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Ten RSE Fellows in top UK Scientists Poll

Posted 16/01/2014

A list of the UK's leading 100 practising scientists includes ten Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), Scotland's National Academy.

Published by the Science Council, the list intends to highlight a collective blind spot in the approach of government, media and the public to science, which either tends to reference dead people or to regard only academics and researchers as scientists.

Chief executive of the Science Council, Diana Garnham, said: "It is vital that this narrow vision is challenged urgently because it is inhibiting education policy, the career ambitions of young people and investment in developing the skills we need to deliver a world-class economy."

The 100 scientists are grouped into ten types, including Explorer, Investigator and Communicator, each according to a different set of skills, knowledge and expertise.

RSE Fellows featured in the list represent a wide range of backgrounds, from medicine to astrophysics and chemistry to computer science. They include Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, chair of the Society’s landmark 2012 Report on a Scottish strategy for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Commenting, RSE General Secretary, Professor Alan Alexander, said: “We are delighted to see ten of our Fellows included in this rich and diverse list of distinguished scientists who are working to enhance knowledge, shape public policy and inspire the scientific leaders of the future.”

The ten RSE Fellows featured in the top 100 list are noted below:

Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Current science role: Visiting Professor of Astrophysics, University of Oxford.
Recognised for her discovery of pulsars while completing her PhD at Cambridge University in the late 1960’s and for leadership in the science community including having served as President of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Institute of Physics and as a Fellow and chair of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s 2012 report Tapping all our talents: Women in STEM: a strategy for Scotland.

Professor Lee Cronin
Current science role: Regius Chair of Chemistry, Glasgow University.
Recognised for being a young rising star seeking to understand and control self-assembly and self-organisation in chemistry to develop functional molecular and nano-molecular chemical systems and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Sir Paul Nurse
Current science roles: President of the Royal Society; Chief Executive of the Francis Crick Institute.
Recognised for being awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2001 for his discovery of protein molecules that control the division of cells. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Society of Biology and Academy of Medical Sciences.

Professor Christopher Bishop
Current science roles: Distinguished scientist, Microsoft Research Cambridge and Professor of Computer Science, University of Edinburgh.
Recognised for developing a thesis on quantum field theory and working on the theory of magnetically confined plasmas. He is a Fellow of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, Royal Statistical Society, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and a member of the Institute of Explosives Engineers.

Professor Marie Johnston
Current science role: Emeritus Professor of Health Psychology, University of Aberdeen.
Recognised for research on disability (theory, measurement and intervention) and on behaviour change in health and healthcare contexts. She is a Chartered Psychologist, Chartered Clinical Psychologist and Chartered Health Psychologist. She is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, Royal Society of Edinburgh, Academy of Medical Sciences and Academician of the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences.

Professor Heather Ann Cubie
Current science roles: Director, Scottish HPV Reference Laboratory, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh; Honorary Professor of Research and Research Management, University of Edinburgh.
Recognised for her research relating to HPV, cervical disease and cancer detection, and worked on validation and quality assurance as a crucial part of clinical HPV testing. She was a founding Director and past-President of the Association of Clinical Scientists (now Association of Clinical Biochemistry), a founder member of the International Papillomavirus Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Professor Sir Gordon Duff
Current science role: Chairman, Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
Recognised for his experience in the regulation of medicines and medical devices in the UK to ensure they work and are acceptably safe. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

Tricia Henton
Current science roles: Non-executive Director, The Coal Authority; Board Member of the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre.
Recognised for her wealth of knowledge and experience in the environmental geo-science regulatory sector. She is a Chartered Geologist, a Fellow of the Geological Society and the non-Executive Chair of the Society’s Professional Committee. She is also Fellow and past-President of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Waste Management and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Professor Lesley Yellowlees
Current science role: Professor of Inorganic Electrochemistry, Edinburgh University; President, Royal Society of Chemistry.
Recognised for being the first female President of the Royal Society of Chemistry and being a public champion for more women in science. She is also Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Physics and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Professor Anne Glover
Current science role: Chief Scientific Advisor, European Commission.
Recognised for her wide ranging expertise across many policy fields at the highest levels of government. Has a strong interest in how science can contribute to the progress of the developing world. She is a Fellow of the Society of Biology and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Further details are available on the Science Council website

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