Six Oxford researchers have recently been awarded Fellowships by the Royal Society, the oldest national scientific institution in the world. The researchers are Professor Raymond Pierrehumbert, Professor Peter Nellist, Professor Xin Lu, Professor Ehud Hrushovski, Professor Benjamin Berks, and Professor Timothy Behrens.

They are amongst 62 scientists who have recently been admitted to the society. This includes 51 Fellows, 10 Foreign Members, and 1 Honorary Fellow. Within this group there are 6 Nobel laureates. They now join an illustrious list of scientific names, including Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Dorothy Hodgkin, and Stephen Hawking.

Discussing her award with Cherwell, Professor Xin Lu, Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and Professor at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, said: “I am humbled to receive this honour from the Royal Society. As someone who barely spoke English at the beginning of my scientific career, I am hugely grateful for all the support I have received from my supervisors and mentors. 

“My appreciation also goes to the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research for its long-term research funding and to the Department, College, and University for a supportive and creative environment. Most important of all, my deep gratitude goes to the fantastic scientists in my laboratory, and colleagues I’ve had the privilege to work with throughout my career to date, without whom this recognition would not have been possible.”

Tim Behrens, Professor of Computational Neuroscience and Honorary Principal Investigator of the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, said to Cherwell: “I am extremely surprised and feel very lucky to have been elected to the Royal Society.  It is a reflection of the amazing colleagues and students I have worked with.  Working at two of the world’s leading centres for Neuroscience, Oxford and UCL, has given me access to the most exciting ideas and the best students in the world.”

Peter Nellist, Professor of Materials and Joint Head of Department of Materials, said: “I am deeply honoured to have been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.  I look forward to working with colleagues within the Society to further their aims of supporting excellence in science and working to widen understanding of and participation in science.”

Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, outlined on the Royal Society website the importance of their work: “At this time of global crisis, the importance of scientific thinking, and the medicines, technologies and insights it delivers, has never been clearer. Our Fellows and Foreign Members are central to the mission of the Royal Society, to use science for the benefit of humanity… This year’s Fellows and Foreign Members have helped shape the 21st century through their work at the cutting-edge of fields from human genomics, to climate science and machine learning.”

Patrick Grant, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (research), commented on the importance of this for the University: “These elections bring enormous prestige to the University and show the strength and quality of our research across many branches of mathematics, science and medicine. The accomplishments of these scientists have been significant on the world stage and help inspire us all in our research work, even as we face new challenges.”

Image credit to Tom Morris/ Wikimedia Commons


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