School of Social and Political Science

SPS academics named new Royal Society of Edinburgh fellows

Sub head

The Royal Society of Edinburgh (The RSE) has announced its newly elected 2020 fellows, including two academics from the School of Social and Political Science. The School’s Professor Ailsa Henderson and Professor Nasar Meer are among the 64 new fellows.


RSE fellows

The fellows comprise leading thinkers and experts from Scotland and around the world whose work has a significant impact on the nation. They join another 1,600 existing fellows, representing the full range of physical and life sciences, arts, humanities, social sciences, education, professions, industry, business and public life.

Fellows undergo rigorous assessment of their achievements, professional standing and societal contribution. They give their time freely to play a fundamental role in enabling the RSE to deliver its mission - ‘Knowledge Made Useful’ - contributing to the cultural, economic and social wellbeing of Scotland and the wider world.

SPS's new fellows

Professor Henderson’s research is on comparative sub-state political attitudes and behaviour, including national identity, political culture and voting in elections and referendums. She is currently principal investigator of the Scottish Election Study and co-director, with Richard Wyn Jones at Cardiff University, of the Future of England Survey. She is also deputy chair of the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland and a commissioner on the Boundary Commission for Scotland.

Professor Meer works across a number of related topics that include the study of citizenship, migration and racism. He is the Principal Investigator of the EU’s Horizon 2020-funded Governance and Local Integration of Migrants and Europe's Refugees (GLIMER) project, and is a former Minda de Gunzberg Fellow at Harvard University.

Honorary fellowships

Alongside the 54 fellows and eight corresponding fellows, honorary fellowships have also been awarded to actor, producer, singer, author and activist Alan Cumming OBE and historian Niall Ferguson.


Professor Dame Anne Glover, President of the RSE, said:

“The diverse expertise and experience of our fellows means that, as an organisation, we are well placed to respond to the issues of the day with clear, informed thinking free from commercial or political influence. Our new fellows, who we look forward to welcoming, not only hold vast knowledge but also deep experience, keen judgement, boundless enthusiasm and a passion for promoting societal development and change. By using their talents as a collective, we can often unlock or inspire new potential and unearth fresh solutions to some of the most complex issues Scotland’s society faces today.”