Prestigious honour for Aberdeen academic

A University of Aberdeen academic has received the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a scientist by China.

Professor John Speakman has been elected a foreign Academician in  the Chinese National Academy of Sciences – the first ever from a Scottish University to be elected.

Election to the Chinese Academy of Sciences happens every two years and to be elected, scientists need five existing Chinese Fellows supporting them, and then a secret ballot of all the Academicians  is held to determine if 66% of the membership approve the election.

There are currently only 108 foreign fellows, and only seven from the United Kingdom.

Professor Speakman, who is Chair in Zoology at the University of Aberdeen, said: “I am incredibly honoured to have been elected as an Academician of the Chinese National Academy.

“It is only just sinking in how significant it is. Awards like this only come about because of a history of strong research productivity, and for that, I am lucky to have a fantastic research team both in Aberdeen and in China. I am really grateful to all of them for getting me to a position where this was possible."

Professor Graeme Paton, Head of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Aberdeen, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Professor Speakman. We are all absolutely delighted that John has been elected to the Chinese Academy of Sciences. This is a tremendous honour and it is fantastic to see John being recognised for his work.”

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