This year’s intake saw 20 women become Fellows, who will make up 31.7% of the total cohortLucas Vasques/UNSPLASH

The Royal Society has announced that 63 scientists have been elected as Fellows and Foreign Members. Of the 63 successful candidates, 11 are scientists at the University of Cambridge.

The Royal Society is a 360 year old scientific institution that is dedicated to “promoting excellence in science for the benefit of humanity.”  The new members were all selected in recognition of their “exceptional” contributions to science. 

The eleven Cambridge professors and doctors to join the society are Julie Ahringer, Sadaf Farooqi, Usha Goswami, Rebecca Kilner, David Rowitch, Richard Samworth, Benjamin Simons, Peter Campbell, Christopher Tate, Jane Francis, and Richard Horne. 

The achievements of these individuals are diverse, ranging from research that has furthered our understanding of the climate history of polar regions to the investigation of cancer using genomic technologies. 

Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, said: “This is the first year of my presidency at the Royal Society and I’ve been very much looking forward to welcoming the newly elected Fellows and Foreign Members. 

“The global pandemic has demonstrated the continuing importance of scientific thinking and collaboration across borders.” 

Smith added that the “new Fellows and Foreign Members are all at the forefront of their fields from molecular genetics and cancer research to tropical open ecosystems and radar technology. It is an absolute pleasure and honour to have them join us.”


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A total of 20 women were elected into the society this year, which makes up 31.7% of the total intake. This represents a 9.1% increase from the 2020 cohort. 

The newly elected Cambridge Fellows also provided comments: Professor David Rowitch stated that “it is a great honour to be elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society, joining many of my esteemed Cambridge, and other scientific, colleagues”, whilst Professor Usha Goswami said that “it is fantastically rewarding for our work to be recognised in this way.”

The Royal Society has around 1700 Fellows and Foreign Members, with roughly 75 Nobel Laureates amidst their ranks. Each year, up to 62 scientists are selected from a group of around 800 candidates: all candidates are recommended by members of the existing Fellowship.   

In 2020, nine Cambridge academics were elected into the society.