Kashefi2C20JenkinsOur Relationship with the Royal Society of Edinburgh

The Young Academy of Scotland was set up by the RSE, and is funded and supported by the RSE in the first instance. Its members are selected by panels of RSE fellows, and approved by a joint committee of RSE fellows and YAS members. Members of the YAS share certain of the benefits of fellows of the RSE, principally, eligibility to apply for RSE grant funding.

The RSE is uniquely placed to provide opportunities for such a group of the best and most outspoken young scientists, scholars and professionals with the overriding purpose of developing a distinctive, coherent and influential “voice” in Scottish society from those who will shape its future.

The RSE uses its influence to ensure that the Young Academy’s voice resonates in places where it can be most effective. The Young Academy extends, complements and strengthens activities already available to young scholars and professionals in Scotland.

The RSE initially set out the following vision for the Young Academy of Scotland:

  1. The economic, social and cultural vitality of any country relies heavily upon stimulating and attracting engagement of the talented and creative members of the rising generation to refresh and reinvigorate its technical excellence and cultural and political energy. They are crucial to a country’s capacity to take bold, imaginative and principled action in the face of challenging future perspectives. It is for this reason that the Royal Society of Edinburgh is creating a Young Academy of Scotland drawn from the younger generation of researchers, scholars, business people and professionals who will provide the talent and future leadership that the country needs. The Academy will present an opportunity for this talented group to interact across disciplines and occupations and become a more integrated part of the community of decision makers, opinion formers, funding bodies, national institutions, the public and the media within Scotland, the UK and internationally.

  2. The Academy will be part of a growing movement by national academies across Europe to establish Young Academies and it will be the first in the UK. As Scotland’s national academy, the RSE can offer unique provision for its Young Academy with:
    • the opportunity to provide inputs that will enrich opinion forming and decision making across a broad intellectual latitude;
    • support from a large range of recognised experts in Scotland through its Fellowship;
    • established channels to provide highly respected independent advice to Government;
    • direct links with sister academies throughout Europe and elsewhere.
  3. The Academy will set its own agenda and determine its own processes. It will be supported by the resources of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in creating opportunities such as those highlighted above.

  4. In particular it will:
    • Create a strong voice for younger researchers and professionals to address important issues both in their own specialist areas and in matters of more general concern - a voice that is helped to resonate in places where it might have influence.
    • Operate as a discussion forum that is primarily directed towards having a significant influence on circumstances and strategies that are important for them in the domains within which they work, such as the priorities of the research councils, the career opportunities for young researchers and professionals etc.

The formal relationship between the two bodies has been set out in a joint Memorandum of Understanding.

Our Members

Laura Kelly is senior lecturer in the history of health and medicine at the University of Strathclyde. She currently holds a Wellcome Trust research fellowship for a project on the history of contraception in modern Ireland.

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