\"An organisation in good heart\", RSE Fellows\' Triennial Dinner
The RSE Fellows' Triennial Dinner took place at the Glasgow City Chambers yesterday evening. The event is traditionally held to mark the outgoing President’s three-year term of office and presents an opportunity for the Fellowship to reflect on recent achievements.
Last night, current President Sir John Arbuthnott welcomed over one hundred Fellows to the dinner, as well as visiting representatives from six overseas National Academies; five sister Academies in the UK; and three leading professional and learned bodies.
In his keynote speech, Sir John highlighted the series of events held under the banner Enlightening the Constitutional Debate, which were organised in partnership with the British Academy in response to the forthcoming Referendum on Scottish independence. He noted the success of the book that resulted from the series, adding that the RSE will continue to enlighten the process of constitutional change, whatever the result of the vote on 18 September.
Sir John then commented on how pleased he had been to see the honour of a Nobel Prize conferred upon one of the RSE’s most esteemed Fellows, the physicist Professor Peter Higgs, noting how his work has, “brought the importance, the wonder and the inspiration of scientific achievement right into the forefront of public discourse.”
Looking to the RSE’s connections overseas, Sir John pointed to the work he has been leading to strengthen Scotland’s ties with national academies in China. This has lead to meetings with some of the country’s most senior and influential scientific and research figures, as well as the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Concluding his speech, Sir John noted his delight that Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell will be taking over from him as President in October 2014, adding that, “she will find an organisation that is in good heart.”
Download the full transcript of the President’s speech.