Cambridge Scientists elected to the Royal Society
Six Cambridge academics are among the forty-four new fellows of the Royal Society, including one of only two women on this year's list.
Six Cambridge academics were named among the forty-four new fellows elected to the Royal Society this week. Professors Shankar Balasubramanian, David Klenerman, Tony Kouzarides, Margaret Scott Robinson, Mark Warner and Daniel Wolpert were all elected for their long standing dedication to the sciences and excellence in their related fields.
Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, welcomed the new fellows to the Society saying: “Science impacts on most aspects of modern life, improving our understanding of the world and playing an increasing role as we grapple with problems such as feeding a growing global population and keeping an ageing home population healthy. These scientists who have been elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society are among the world’s finest. They follow in the footsteps of luminaries such as Newton, Darwin and Einstein and I am delighted to welcome them into our ranks.”
There has been some debate over the fact that the list of forty-four new fellows only contains two female scientists, one of them being Cambridge’s Professor Margaret Scott Robinson. However, writing on her personal blog Professor Athene Donald, Cambridge’s gender equality champion, defended the Royal Society saying that: “the low number of women does not mean to say the Royal Society is chauvinistic, backward-looking, biased or unaware of the challenges it faces in ensuring its fellowship more accurately represents the scientific population. It has for some time past been working very hard to try to improve the situation.” She pointed out that the issues responsible for the lack of prominent women in science start a long time before the point where a woman could be considered for election to the Society. Of her own experience in the Society’s many committees she described them as both fascinating and rewarding, adding that: “I have always found myself welcomed in the Society and most certainly not felt as if I was the victim or target of some patronising group of unreconstructed males.”