|Established||1737 – diverged from the Royal Medical Society |
1783 – received royal charter
|Founder|| Colin Maclaurin and Alexander Monro, primus (instrumental in founding the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh)|
William Cullen, Alexander Monro, secundus and William Robertson (instrumental in obtaining the royal charter)
|Focus|| Science and technology |
|Headquarters||22–26 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2PQ|
|Over 1600 Fellows|
|Owner||Registered charity No. SC000470|
|Professor Dame Anne Glover|
|Dr Rebekah Widdowfield|
|Dr. Alison Elliot, General Secretary|
|Subsidiaries||RSE Scotland Foundation|
RSE Young Academy of Scotland
|Philosophical Society of Edinburgh|
The Royal Society of Edinburgh is Scotland's national academy of science and letters. It is a registered charity, operating on a wholly independent and non-party-political basis and providing public benefit throughout Scotland. It was established in 1783. As of 2021 [update] , there are around 1,600 Fellows.
The Society covers a broader selection of fields than the Royal Society of London including literature and history.Fellowship includes people from a wide range of disciplines – science & technology, arts, humanities, medicine, social science, business, and public service.
At the start of the 18th century, Edinburgh's intellectual climate fostered many clubs and societies (see Scottish Enlightenment). Though there were several that treated the arts, sciences and medicine, the most prestigious was the Society for the Improvement of Medical Knowledge, commonly referred to as the Medical Society of Edinburgh, co-founded by the mathematician Colin Maclaurin in 1731.
Maclaurin was unhappy with the specialist nature of the Medical Society,and in 1737 a new, broader society, the Edinburgh Society for Improving Arts and Sciences and particularly Natural Knowledge was split from the specialist medical organisation, which then went on to become the Royal Medical Society.
The cumbersome name was changed the following year to the Edinburgh Philosophical Society. With the help of University of Edinburgh professors like Joseph Black, William Cullen and John Walker, this society transformed itself into the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1783 and in 1788 it issued the first volume of its new journal Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
As the end of the century drew near, the younger members such as Sir James Hall embraced Lavoisier's new nomenclature and the members split over the practical and theoretical objectives of the society. This resulted in the founding of the Wernerian Society (1808–58), a parallel organisation that focused more upon natural history and scientific research that could be used to improve Scotland's weak agricultural and industrial base. Under the leadership of Prof. Robert Jameson, the Wernerians first founded Memoirs of the Wernerian Natural History Society (1808–21) and then the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal (1822, Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal from late 1826), thereby diverting the output of the Royal Society's Transactions. Thus, for the first four decades of the 19th century, the RSE's members published brilliant articles in two different journals. By the 1850s, the society once again unified its membership under one journal.
During the 19th century the society contained many scientists whose ideas laid the foundation of the modern sciences. From the 20th century onward, the society functioned not only as a focal point for Scotland's eminent scientists, but also the arts and humanities. It still exists today and continues to promote original research in Scotland.
In February 2014, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell was announced as the society's first female president, taking up her position in October.
The Young Academy of Scotland was founded by the RSE in 2011. It aims to bring together young professionals (aged mid-20s to 40s) from the widest range of disciplines and regions in Scotland to provide ideas and direction for challenges facing Scotland. The members are roughly equal numbers of women and men, serve for five years and are selected from applicants every two years. In 2021 there were 134 members.
The Royal Society has been housed in a succession of locations:
Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh is an award in its own rightthat entitles fellows to use of the initialism or post-nominal letters FRSE in official titles.
The Royal Medals are awarded annually, preferably to people with a Scottish connection, who have achieved distinction and international repute in either Life Sciences, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences or Business and Commerce. The Medals were instituted in 2000 by Queen Elizabeth II, whose permission is required to make a presentation.
Past winners include: Source: RSE
The Lord Kelvin Medal is the Senior Prize for Physical, Engineering and Informatics Sciences. It is awarded annually to a person who has achieved distinction nationally and internationally, and who has contributed to wider society by the accessible dissemination of research and scholarship. Winners receive a silver medal and are required to deliver a public lecture in Scotland. The award is named after William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin (1824–1907), who was a famous mathematical physicist and engineer, and Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow. Senior Prize-winners are required to have a Scottish connection but can be based anywhere in the world.
The Keith medal has been historically awarded every four years for a scientific paper published in the society's scientific journals, preference being given to a paper containing a discovery. It is awarded alternately for papers on Mathematics or Earth and Environmental Sciences. The medal was founded in 1827 as a result of a bequest by Alexander Keith of Dunnottar, the first Treasurer of the Society.
The Makdougall Brisbane Prize has been awarded biennially, preferably to people working in Scotland, with no more than fifteen years post-doctoral experience, for particular distinction in the promotion of scientific research and is awarded sequentially to research workers in the Physical Sciences, Engineering Sciences and Biological Sciences. The prize was founded in 1855 by Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane, the long-serving fourth President of the Society.
The 'Gunning Victoria Jubilee Prize Lectureship' is a quadrennial award to recognise original work done by scientists resident in or connected with Scotland. The award was founded in 1887 by Dr Robert Halliday Gunning, a Scottish surgeon, entrepreneur and philanthropist who spent much of his life in Brazil.
See separate article on Dr Charles S. du Riche Preller for the list of lecturers.
This biennial lecture given at the Society was begun in 1931 at the bequest of Dr Charles Preller and named after himself and his late wife, Rachel Steuart Bruce.
It is usually (but not invariably) given by a Fellow either of the Royal Society of Edinburgh or the Royal Society of London.
Presidents of the Royal Society of Edinburgh have included:
The Society traditionally has more than one Vice President at any given time. Vice Presidents of the Royal Society of Edinburgh have included:
The Dean Cemetery is a historically important Victorian cemetery north of the Dean Village, west of Edinburgh city centre, in Scotland. It lies between Queensferry Road and the Water of Leith, bounded on its east side by Dean Path and on its west by the Dean Gallery. A 20th-century extension lies detached from the main cemetery to the north of Ravelston Terrace. The main cemetery is accessible through the main gate on its east side, through a "grace and favour" access door from the grounds of Dean Gallery and from Ravelston Terrace. The modern extension is only accessible at the junction of Dean Path and Queensferry Road.
Sir Henry Raeburn was a Scottish portrait painter, He served as Portrait Painter to King George IV in Scotland.
Major General Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane, 1st Baronet,, was a British Army officer, administrator, and astronomer. Upon the recommendation of the Duke of Wellington, with whom he had served, he was appointed governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825.
The British Science Association (BSA) is a charity and learned society founded in 1831 to aid in the promotion and development of science. Until 2009 it was known as the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA). The current Chief Executive is Katherine Mathieson. The BSA's mission is to get more people engaged in the field of science by coordinating, delivering, and overseeing different projects that are suited to achieve these goals. The BSA "envisions a society in which a diverse group of people can learn and apply the sciences in which they learn." and is managed by a professional staff located at their Head Office in the Wellcome Wolfson Building. The BSA offers a wide variety of activities and events that both recognize and encourage people to be involved in science. These include the British Science Festival, British Science Week, the CREST Awards, Huxley Summit, Media Fellowships Scheme, along with regional and local events.
The Queen's Body Guard for Scotland, The Royal Company of Archers is a ceremonial unit that serves as the Sovereign's bodyguard in Scotland, a role it has performed since 1822 during the reign of King George IV, when the company provided a personal bodyguard to the King on his visit to Scotland. It is currently known as the Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland or, more often and colloquially, The Royal Company. It is located in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. The Royal Company of Archers has a long history in Scotland as a body that celebrated both the recreation and talent of local archers. As a body established by the Monarch, the company has a long history of unique prizes, influential supporters, and ceremonial roles. It has an associated charity, "The Royal Company of Archers Charitable Trust", dedicated to helping disadvantaged individuals with their health and wellbeing in Scotland.
The Royal Meteorological Society is a long-established institution that promotes academic and public engagement in weather and climate science. Fellows of the Society must possess relevant qualifications, but Associate Fellows can be lay enthusiasts. Its Quarterly Journal is one of the world's leading sources of original research in the atmospheric sciences.
The Royal Scottish Society of Arts is a learned society in Scotland, dedicated to the study of science and technology. It was founded as The Society for the Encouragement of the Useful Arts in Scotland by Sir David Brewster in 1821 and dedicated to "the promotion of invention and enterprise". The Society was granted a Royal Charter in 1841.
Stewart's Melville College (SMC) is an independent day and boarding school in Edinburgh, Scotland. Classes are all boys in the 1st to 5th years and co-educational in Sixth (final) year. It has a roll of about 750 pupils.
The Keith Medal was a prize awarded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland's national academy, for a scientific paper published in the society's scientific journals, preference being given to a paper containing a discovery, either in mathematics or earth sciences.
Prof Alexander Wilson was a Scottish surgeon, type-founder, astronomer, mathematician and meteorologist. He was the first scientist to use of kites in meteorological investigations.
The Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS) is an educational charity based in Perth, Scotland founded in 1884. The purpose of the society is to advance the subject of geography worldwide, inspire people to learn more about the world around them, and provide a source of reliable and impartial geographical information.
The Wernerian Natural History Society, commonly abbreviated as the Wernerian Society, was a learned society interested in the broad field of natural history, and saw papers presented on various topics such as mineralogy, plants, insects, and scholarly expeditions. The Society was an offshoot of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and from its beginnings it was a rather elite organization.
Warriston Cemetery is a cemetery in Edinburgh. It lies in Warriston, one of the northern suburbs of Edinburgh, Scotland. It was built by the then newly-formed Edinburgh Cemetery Company, and occupies around 14 acres (5.7 ha) of land on a slightly sloping site. It contains many tens of thousands of graves, including notable Victorian and Edwardian figures, the most eminent being the physician Sir James Young Simpson.
Events from the year 1808 in Scotland.
Dr Charles Sheibner du Riche Preller FRSE FRGS MIEE MICE (1844–1929) was a German-born late 19th/ early 20th century British engineer and amateur geologist. He specialised in electric railways. He was fluent in English, French, German and Italian. He founded the Royal Society of Edinburgh's Bruce-Preller Lecture Prize in memory of his wife. He was Chairman and Chief Engineer of the Limmat Valley Electric Railway Company in Switzerland.
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