School staff join RSE's new Young Academy of Scotland

Four academics in the School of Physics & Astronomy are among the first members of the Royal Society of Edinburgh's new Young Academy of Scotland.

Rosalind Allen, Cait MacPhee, Job Thijssen (all from the Institute for Condensed Matter and Complex Systems) and Catherine Heymans (Institute for Astronomy) will join 64 other academics, entrepreneurs, artists and professionals in the first venture of its kind in the UK.

The Young Academy brings together some of the most able people in Scotland, with the intention of stimulating creative ideas and collaborative working. It will also provide a forum for its members to engage with talented individuals beyond their own discipline or profession.

"I'm delighted to have been chosen as one of the first members of the Young Academy. Its ambitious goals will address many of the challenges facing society today and I'm very much looking forward to contributing to its work."  Catherine Heymans.

"The Academy will support young academics in Scotland as well as reaching out beyond academia. It's great that the School is so well represented and I'm excited to be involved."  Rosalind Allen.

"The Young Academy of Scotland will provide a unique platform for tackling complex issues which require an interdisciplinary effort, for example the energy challenge and climate change. I am very much looking forward to the new collaborations that it will encourage and to becoming more active in science policy and public engagement."  Job Thijssen

The RSE Young Academy invited applications from outstanding young academics and professionals whose ages range from late 20s to early 40s. A wide variety of expertise is represented by its members, from biologists, geoscientists and engineers to lawyers, social scientists and entrepreneurs.

The Academy's members come from all parts of Scotland, and every year a new round of applications will be encouraged, bringing in a new cohort of members. Membership lasts for 3 years and can be continued for a further 3 years. In the first cohort, 68 people have been selected from 336 applicants. Of these over 40 % are female. About 80% are drawn from academic institutions, with around 20% from the professions and business.

The Young Academy of Scotland will be launched at a ceremony in Edinburgh in November.