Latest cohort

New fellows elected to Royal Society of Edinburgh

Robin Watson, Sandy Begbie, Jackie Waring and Paul Atkinson

The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), Scotland’s National Academy, has welcomed 91 new fellows from business, science, arts, sports, civil society and academia. 

About 1,800 RSE Fellows include some of the greatest thinkers, researchers and practitioners working in or with Scotland. This year’s cohort includes:

Robin Watson, former chief executive of Wood, the Scottish multinational engineering and consultancy company

Mr Watson stepped down in 2022 after spending 10 years on the board, seven of which as chief executive. He became a CBE in the Queen’s 2020 Birthday Honours, in recognition of services to international trade.

Jackie Waring, an entrepreneur and advocate for women in entrepreneurship. She founded Investing Women Angels, Scotland’s first all-female business angel group, and set up AccelerateHER, a network of female founders and partners.

Sandy Begbie, CEO of Scottish Financial Enterprise. He has held several senior HR and transformation director roles in both financial services and the energy sectors. His experience includes roles at Aegon, Royal Bank of Scotland, ScottishPower, Standard Life and Tesco Bank Mr. Begbie became a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2018 for services to business and social mobility.

Paul Atkinson, founding partner and active investor with Par Equity, the venture capital firm. He plays an active role as chair of a range of organisations in Scotland including global talent business Taranata Group; digital transformation business xDesign; PR, design and social business Clark; and the Cyber and Fraud Centre – Scotland.

Prof Leigh Sparks, one of three senior staff at the University of Stirling and a former Chair of University Court. The others are Professor Rachel Norman, Dean for Research Engagement and Performance; and Ms Cathy Gallagher, Executive Director of Sport.

Dr Alan Simpson, the Lord Lieutenant for Stirling and Falkirk, who served as Stirling University’s Chair of Court for eight years.

Prof James Miller, The Principal and vice-chancellor of University of the West of Scotland. He was the first nurse to be appointed as a university principal and vice-chancellor in Scotland.  

Mark Beaumont BEM, who holds the record for cycling round the world in less than 79 days, and is a partner at EOS Advisory.

Mr Peter Reekie, chief executive, Scottish Futures Trust

Professor Graeme Roy, Dean of External Engagement, College of Social Sciences & Professor of Economics, University of Glasgow, and chairman of the Scottish Fiscal Commission.

Mrs Angela Scott, Chief Operating Officer & Founder, TC BioPharm Scotland

Commenting on the latest cohort, Professor Sir John Ball, president of the RSE, said: “It is a great privilege to welcome our new Fellows – they represent outstanding commitment and achievement at the highest level across a diverse range of sectors.”

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