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The latest news from the Young Academy of Scotland

Alaa Hamdon discusses Mosul Book Bridge on BBC Radio 4

Alaa MBB

Alaa Hamdon welcomes the first consignment of new books from Book Aid International to Mosul Library in 2018.

YAS member Dr Alaa Hamdon has detailed the work being done by YAS and partners at University College London and Book Aid International to rebuild and restock Mosul University Library on BBC Radio 4’s live arts programme, Front Row.

Mosul University, where Alaa researches and lecturers as an Earthquake Analyst, was one of the first institutions targeted by IS after their occupation of Mosul in 2014.  Its University Library, which housed over a million books, including historical documents over 300 years old was sacked and later burned completely.


Young Academy member questions MPs at Voices of the Future 2019

VOF Full Room

Siobhán O’Connor, a Lecturer in Nursing Studies at the University of Edinburgh, represented the Young Academy of Scotland and the Royal Society of Edinburgh recently at Voices of the Future 2019. This event offered young research leaders the opportunity to discuss the future of science policy in the UK with senior political figures at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.

The annual platform is organised by the Royal Society of Biology and provides early careers researchers with insights and influence into the policy translation process. They get to voice their questions and discuss burning scientific policy issues with key political figures. On 12th March 2019, the Voices of the Future event was held in Committee Room 14 at the Place of Westminster and streamed live on Parliament TV. This provided Siobhán and others young leaders in science from across the UK the chance to delve into the complexities of key policy issues.


Happy International Women's Day!

The theme of this year's International Women's Day is #BalanceforBetter.

Happy International Women’s Day from the Young Academy of Scotland.  To celebrate this important day, we’re reflecting on some of our projects that address gender equality and help advance women and girls.  

Since being founded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) in 2011, YAS has been committed to the principals of equality and diversity, both within its membership and in all projects and collaborations.  From our first recruitment round, we have committed to being gender balanced, and at present 57% of our membership is female.

We reaffirmed our commitment to equality when launching our first strategic plan in 2015, when we named Equal as one of our six strategic themes.  We define this theme as ‘promote equality and justice between peoples and nations,’ and a key element of this is to advocate for gender equality within YAS, in Scotland and internationally.

Please see below for a selection of YAS projects which have addressed gender-balance and the rights of women:


Seven YAS members welcomed into the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Our parent academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), today announces the addition of 62 new Fellows from the worlds of business, science, creative arts, health, technology, law, public engagement and international development.

We are delighted that seven current and former members of YAS are included in this new group of Fellows.  They join twelve other YAS members and alumni who have previously been welcomed into the RSE. The members being inducted this year are Luke Bisby, James Chalmers, Iain Docherty, Tom Greggs, John Nicholls, Silvia Paraccini, and Stuart Reid.  While YAS members do not automatically become Fellows, the increasing number of YAS members in the RSE Fellowship is testament to the excellence, drive, and creativity of our members.


Members address issue of single-use plastic in #ReducePlasticTips campaign

by Silvia Paracchini, Jess Enright, Heidi Burdett, and Emilie Combet

In December, the Young Academy of Scotland (YAS) turned their eyes to plastics, in line with their “Sustainable” theme.

In a snap Twitter campaign, members explored what each of us could do, focusing on a tricky month.

Christmas is one of the most exciting times of the year, but it is also the worse one for generating plastic waste; just consider the quantity of plastic presents in plastic packaging, in plastic wraps, carried in plastic bags. Throughout December, YAS members shared their tips and ideas, under the #ReducePlasticTips hashtag on Twitter.

ReducePlaticTips word cloud

“We have all become aware of this problem and people have started changing their behaviours in their everyday actions. But are we doing as much as we can? We use so much plastic that we do not even realise it. By sharing our own ways to tackling plastic consumption, we can all learn from each other, adjust what we do on a daily basis and maybe inspire others.”  said Silvia Paracchini, who led the initiative.


Our Members

Dr Stella Chan is Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and an Honorary Clinical Psychologist, NHS Lothian. Depression is an urgent global health challenge affecting 350 million people worldwide.

Latest News

18 March 2019
Alaa Hamdon welcomes the first consignment of new books from Book Aid International to Mosul Library...