College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

College Professors become Royal Society Fellows

Five professors from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences have been named as Royal Society of Edinburgh Fellows.

Royal Society of Edinburgh

Fellows are leading thinkers and experts from Scotland and around the world, whose work has a significant impact on the nation.

The five academics are Professor Helen Bond, Chair of Christian Origins and Head of the School of Divinity, Holly Branigan, Professor of Psychology of Language and Cognition, Alvin Jackson, Richard Lodge Professor of History Lesley McAra, Chair of Penology, Assistant Principal Community Relations, Director of the Edinburgh Futures Institute and Nicola McEwen, Professor of Territorial Politics and Co-Director, Centre on Constitutional Change. 

The Royal Society of Edinburgh has made 19 University of Edinburgh academics fellows of the prestigious organisation.

Some 87 fellows have been elected overall. They join around 1,600 existing fellows who represent the full range of physical and life sciences, arts, humanities, social sciences, education, professions, industry, business and public life.

Rigorous assessment

This year’s cohort includes many new Fellows who have made a positive impact during the global Covid-19 pandemic: either as a result of their academic research or through their contribution to arts or for the role they have played in communicating complex information with the public.

 Those who are elected to the Fellowship have undergone a rigorous assessment of their achievements, professional standing and the contribution they and their work make to wider society.  

As Scotland’s national academy we recognise excellence across a diverse range of expertise and experience, and its effect on Scottish society. This impact is particularly clear this year in the latest cohort of new Fellows which includes scientists who are pioneering the way we approach the coronavirus; those from the arts who have provided the rich cultural experience we have all been missing, and some who have demonstrated strong leadership in guiding their organisations and communities through this extraordinary time. Through uniting these great minds from different walks of life, we can discover creative solutions to some of the most complex issues that Scotland faces. A warm welcome is extended to all of our new Fellows.

Porfessor Dame Anne GloverPresident of the Royal Society of Edinburgh


Fellows, who give their time freely, play a fundamental role in enabling the RSE to deliver its mission of Knowledge Made Useful.

They contribute to the cultural, economic and social well-being of Scotland and the wider world.

[Photo courtesy of The RSE]

RSE Announces 2021 Fellows

The Royal Society of Edinburgh