Royal Society elects new Fellows

01 May 2015

Outstanding scientists, including pioneers in climate modelling, the treatment of infectious diseases and plant genetics, make up the 47 new Fellows and 10 new Foreign Members announced by the Royal Society today.

Professor Dame Julia Slingo, Chief Scientist at the Met Office, has been made a Fellow for her world-leading research in the area of tropical climate processes and climate modelling. She has led Met Office science and University climate modelling with great success and had major international influence, particularly in the move to much higher resolution climate models.

Professor Jeremy Farrar, Director of The Wellcome Trust, has been given a Fellowship for his contributions to our understanding of the epidemiology, pathogenesis and treatment of several globally important infectious diseases, especially those affecting South East Asia, including tuberculosis, dengue and influenza.

The newly elected Fellows include strong representation of scientists in business and industry. They include Sir James Dyson, Chairman of Dyson Limited, and renowned inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist; and Sir Robin Saxby, Founder and former CEO and Chairman ARM Holdings plc.

Professor Jiayang Li, Vice Minister of Agriculture for The People's Republic of China and President of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, has been made a Foreign Member of the Royal Society for his seminal contributions to establishing forward genetics approaches in rice and his demonstration that this fundamental knowledge can contribute to the development of improved rice varieties through marker assisted breeding.

Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, said:

“Science and its application are at the core of so many aspects of our modern lives. From treating infectious diseases, to building safe bridges and tunnels, searching out life on other planets and even vacuuming our living rooms, science helps us understand ourselves better and it makes life better. Without scientific knowledge, we might not be able to solve some of the greatest challenges of our time: food shortages, climate change and tackling diseases. The scientists elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society this year are leaders in their fields and have contributed much to the scientific endeavour. We are delighted to welcome them alongside the likes of great British scientist such as Newton, Boyle and Darwin.”

Professor Lisa Jardine, Professor of Renaissance Studies at University College London, has been made an Honorary Fellow. She has advised the Society on its archives, and, during a period of formal secondment to the Society, she edited the on-line ‘Hooke Folio’, published in 2007. She is a frequent broadcaster, noted for her ‘Points of View’ on BBC Radio 4 and most recently for her ‘Seven ages of science’ series.

The Fellowship of the Royal Society is made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from or living and working in the UK and the Commonwealth. Past Fellows and Foreign Members have included Newton, Darwin, Einstein and Hawking.

Some statistics on this year’s intake are as follows:

  • 8 (17%) of this year’s intake of Fellows are women, plus 3 new female Foreign Members and one female Honorary Fellow
  • 8 of the new Fellows are from Oxford, 7 from London, 5 from Cambridge and 4 from Bristol. New Fellows have been elected from across the UK, including Bath, Birmingham, Warwick and Liverpool, along with those from international institutions as far afield as India, China and Australia.