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Date: 3 April 2000
Our ref: 580


Scotland’s premier Learned Society, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, has honoured the Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, together with three of its Professors and a distinguished member of its Alumni body, by electing them as Fellows:

Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, Chancellor of the University
Sir Ian Wood
Professor Ken Killham, Department of Plant and Soil Science
Professor Tim Ingold. Department of Sociology
Professor James Petrie, Head of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics

Commenting on the announcement, University Principal Professor C Duncan Rice said:  “These honours bring great distinction, not only to the individuals who have been honoured, but to the whole University.”


Brief pen portraits of the new Fellows are attached:

Lord Wilson of Tillyorn GCMG

Lord Wilson had an outstanding Public Service career, including periods in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Under Secretary for Asia and the Pacific); in the Cabinet Office; and as Political Adviser to the Hong Kong Government.  Subsequently, he became Governor of Hong Kong (1987-1992) and was made a life peer in 1992.  On retiring from public service, he became Chairman of Scottish Hydro-Electric (1993-) and of Scottish and Southern Energy ( 1998-).  In addition, he was been Chairman of the Scottish Committee of the British Council since 1993, President of the Hong Kong Society, the Hong Kong Association and the Bhutan Society of the UK.  He is a Trustee of the Museums of Scotland, Vice President of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and Vice-Chairman of the Scottish Peers Association.  His interest in Higher Education in Scotland led to his appointment as Chancellor’s Assessor (1993-97) and then to Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen in 1997.

Sir Ian Wood

Sir Ian Wood is one of Scotland's most outstanding businessmen.  This has been recognised through many national and international awards.  He developed a small fishing company in Aberdeen into what is now an international energy services company, employing more than 5,500 personnel in 25 countries worldwide.  He is also Chairman of  JW Holdings Ltd which is the largest fishing company in Scotland.  In addition to his company commitments, he holds many appointments within the UK, including Chairman of Scottish Enterprise, Member of the Scottish Business Forum and Chairman of the British Trade International Oil and Gas Board, and a member of PILOT, the body that succeeded the Government Oil and Gas Industry Task Force.  He was awarded the CBE in 1979 and a Knighthood in 1994.  His contribution to Higher Education in Scotland has been considerable as he served on the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, the Board of the Carnegie Trust and co-chaired the Quincentenary Committee for the University of Aberdeen.

Professor Tim Ingold

Professor Tim Ingold is one of the world’s leading anthropologists.  Educated at Cambridge Professor Ingold joined the University of Manchester in 1974 where he was a lecturer, senior lecturer, professor and, from 1993 – 1997, Head of Department of Social Anthropology. He was appointed Max Gluckman Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester in 1995 and became a Fellow of the British Academy in 1997.  He was Munro Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh (1995), Darwin Lecturer at the University of Cambridge (1995) and Linacre Lecturer, University of Oxford (1996).  In 1999, he became President of the Anthropology and Archaeology Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.  His main research interest lies in the circumpolar North and he has carried out ethnographic fieldwork among Saami and Finnish people in Lapland.  He was written extensively on hunter-gatherer and pastoral societies, evolutionary theory and human ecology.  He was appointed to a new Chair in Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen in September 1998.

Professor Ken Killham

Professor Killham is one of the foremost soil ecologists in the UK with an international reputation for excellence in his field.  He is best known for this work on the application of modern molecular techniques to the use of biosensors in ecotoxicity testing, nutrient cycling, and rhizosphere ecology.  He is a prolific researcher and publisher of peer reviewed papers, and has also published books on soil ecology and one on soil chemistry and its applications.  His advice is widely sought by DETR, OECD, the UK Water industry and IAEA.  He also makes a substantial contribution to the work of the Research Councils serving on committees of BBSRC/NERC Soils Advisory Committee, as Chairman 1997 onwards; NERC Terrestrial Life Sciences; NERC Land Water Resources; BBSRC Plant and Microbial Sciences.   He is also co-founder of the new company Remedios which specialises in soil remediation and which recently won a Millennium Product Award.

Professor James Petrie

Professor James Petrie, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and a non executive member of Grampian Health Board, is the current President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.  He has been Chairman of the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) since 1993 and is presently Vice Chairman of the UK Committee on the Safety of Medicines (CSM).  He chairs a Council of Europe expert group on developing best practice on the development of Clinical Practice Guidelines.  He is a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on drug polices and management and of the Economic and Social Committee of the European Community.  Professor Petrie’s special interests are clinical pharmacology, hypertension, and evidence based medicine.  He was honoured with the award of a CBE in 1996 for services to Medicine.

Further information

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University Press Office on telephone +44 (0)1224-273778 or email