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Scotland’s Young Academy welcomes 43 new members

New Young Academy - 30 June

Scotland’s Young Academy welcomes 43 new members

The RSE Young Academy of Scotland (YAS) is pleased to announce the appointment of 43 new members. These members will make up the third intake and join the existing membership of 113 in realising the central YAS mission of addressing “the most challenging issues facing society in Scotland and beyond.”

Over one hundred high quality applications were received and rigorously reviewed by a combination of Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Fellows and current YAS members. Made up of 20 women and 23 men, with an average age of 37, this new cohort will bring a range of new and diverse skills from across Scotland to the YAS membership.

As well as representing a range of sciences from particle physics to volcanology, this new cohort includes academics from fields as varied as Greek history and global public health. The candidates have also been selected based upon evidence of their interdisciplinary work as well as their commitment to contributing to the public good. Among the new members are:

  • Professor Guy Walker, Associate Professor Heriot-Watt, who researches human factors of the built environment.
  • Dr Matthew Smith, Senior Lecturer, University of Strathclyde, a researcher and teacher of medical history. His public outreach and engagement work has been recognised by being named AHRC[i]/BBC New Generation Thinker in 2012.
  • Dr Louise Harris, University of Glasgow, is an audio-visual composer and lecturer.
  • Dr Eileen Wall, SRUC[ii], is a Reader in Intregrative Animal Sciences. Her research into climate change and development of sustainable and environmental breeding goals is also complimented by interdisciplinary work and a mix of academic and practical work.

Unique among the growing number of worldwide young academies, the Young Academy of Scotland also encourages applications for membership outwith academia.  This year YAS is particularly excited to welcome some of Scotland’s most talented young civil servants, entrepreneurs and social innovators. These include:

  • Alison Urie, CEO and founder of Vox Liminis; a charitable business that develops the role of arts practice within criminal justice.
  • Mhairi Towler, Director and founder of Vivomotion;  an award winning science animation production company that creates high quality 2D and 3D animations to help scientists to explain what they do to other scientists, students, the public and  investors.

Neil McLennan, YAS co-chair, commented, “What stood out most within the applications was the drive and enthusiasm for contributing to the public good. The applicants have clearly recognised the opportunities that come with YAS membership, not least for being part of an organisation looking to benefit society.  I am hugely excited to welcome new members from such diverse and varied backgrounds that will bring their knowledge and expertise to assist in widening YAS’s impact.”

Professor Alan Alexander, General Secretary of the RSE, added, “The YAS brings together the finest young minds and talents in Scotland and the hardest thing about the selection  process is having fewer places than the competition merits.  The range of interests is extraordinary, as is the commitment of YAS members to the public good of Scotland.  On behalf of the RSE, I congratulate the new members on their appointment and I look forward to working with them and to admiring their progress.”


Established by the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2011, the work of the Young Academy of Scotland is carried out by 10 working groups. The new members will have the opportunity to join one or more of these groups. Guided by primary interest areas of Knowledge, Employment, Young People and Health & Wellbeing, these groups have already made some notable achievements. These include:

  • Producing a video resource aligned to the Curriculum for Excellence, highlighting the importance of numeracy in the professional and personal lives of YAS members;
  • Organising a series of seminars from senior politicians around the implications of constitutional change in Scotland;
  • Developing Research the Headlines (, a blog which utilises the interdisciplinary nature of the YAS membership in addressing “the way in which research is discussed and portrayed in the media”.
  • A photograph of some of the new Young Academy members is attached.


    James Blake

    Senior lecturer, School of Arts & Creative Industries

    Edinburgh Napier University

    Mark Boyce

    Head of China & Americas Team

    Scottish Government

    Tara Elise Brendle

    Senior Lecturer in Mathematics

    University of Glasgow

    Paul Martin Brennan

    Clinical Lecturer and Specialist Registrar in Neurosurgery

    University of Edinburgh/NHS Lothian

    Gavin Buckingham

    Lecturer in Psychology

    Heriot-Watt University

    Mirko Canevaro

    Chancellor’s Fellow in Classics

    University of Edinburgh

    Maria Ana Cataluna

    Senior Lecturer and RAEng/EPSRC Research Fellow

    University of Dundee

    Kit Yee Chan

    Chancellor’s Fellow, Centre for Population Health Sciences

    University of Edinburgh

    Stella Chan

    Chancellor’s Fellow in Clinical Psychology

    University of Edinburgh

    Ashleigh Jane Fletcher

    Lecturer in Chemical Engineering

    University of Strathclyde

    Matt Gibson

    Head of Geography

    Glenalmond College

    Stuart Robert Gray

    Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology

    University of Aberdeen

    Louise Harris

    Lecturer in Sonic and Audiovisual Practices

    University of Glasgow

    Ik Siong Heng

    Reader, School of Physics & Astronomy

    University of Glasgow

    Paul Alan Hoskisson

    Senior Lecture in Microbiology

    University of Strathclyde

    Rachael Jack

    Lecturer in Psychology

    University of Glasgow

    Christine Anne Knight

    Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow. Science, Technology & Innovation Studies

    University of Edinburgh

    Theodore Koutmeridis

    Lecturer in Economics

    University of St Andrews

    Graeme Logan

    Strategic Director of Education

    Education Scotland

    Victoria Long

    Senior Lecturer in Health History

    Glasgow Caledonian University

    Andrew Manches

    Chancellor’s Fellow, Moray House School of Education

    University of Edinburgh

    Victoria Martin

    Reader in Particle Physics

    University of Edinburgh

    Nasar Meer

    Reader in Comparative Social Policy and Citizenship

    University of Strathclyde

    Marcus Meissner

    Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology

    University of Glasgow

    Harish Nair

    Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Population Health Sciences

    University of Edinburgh

    Silvia Paracchini

    Royal Society University Research Fellow, School of Medicine

    University of St Andrews

    Daniel Neil William Phillips

    Software Team Lead

    Toshiba Medical Visualization Systems Europe

    Nicholas Rawlinson

    Chair of Geophysics

    University of Aberdeen

    Stuart Reid

    Reader & Royal Society Industry Fellow, Thin Film Centre

    University of the West of Scotland

    Verena Teresa Rieser

    Assistant Professor in Computer Sciences

    Heriot-Watt University

    Kate Saunders

    Lecturer in Volcanology

    University of Edinburgh

    Michael Patrick Shaver

    Chancellor’s Fellow / Reader, School of Chemistry

    University of Edinburgh

    Daniela Sime

    Senior Lecturer, School of Social Work and Social Policy

    University of Strathclyde

    Ian Simpson

    Principal Researcher in Statistical Bioinformatics

    University of Edinburgh/Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland

    Matthew Smith

    Senior Lecturer, Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare

    University of Strathclyde

    Devi Sridhar

    Senior Lecturer in Global Public Health

    University of Edinburgh

    Adam Andrew Stokes

    Lecturer, The Scottish Microelectronics Centre

    University of Edinburgh

    Sabina Strachan

     Senior Consultant, BOP Consulting

    BOP Consulting

    Annie Tindley

    Senior Lecturer in History

    University of Dundee

    Mhairi Towler

    CEO & Director


    Alison Urie


    Vox Liminis

    Guy Walker

    Associate Professor, Institute for Infrastructure and Environment

    Heriot-Watt University

    Eileen Wall

    Reader in Integrative Animal Sciences, Animal & Veterinary Sciences Research Group

    SRUC, Easter Bush


    For further information please contact: Bristow Muldoon, Head of Policy Advice, RSE on 0131 240 2787, or Sam Webb, Executive Assistant,  YAS on 0131 240 5027


    Twitter: @YoungAcademySco




    [i] AHRC is the Arts and Humanities Research Council

    [ii] SRUC is Scotland’s Rural College