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HRH The Duke of Edinburgh to award Royal Gold Medal to Professor Tom Devine

Her Majesty the Queen is to honour the achievements of Professor Tom Devine, Director of the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Aberdeen, at a ceremony at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on July 4th, 2001.

The Duke of Edinburgh will present Royal Gold Medals in recognition of intellectual endeavour which has had a profound influence on people’s lives, world-wide.  Professor Devine was selected by the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), Scotland’s National Academy, as a recognition of his work which has brought about public benefits on a global scale.

Professor Tom Devine is one of the most prominent and distinguished practitioners of Irish and Scottish economic and social history working in the United Kingdom today.   As Director of the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies, the importance of his work, not least for the stalled “peace process”, has been recognised by the Irish Government, in the inauguration of the Institute by the President of Ireland on St Andrew’s Day 1999, and also by the Taoiseach’s office agreeing to fund the Annual Irish-Scottish Forum, which was addressed by the acting First Minister of the Scottish Executive in June 2000.  His work, “The Scottish Nation” topped the best-selling books list last year, bringing the findings of key recent Scottish historical research to the attention of a broad readership.

Professor Devine will receive his gold medal together with Professor Sir James Black, one of the United Kingdom’s most distinguished scientists, and Professor Ian Scott, who has made outstanding contributions over the past thirty years to organic and natural product chemistry.

President of the RSE, Sir William Stewart said:  “Her Majesty, our Patron, honours us greatly in naming these distinguished Scots as recipients of the prestigious Royal Medals for 2001.  We are also much honoured that HRH the Duke of Edinburgh has agreed to present the Royal Medals at Holyroodhouse.  Through outstanding scholarship, each of the Medallists has had a profound influence on the lives of people in Scotland and far beyond.”

“Scotland has a proud heritage of achievement, discovery and enterprise.  The Royal Medals capture the spirit of the RSE’s Royal Charter of 1783, ‘to promote the advancement of learning and useful knowledge.’  They reflect the way in which as a progressive, Scottish Society, working as part of the UK, and within a global context, the Fellowship is helping to meet the challenges of the Twenty First Century.”


Notes to Editors

1. For fuller Biographical Details of all Medallists, please see the RSE website:
2. This top accolade is open to all men and women who have achieved international excellence in any field of intellectual endeavour.  Medallists should preferably have a Scottish connection, but do not need to reside in Scotland or be RSE Fellows.
3. The Royal Medals were presented for the first time in July 2000, when Her Majesty the Queen awarded them, in person, at the Royal Society of Edinburgh to Professor Sir Kenneth Murray, Professor Peter Higgs, and The Rt Hon The Lord Perry of Walton.
4. The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) is Scotland’s National Academy.  A wholly independent, non-political body with charitable status, the RSE is a knowledge resource for the people of Scotland.  Organising conferences and lectures both for the specialist and the general public, the RSE is a forum for informed debate on issues of national and international importance.


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