Her Majesty the Queen Presents Esteemed Talent with RSE Royal Medals

RSE Royal Medallists with Her Majesty the Queen
Image © Gary Doak Photography, courtesy of the RSE.
Front row (L-R): 2017 RSE Royal Medallist, Professor Peter Boyle; RSE President, Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell; Her Majesty The Queen; 2017 RSE Royal Medallist, Professor Tessa Holyoake; Sir Michael Atiyah PPRSE and RSE Royal Medallist (2003).
Back row (former RSE Royal Medallists L-R): Sir Alfred Cushchieri (2002); Professor Richard Morris (2014); Dr David Milne (2012); Professor Sir David Edward (2005); Baroness Helena Kennedy of the Shaws (2011); Lord Mackay of Clashfern (2003); Professor Sir David Carter (2006); Professor Sir John Ball (2006); Professor Desmond Smith (2011)

Some of the UK’s most outstanding talent has been recognised by Her Majesty The Queen who visited the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) today to present the RSE’s Royal Medals.

This year’s distinguished Royal Medallists are:

Professor Peter Boyle CorrFRSE FMEDSci, President, International Prevention Research Institute and Director, the University of Strathclyde Institute of Global Public Health, for his outstanding contribution to global cancer control and public health policy.

Professor Tessa Holyoake FRSE FMedSci, Director, Paul O’Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre, University of Glasgow, for her outstanding contribution to the field of Life Sciences through her discovery of the existence of cancer stem cells in Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia and her development of a new therapy for this condition.

Mr Donald Runnicles OBE, Chief Conductor, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, for his outstanding contribution to the art of music at the highest international level. Mr Runnicles is in Wyoming at present, in his capacity as the Music Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival, therefore the RSE President Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell accepted the Medal on his behalf and will present the accolade to him at a later date.

The RSE Royal Medals were instituted by Her Majesty The Queen – who is a patron of the RSE – to mark the Millennium and have been awarded since then with her express approval. These accolades are awarded for distinction and international repute in any of the following categories: Life Sciences; Physical and Engineering Sciences; Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Business and Commerce. Previous recipients have included Nobel Laureates such as Sir James Black, Sir James Mirrlees and Professor Peter Higgs, as well as the distinguished Scottish historian Professor Tom Devine.

Commenting on being awarded the Medal, Mr Runnicles said, “It is with profound pride and pleasure that I accept the Royal Society of Edinburgh Royal Medal 2017. My deep gratitude to Her Majesty the Queen and to the venerable Society is hard to express in words – as my musical career has taken to me to all the corners of the globe (a fact that sadly precludes my appearance today in person), it is and will remain Edinburgh, that beautiful and ancient city to whom I am forever indebted – the cultural jewel that has inspired and supported me. A city and community that, moreover, I can proudly call home. This auspicious award today humbles me – your approbation fills this Scot with renewed energy and passion as I endeavour through my music to make a difference.”

RSE President, Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell said, “It was a very great pleasure to welcome our Patron, Her Majesty The Queen to the RSE to present the Royal Medals. As this is the third time Her Majesty has visited the RSE, and the second time that she has presented the Royal Medals, we deeply appreciate the interest she has shown in the RSE and her personal involvement in the presentation of these prestigious awards. This year’s Royal Medallists have all made truly exceptional contributions to their areas. These awards are the RSE’s highest accolades that reflect the enlightenment spirit of the RSE’s Royal Charter of 1783 and its remit to advance learning and useful knowledge.”

Her Majesty The Queen receiving a bouquet

For more images from the Royal Medals Ceremony, please visit here.