, Robert Albert, Professor of Economics, University of Stirling; HENDRY, David Forbes, Professor of Economics, University of Oxford; HENTON, Margaret Patricia, Chief Executive, Scottish Environment Protection Agency; JENCKS, Charles, Writer, Critic, Artist; JOHNSTON, Derek William, Professor and Head of School of Psychology, University of St Andrews; KENNEDY, Malcolm William, Chairman, Parsons Brinckerhoff International; KIDD, Colin Craig. Reader in History, University of Glasgow; KRAUSS, Thomas, Professor of Optoelectronics, University of St Andrews; KUKSIN, Sergei Borisevich, Professor of Mathematics, Heriot-Watt University; LAMB, Jonathan Robert, Professor of Respiratory Science, University of Edinburgh Medical School; Visiting Professor, Imperial College & University of Hong Kong; LANGLANDS, Alan, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Dundee; LAW, Robin, Professor of African History, University of Stirling; LINKLATER, Magnus Duncan, Columnist, "The Times" & "Scotland on Sunday"; MacDONALD, Ronald, Professor of International Finance, University of Strathclyde; MACKAY, Eileen Alison, Non–Executive Director, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Edinburgh Investment Trust, Scottish Enterprise (Edinburgh & Lothian), Scottish Financial Enterprise; MAIZELS, Richard Michael, Professor of Zoology, University of Edinburgh; McCRONE, David, Professor of Sociology and Convener of Unit for the Study of Government in Scotland, University of Edinburgh; MEEK, Donald Eachann Macdonald, Professor of Scottish and Gaelic Studies, Edinburgh University; MELHAM, Thomas Frederick, Professor of Computing Science, University of Glasgow; MOLCHANOV, Ilya, Professor of Applied Probability, University of Glasgow; MORGAN, Peter John, Director of the Rowett Research Institute; MULGREW, Bernard, Professor of Signals and Systems, University of Edinburgh; NORRIE, Kenneth McKenzie, Professor of Law & Head of the Law School, University of Strathclyde; PITTS, Nigel Berry, Professor of Dental Health and Hon. Consultant in Dental Public Health; Director, Centre for Dental Innovations, University of Dundee; PLANT, Jane Ann, Chief Scientist, British Geological Survey; RICE, Susan, Chief Executive, Lloyds TSB Scotland; RITCHIE, Ian Cleland, Director, Scottish Institute for Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise; non-executive Director SCRAN, Channel 4 Television, EPIC Group plc, Mindwarp Pavilion Ltd; non-executive Chairman of Active Navigation Ltd.; non-Digital Bridges Ltd, Voxar Ltd.; Deputy Chairman of VIS Entertainment plc.; SECKL, Jonathan Robert, Moncrieff-Arnott Professor of Molecular Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital; STEEDMAN, Mark Jerome, Professor of Cognitive Science, University of Edinburgh; VARDY, Alan Edward, Research Professor in Civil Engineering, University of Dundee; WHITE, Stephen Leonard, Professor of Politics, University of Glasgow; WOOLLINS, John Derek, Professor of Synthetic Chemistry, University of St Andrews.

Key to Criteria for Fellowship:

(*1) Honorary Fellows: of exceptional distinction in their own fields and many are widely known outside their own specialisms. Are internationally renowned, may be of any country or domicile and do not need to have a link with Scotland.

(2*) Corresponding Fellows:
of significant international distinction within their own subject or profession. Must be domiciled overseas.

(3*) Ordinary Fellows:
of national and international standing, based on quality of innovative contributions to their field, or professional standing and achievement in public service. Must have an ongoing connection with Scotland.

Notes for News & Features Editors & Pictures Desks:

A .jpg of President-Elect, Lord Sutherland of Houndwood and Sir William Stewart is available from the RSE, upon request.

Election to Fellowship of the Society honours outstanding achievement across all academic subjects, the professions, the arts, commerce, industry and public life. But conferring the accolade of Fellowship on people recognised as amongst the best minds in Scotland is the beginning, not the end, of the Society’s purpose. The collective expertise and experience of the Fellowship is the underpinning foundation of all the other goals of the Society.


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