CIVIL liberties campaigner Helena Kennedy and Scots playwright David Greig are among the honorary fellows to join one of the country's most prestigious societies.

They are among 53 individuals from disciplines spanning the arts, business, science and technology sectors who have been elected to become Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).

The RSE also said it has moved to encourage young women to excel in their professions and several new fellows are "notable role models in this regard".

Loading article content

They include Honorary Fellow Professor Margaret Buckingham, who joins in recognition of her work on heart development and stem cells, Professor Rebecca Lunn, a leading geosciences engineer and head of University of Strathclyde's school of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Professor Annabel Glasier, a world leader in the study of sexual and reproductive health.

New fellows are elected each year via a five-stage nomination process.

Most fellows come from the science and technology sectors. Several, however, have enjoyed careers in the arts and other non-academic spheres and they include Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws, QC, who becomes an Honorary Fellow as a leading human rights lawyer and civil liberties campaigner and distinguished conduct-or and composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, who is also to be an Honorary Fellow.

Leading Scottish playwright Greig, whose work has been translated into 25 languages, and concert pianist Steven Osborne were also included in the list.

President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Sir John Arbuthnott, said: "The Fellowship is at the heart and soul of the work of the RSE.

"With such a great number of highly distinguished individuals joining this year, I have every confidence that they will bring the exceptional skills and experience needed by the RSE to continue its 230-year history of supporting excellence across all areas of academic and public life in Scotland."