Professor Geoff Palmer said he accepted the award with “great honour and humility”.
At a special ceremony in the Midlothian Council Chambers recently Professor Palmer said the honour was also for everyone who had helped him carry out his community and scientific work.
The Heriot-Watt University professor said: “My family and I have lived in Midlothian since 1977. It is a privilege to live in possibly the most naturally beautiful and caring part of Scotland.”
The honour had been proposed by Adam Montgomery, Provost of Midlothian Council, and Councillor Les Thacker, and there was cross-partysupport for it.
At the ceremony attended by 80 guests, Cllr Montgomery paid tribute to Professor Palmer’s distinguished career.
He said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be part of the ceremony. Many people know Professor Palmer and it is obvious he is respected for his work on a Scottish and international level.”