THREE distinguished figures from the fields of science, health and music have been awarded Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Royal Medals by the Queen.
The medals are awarded for distinction and international repute in the life sciences, physical and engineering sciences, arts, humanities and social sciences, business and commerce.
One of this year’s royal medallists is Professor Peter Boyle, president of the International Prevention Research Institute and director of the University of Strathclyde Institute of Global Public Health, for his “outstanding contribution to global cancer control and public health policy”.
Professor Tessa Holyoake FRSE FMedSci, director of the Paul O’Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre, University of Glasgow, was presented with the medal for her outstanding contribution to the field of life sciences through her discovery of the existence of cancer stem cells in chronic myeloid leukaemia and her development of a new therapy for the condition.
A Royal Medal was also awarded to Donald Runnicles OBE, chief conductor at the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, for his “outstanding contribution to the art of music at the highest international level”.
Mr Runnicles was not able to attend the ceremony on Friday as he is in Wyoming, US, in his capacity as music director of the Grand Teton Music Festival.
RSE president Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell accepted the medal on his behalf and will present the accolade to him at a later date.
Mr Runnicles said: “It is with profound pride and pleasure that I accept the Royal Society of Edinburgh Royal Medal 2017.”
He added: “This auspicious award today humbles me – your approbation fills this Scot with renewed energy and passion as I endeavour through my music to make a difference.”
The RSE Royal Medals were instituted by the Queen – who is a patron of the RSE – to mark the millennium.
Previous recipients have included Nobel Laureates such as Sir James Black, Sir James Mirrlees and Professor Peter Higgs, as well as the distinguished Scottish historian Professor Tom Devine.
Prof Bell Burnell said: “It was a very great pleasure to welcome our patron, Her Majesty The Queen, to the RSE to present the Royal Medals.
“As this is the third time Her Majesty has visited the RSE, and the second time that she has presented the Royal Medals, we deeply appreciate the interest she has shown in the RSE and her personal involvement in the presentation of these prestigious awards.
“This year’s royal medallists have all made truly exceptional contributions to their areas.
“These awards are the RSE’s highest accolades that reflect the enlightenment spirit of the RSE’s Royal Charter of 1783 and its remit to advance learning and useful knowledge.”