Eminent scientists join Royal Society

Four Edinburgh academics have been elected to a prestigious fellowship in recognition of their outstanding contributions to science.

They are among 50 distinguished scientists announced as new Fellows of the Royal Society.

The Fellowship is made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from or living and working in the UK and the Commonwealth.

More than a quarter of this year’s intake of Fellows are women.

Edinburgh Fellows

The Edinburgh academics elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society are:

  • Professor Wendy Bickmore, Director of the MRC Human Genetics Unit
  • Professor Christopher Bishop, Professor of Computer Science
  • Professor Gabriele Hegerl, Professor of Climate System Science
  • Professor Josephine Pemberton, Professor of Molecular Ecology

Outstanding contributions

Wendy Bickmore’s work has identified key factors in gene regulation and revealed their function in development and disease. Her approach highlights how using a complete toolkit for modern biology helps answer fundamental questions in mammalian genome function.

Christopher Bishop has made pioneering contributions to model-based machine learning and its applications. He has been recognised for his leadership in industry, and his public engagement work.

Gabriele Hegerl is a climate scientist who focuses on identifying the drivers and mechanisms of observed climate change. This work provides a critical underpinning to predictions of future changes.

Josephine Pemberton is a leading evolutionary biologist. Her pioneering application of genetic analyses in wild animal populations has led to major advances in our understanding of breeding systems and in evolutionary ecology and genetics.

Medical expertise

Elsewhere, three Edinburgh scientists have been elected Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Professors Charles ffrench Constant, David FitzPatrick and Brian Walker were selected to join the Fellowship based on their exceptional contributions to biomedical and health research.

This latest intake to the Fellowship includes the highest female cohort to date – 37 per cent.

Science is a great triumph of human achievement and has contributed hugely to the prosperity and health of our world. The new Fellows of the Royal Society have already contributed much to science and it gives me great pleasure to welcome them into our ranks.

Venki RamakrishnanPresident of the Royal Society

Related links

Royal Society

Academy of Medical Sciences