Government adviser on Covid-19 among new fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

A public health expert known for commenting on the coronavirus pandemic and a comic book artist are among 87 people appointed as new fellows of educational charity the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).

New fellow: Professor Devi Sridha

Professor Devi Sridhar is one of a number of new fellows who the RSE said have made a positive impact during the pandemic either through their academic research, by communicating complex information with the public or for their contribution to the arts.

They join an existing fellowship of more than 1,600 people who give their time and expertise to support the RSE in delivering its mission of "knowledge made useful".

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Professor Sridhar is chair of Global Public Health and director of the Global Health Governance Programme at Edinburgh University, and is also a member of the Scottish Government Covid-19 Advisory Group.

She said: "It is a great honour to have been elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

"The society has a long and esteemed history, but I'm particularly supportive of their recent work in raising the profile of women scientists.

"Scientists have played a vital role in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic and it is scientific advances which will ultimately provide the path out of the pandemic."

Comic book artist Vincent Deighan, also known by the pen name Frank Quitely, who has worked on comics such as Batman, All-Star Superman and Captain America, also becomes a fellow.

Dilip Nathwani, Professor of infection at the University of Dundee, and chair of the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group, is another who has been elected as a fellow.

The RSE said he is a global leader in advocating for the pivotal role that healthcare professionals have in dealing with the "global pandemic of antimicrobial resistance".

Louise Macdonald, chief executive at Young Scot, has also become a fellow.

She said: "I am honoured to have been selected as an RSE fellow alongside so many remarkable people doing such extraordinary work here in Scotland and around the globe.

"I look forward to being actively involved in the work of the RSE, and in particular sharing its work and creating new opportunities for collaboration with a wider audience, including diverse young people."

Others becoming fellows include singer and presenter Julie Fowlis, Neil Firth, director of the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness, Orkney, Lord Patrick Hodge, deputy president of the Supreme Court of the UK, and Professor Peter Mathieson, principal of Edinburgh University.

Baroness Onora O'Neill of Bengarve, who is known for her work in political philosophy and ethics, becomes an honorary fellow, while seven experts around the world become corresponding fellows.

Professor Dame Anne Glover, president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, said: "As Scotland's national academy we recognise excellence across a diverse range of expertise and experience, and its effect on Scottish society.

"This impact is particularly clear this year in the latest cohort of new fellows which includes scientists who are pioneering the way we approach the coronavirus; those from the arts who have provided the rich cultural experience we have all been missing, and some who have demonstrated strong leadership in guiding their organisations and communities through this extraordinary time.

"Through uniting these great minds from different walks of life, we can discover creative solutions to some of the most complex issues that Scotland faces. A warm welcome is extended to all of our new fellows."

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