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The Fellowship


Dr Venki Ramakrishnan is President of the Royal Society. He started his five year term on 1 December 2015.

Venki received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on ribosomal structure and was knighted in 2012.

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About the Fellowship

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth. Fellows and Foreign Members are elected for life through a peer review process on the basis of excellence in science.

There are approximately 1,600 Fellows and Foreign Members, including around 80 Nobel Laureates. Each year up to 52 Fellows and up to 10 Foreign Members are elected from a group of around 700 candidates who are proposed by the existing Fellowship.

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Fellows in the news

Sir Michael Atiyah OM FRS (1929 - 2019)

Sir Michael Atiyah OM HonFREng FRS has passed away aged 89. First elected in 1962, he was President of the Royal Society between 1990 and 1995.

Venki Ramakrishnan pays tribute to the mathematician who was known for his contributions in the areas of geometry and topology.

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Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell wins Breakthrough Prize

Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell has been awarded a Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for her work on the discovery of Radio Pulsars. The award also recognises her scientific leadership.

Dame Jocelyn will donate winnings from the $3 million prize to the Institute of Physics for the running of graduate studentships for people from under-represented groups in physics research.

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The Royal Society is governed by a Council of Fellows, who are elected by the Fellowship. Find out more about the Officers, Council and Committees who oversee the work of the Society.

How is the Society run?

About the Fellowship

Discover the lives and scientific achievements of former Fellows in our Biographical Memoirs publication. Or find out more about the process of nomination, selection and admission.

How are Fellows and Foreign Members elected?

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