Royal Society of Edinburgh honours academics

Five Edinburgh scholars have been recognised for their exceptional achievements in science, academia, and public engagement.

The academics are among the winners of prestigious medals presented by The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).

The RSE has recognised excellence through the awarding of nine medals, including the distinguished RSE Royal Medal, which was instituted by Her Majesty the Queen in 2000.

Professor Andrew Morris, Director at Health Data Research UK and Vice Principal for Data Science at the University, has been awarded a Royal Medal in recognition of his exceptional contribution to advancing health data science in Scotland and internationally.

Professor Morris’s efforts have led to the creation of Health Data Research UK and the creation of the UK’s Health Innovation Gateway, which has catalysed the trustworthy use of health data for patient and public benefit.

This resource is proving invaluable in, among other things, the fight against Covid-19 with real-time reporting to Chief Medical Officer Advisory Groups and SAGE. 

National recognition

The other medal winners are: Dr Manuel Fernández-Göetz of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology; Professor Jane Hillston, Head of the School of Informatics; Professor John Peter Renwick of the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures; and Dr Julie Welburn of the School of Biological Sciences.

Dr Manuel Fernández-Göetz receives the RSE Thomas Reid Medal for his position as a leading researcher on diverse aspects of the European Iron Age.

Professor Jane Hillston is awarded the RSE Lord Kelvin Medal in recognition of her work which includes developing the first compositional framework for the quantitative analysis of systems. This pioneering work has had widespread applications in engineered and natural systems.

Professor John Peter Renwick, one of the world’s leading experts on the French Enlightenment, is awarded the RSE Sir Walter Scott Medal. It recognises the monumental contribution Professor Renwick made to the 140-volume Complete Works of Voltaire, and his research relating to the historian and writer Jean-François Marmontel.

Dr Julie Welburn of the Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology is awarded the RSE Patrick Neill Medal for enhancing our understanding of human cell division and disease.