Dame Anne is new Royal Society chief

Dame Anne Glover will serve for three years from April 2018. Picture: Julie Bull
Dame Anne Glover will serve for three years from April 2018. Picture: Julie Bull
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The Royal Society of Edinburgh has elected Professor Dame Anne Glover as the next president of the society.

Dame Anne’s appointment will be confirmed at the annual meeting next month and she will serve for three years from April 2018.

She will succeed Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, whose period in office saw the delivery of the European referendum series of policy advice papers and public debate forums and the RSE’s response to the Scottish Government’s stance on GM crops.

She also oversaw a royal visit from the Queen, who presented the RSE’s 2017 royal medals, and the continued development of relations with China, supported by the president’s delegation visit to Beijing this month to meet with the RSE’s four partner academies in China.

Dame Anne, who became an RSE Fellow in 2005, joined Aberdeen University in 1983 and pursued a distinguished career in microbiology, including the launch of a spin-out company based on her research.

While on secondment from the university, Professor Glover was appointed the first chief scientific adviser to Scotland (2006-2011) and then the first chief scientific adviser to the president of the European Commission (2012-2014).

In 2015 Dame Anne was appointed to the board of Scottish Enterprise, the economic development agency that provides enterprise, investment and innovation support within the context of the Scottish Government economic strategy.

Prof Glover rejoined the university in June 2015 to take up her vice-principal role, following a period of sabbatical at the Robert Bosch Stiftung in Berlin.

Dame Anne said, “It is an honour to be elected president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and to be taking over from Dame Jocelyn, who has worked tirelessly for the benefit of the RSE, academia and Scottish society. The RSE has an important role to play in Scotland, the UK and internationally, and it will be a privilege to be leading these activities for the next three years.”

The RSE, Scotland’s National Academy, contributes to the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of Scotland through the advancement of learning and useful knowledge.

Established in 1783, it has drawn upon the varied expertise of its Fellows, of which there are currently around 1600.

Speaking about the new appointment, Dame Jocelyn said, “I am delighted to be handing over the presidency to Professor Dame Anne Glover.

“Her experience as chief scientific adviser to both the Scottish Government and the Europe Commission will be invaluable to the RSE, as will her commitment to academia and innovation.”