Six academics at the University of Aberdeen have been chosen to be among the first members of the The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Young Academy of Scotland. This exciting development is the first of its kind in the UK and will be part of a growing movement of Young Academies across the world.
The six are Dr Lisa DeBruine, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Dr Mirela Delibegovic, Research Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences, Professor Tom Greggs of the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, Dr David Lusseau, Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences, Professor Craig Ramsay, Programme Director with the Health Services Research Unit, and Dr Jane Reid, Senior Research Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences.
Congratulating his colleagues, Professor Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor said: “This is an excellent initiative and I am delighted that six of our brightest up-and-coming researchers are among the first cohort of RSE Young Academics. I look forward to many more of my colleagues here at Aberdeen joining this exciting pool of research leaders for the future.”
The RSE has established the Young Academy as a unique opportunity to bring together some of the most able and innovative young academics, entrepreneurs, artists and professionals in Scotland.
Every year a new round of applications will be encouraged, bringing in a new cohort of members.
The aim of the initiative is to stimulate creative ideas and collaborative working that will help address some of the key challenges facing Scotland and contribute to solving some of the global challenges of the 21st century.
The Young Academy will provide a platform for the best and most forward-looking people of their generation to develop for themselves a distinctive, coherent and influential 'voice' to address many of the challenging issues facing society. It will provide a forum for its members to engage with talented individuals beyond their own discipline or profession.
The average age of the first group of members of the Young Academy is 36 and over and 40% are women. They cover a very wide range of expertise from biologists, geoscientists and engineers to lawyers, social scientists and entrepreneurs. There are members from all parts of Scotland, as well as those originally from elsewhere in the UK or other parts of the world.
Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, the RSE President said: "This is an exciting and important initiative. We have created the RSE Young Academy of Scotland because we believe that the future vitality of Scotland will depend on how we support and engage with the most talented and creative members of the rising generation. All of the people who have been appointed have demonstrated great ability and potential. I have no doubt that there will be many in this group who will go on the make a significant contribution, both within Scotland and internationally in the years ahead.”
A rigorous selection procedure resulted in 68 young academics, entrepreneurs and professionals being chosen to be the first members in Scotland. The Young Academy will be launched at a ceremony in Edinburgh in November. Members were selected from over 300 applicants.
The Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Education, Michael Russell MSP, added his welcome to the announcement saying, “The new Young Academy is supporting the talent of the future, exposing our best young people to the experience and expertise of the RSE Fellowship. It provides the ideal forum for talent in science, engineering and the arts to mix with each other as well as supporting research excellence.
“The young people involved will also have the opportunity to access some of our leading business experts through the RSE Fellowship and that can only help them achieve their ambitions.”
The successful computing scientist and entrepreneur, Professor Chris van der Kuyl expressed his support for the venture observing, “As a Fellow of the RSE I recognise the important work that it contributes in promoting research, ideas and entrepreneurship for the benefit of Scotland. The advances in knowledge in recent decades have been very fast moving and it is important for the Society to engage with the most talented young people who are active in Scotland today. These are the next generation of leaders in Scotland. I look forward to working with many of the people we are welcoming to the Young Academy today.”