The RSE Young Academy of Scotland has announced the appointment of 51 new members. The group, comprising 28 women and 23 men, represent some of the nation’s leading researchers, teachers, entrepreneurs, civil servants, and third sector workers. They will join YAS’s existing members in realising its mission ‘to achieve transformative societal change through citizenship, innovation, collaboration, evidence, and leadership.’
Among the new members are seven individuals who have been appointed through YAS’s At-Risk Academic/Refugee (ARAR) membership initiative. This initiative encourages outstanding members of the refugee and displaced migrant communities to apply to YAS and provides them with support with their applications. In joining YAS, ARAR members regain some of the social and professional capital they lost during their displacement, and YAS benefits from ARAR members’ talents, experience, and unique perspectives.
Unique among the growing number of national young academies worldwide, YAS encourages membership applications from individuals in all sectors of society. This year, YAS is pleased to welcome members joining from business, the non-profit sector and the arts, who include:
- Jo Buckley, Chief Executive of Dunedin Consort, one of the world’s leading baroque ensembles, and a keen advocate for the arts in health, education and community settings.
- Iman Tajik, an artist and photographer whose work addresses issues of contemporary conditions of life with particular focus on migration and globalization.
- Julia Allison, a chartered engineer at Arup Group, who specializes in structural engineering, in particular the re-purposing of historic buildings.
The new cohort also includes a diverse group of academics with specialisms ranging from international law to geochemistry and climate change. In addition to academic achievements, the selection committee placed significant emphasis on public outreach and interdisciplinary collaboration. Among the new academic members are:
- Nadimul Faisal, a Reader in Microengineering at Robert Gordon University who also founded start-up technology company, d-Finger Ltd, which is developing sensing methods to digitise runway surface conditions.
- Manuel Fernandez Gotz, Head of Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, whose research topics include the origins of the first towns in temperate Europe, the archaeology of Roman conquest, and migration in late prehistory.
- Katherine Duncan, a Chancellor’s Fellow in Marine Microbial Antibiotic Discovery at the University of Strathclyde. Kate is also involved with Homeward Bound, a global leadership initiative which seeks to amplify women’s involvement in decision-making that leads to a healthier planet.
Alice König, Co-Chair of YAS said ‘YAS is thrilled to be welcoming such an outstanding group of new members, whose diverse talents and experiences will bring so much to our work. We have a busy year ahead, addressing our five Grand Challenges, and we are hugely excited about the ideas and expertise which this new cohort will contribute as we come together to help build a future for Scotland that is healthier, smarter, more equal, enterprising, sustainable and international.’
Professor Dame Anne Glover, President of the RSE said ‘It is wonderful to see these accomplished young leaders join the Young Academy of Scotland. I am particularly delighted that YAS is continuing in its commitment to bring at-risk academic and refugee professionals into its membership. In bringing such diverse and talented young leaders together, YAS unlocks great potential to produce creative, fresh solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing Scotland today.’