The Royal Society of Edinburgh has appointed new fellows including Dr Annie Lennox who is made an Honorary Fellow for her contribution to arts and culture, and Damian Barr, writer and broadcaster.

There are in total 80 new fellows elected to join the existing 1,700 fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh drawn from the worlds of science, arts, education, business and public life. The society hopes that this year’s fellows represent a diversity of expertise in Scotland, with notable names from Edinburgh including the following:

  • Professor Dr Marialuisa Aliotta Professor of Experimental Nuclear Astrophysics, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Kenneth Baillie Professor of Experimental Medicine, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Arend Bayer Professor of Algebraic Geometry, School of Mathematics, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Mirko Canevaro Professor of Greek History, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Jamie Davis Professor of Experimental Anatomy, University of Edinburgh
  • Lady Leeona Dorrian Lord Justice Clerk, Court of Session
  • Professor Sinead Farrington Professor of Experimental Particle Physics, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Frances Fowle Personal Chair of Nineteenth-Century Art, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Brian Gerardot Professor of Physics and RAEng Chair in Emerging Technology, Heriot-Watt University
  • Neil Gillespie OBE Chairman and Design Director, Reiach and Hall Architects
  • Professor Sotiria Grek Professor of European and Global Education Governance, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Harriet Harris University Chaplain and Head of the Chaplaincy Service, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Emma Hart Professor of Computational Intelligence, Edinburgh Napier University
  • Professor Helen Hastie Professor of Computer Science, Heriot-Watt University
  • Professor Caroline Heycock Professor of Syntax, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Wenzuan Hou Professor and Chair in Corporate Finance, University of Edinburgh
  • Carolyn Jameson Chief Trust Officer, Trustpilot
  • Professor Adele Marston Professor of Cell Biology and Director of the Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Gillian Mead Professor of Stroke and Elderly Care Medicine, University of Edinburgh
  • Daisy Narayanan Head of Placemaking and Mobility, The City of Edinburgh Council
  • Professor Bryne Ngwenya Professor of Microbial Geochemistry and Head of School of GeoSciences, School Of Geosciences, Edinburgh University
  • Professor John Norrie Chair of Medical Statistics and Trial Methodology, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Jamie Pearce Professor of Health Geography and Director, Scottish Graduate School of Social Science, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Susan Rosser Chair of Synthetic Biology, University of Edinburgh and RAEng Chair in Emerging Technologies
  • Marc Turner Director, Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service
  • Linda Urquhart OBE Non-Executive Director, Edinburgh Airport and Coutts & Co
  • Professor Cheng-Xiang Wang Professor of Wireless Communications, Institute of Sensors, Signals and Systems, Heriot-Watt University
  • Professor Barbara Webb Professor of Biorobotics, University of Edinburgh
  • Lord Stephen Woolman Senator of the College of Justice and President of Scottish Tribunals, Scottish Courts
Photo of Annie Lennox by Eric Korenman
  • Annie Lennox is best known for her musical career as part of the band ‘Eurythmics’ and has also had a distinguished award-winning solo career. She is the original founder of The Circle: a non-profit organisation of women working together to achieve equality for women and girls in a fairer world, and was formerly Special Envoy for the Scottish Parliament.

Dr Lennox said: “I’m truly humbled and honoured to have been nominated as a Fellow of the RSE. Apart from a lifetime of music making, my ardent passion lies with the most crucial issues facing all of humanity at this precarious point in time, namely the sustainability of our precious planet and the actual implementation of human rights and justice, most especially regarding the lives of women and girls in all four corners of the globe.

“My hope has always been to create a positive influence and contribution towards lasting transformative change.”

Damian Barr Photo by Daisy Honeybunn

Damian Barr’s memoir, Maggie & Me, was Sunday Times Memoir of the Year.

His contribution to literature also includes his debut novel, You Will Be Safe Here, which was shortlisted for six awards, including the Saltire, and he is a frequent columnist in The Times and Sunday Times. In 2019, Mr Barr brought books back to television with the Big Scottish Book Club on BBC Scotland which is now in its third series with past guests including Val McDermid FRSE, Graham Norton and Miriam Margolyes.

Mr Barr said: “I used to gawp up at the RSE building when I was a student in Edinburgh and wonder about who was thinking and doing what in there. I was also, frankly, intimidated by the aura of power. I have been welcomed into the Fellowship which is making real efforts to be as diverse as the nation it is the Academy for. I want to use this space and the connections in it to make the joys and benefits of reading and writing available to all. To welcome everyone in.”

Professor Sir John Ball, President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, said: “It is a privilege to be able to welcome our new Fellows, and we are inspired by the breadth of talent and experience in our Fellowship. Every single individual elected this year has shown exceptional levels of expertise and insight in their chosen field, and their input helps RSE effect real and lasting change in Scotland’s society. 

“We look forward to working with our diverse Fellowship who provide a crucial link between the world of academic research and practice with government, business and civil society.”