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Lord Willetts elected Honorary Fellow

06 July 2018

Lord David Willetts (1974) has been elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society for his consistent and high quality championing of science.

On Wednesday 9 May, the former Minister for Universities and Science became one of a select number of former politicians to be elected as an Honorary Fellow, with others including Margaret Thatcher and Lord Sainsbury. He also joins Old Edwardian Geoffrey Grimmett (1968), Professor of Mathematical Statistics and Master of Downing College, Cambridge, who was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014.

Lord Willetts said: “It is a great honour for me to be elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society. It is the world’s oldest scientific society and pioneered foundations of the modern scientific method such as open publication of findings after peer review. I tried to serve the wider scientific enterprise as science minister and continue to try to do so now.” 

In addition to being a member of the House of Lords, Lord Willetts is Executive Chair of the Resolution Foundation, Visiting Professor at King’s College, London, Chair of the British Science Association and a member of the Board of UK Research and Innovation. He is also Chancellor-elect of the University of Leicester and will formally be installed as the University’s seventh Chancellor this month.

Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, said: “Our Fellows are key to the Royal Society’s fundamental purpose of using science for the benefit of humanity. From Norwich to Melbourne to Ethiopia, this year’s newly elected Fellows and Foreign Members of the Royal Society are testament that science is a global endeavour and excellent ideas transcend borders.”

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth. Lord Willetts will be formally admitted to the Society at its Admissions Day ceremony this month, when he will sign the Charter Book and the Obligation of the Fellows of the Royal Society.