School of Social and Political Science

Professor McEwen named as 2021 Royal Society of Edinburgh fellow



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I am delighted to be elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, where I will be joining esteemed colleagues from SPS and across the University. I look forward very much to the inter-disciplinary opportunities being part of the RSE opens up, working collectively as fellows to address some of the big policy challenges facing Scotland and the United Kingdom.

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The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) has announced its newly elected 2021 fellows, including Professor Nicola McEwen from the School of Social and Political Science (SPS).

Portrait of Professor Nicola McEwen

Nicola McEwen, Professor of Territorial Politics at SPS, will join the RSE’s current roll of around 1,600 leading thinkers and practitioners from Scotland and beyond, whose work has a significant impact on our nation.

Those who are elected to the Fellowship have undergone a rigorous assessment of their achievements, professional standing and the contribution they and their work make to wider society.

SPS’ new RSE fellow

Professor McEwen holds a Personal Chair in Territorial Politics. This encompasses research interests in devolution and multi-level governance, nationalism and the politics of independence, and multi-level voting and elections. She is Co-Director of the Centre on Constitutional Change, and currently holds a Senior Fellowship with the UK in a Changing Europe, exploring the impact of Brexit on devolution and the Union.

She is actively involved in informing debate within the wider policy and political community, with extensive experience in providing analysis in broadcast, print and social media, public engagement, advice to governments and parliamentary committees, and consultancy.

Professor McEwen said: "I am delighted to be elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, where I will be joining esteemed colleagues from SPS and across the University. I look forward very much to the inter-disciplinary opportunities being part of the RSE opens up, working collectively as fellows to address some of the big policy challenges facing Scotland and the United Kingdom."

The 2021 RSE Fellow cohort

This year’s cohort includes many new fellows who have made a positive impact during the global Covid-19 pandemic: either as a result of their academic research or through their contribution to arts or for the role they have played in communicating complex information with the public.

Also named for 2021 are Professor Devi Sridhar, Chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, Louise Macdonald OBE of Young Scot and Dilip Nathwani, Professor of Infection at the University of Dundee.

Professor Dame Anne Glover, President of The RSE 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.”

Four other colleagues in the University’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences were also named:

  • Professor Helen Bond, Chair of Christian Origins and Head of the School of Divinity
  • Holly Branigan, Professor of Psychology of Language and Cognition
  • Alvin Jackson, Richard Lodge Professor of History
  • Lesley McAra, Chair of Penology, Assistant Principal Community Relations, Director of the Edinburgh Futures Institute

Find out more

View the full list of the RSE’s 2021 new Fellows.