Bishopbriggs woman elected to Fellowship of Scotland's national academy

A Bishopbriggs-born woman has been elected to the Fellowship of Scotland’s national academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).
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Professor Aileen Fyfe is one of the 80 thinkers, researchers and practitioners whose election as fellows of the RSE has just been announced.

The RSE Fellowship comprises around 1,600 leading experts in the sciences, arts, business, professions and the third and public sectors, with links to Scotland.

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Aileen attended Auchinairn Primary and Laurel Bank School, before moving with her family to Leeds at the age of 15.

Aileen Fyfe of BishopbriggsAileen Fyfe of Bishopbriggs
Aileen Fyfe of Bishopbriggs

She told the Kirkintilloch Herald: “I finished my education at Leeds and then went to the University of Cambridge.

"My career as an academic then took me to Galway in the west of Ireland – which is just as wet as the west of Scotland! – and then to St Andrews University where I’m now Professor of Modern History.”

She added she was delighted to have been elected to the RSE.

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This significant marker of esteem follows hot on the heels of good news from the Leverhulme Trust – a UK national grant-making organisation – who have awarded Aileen a major research fellowship for 2022-24.

Aileen said: “I did all my degrees at Cambridge, where I planned to study the biological Natural Sciences and ended up falling in love with the history of science.

"As a result, I am a firm believer in the value of a broad-based degree structure that enables – even encourages – students to explore new subjects and, if need be, to change direction."

She added: “I believe in the importance of learned societies and subject associations, and I enjoy the reflexivity of being a trustee or member of such organisations myself and studying them in history.

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"I can’t help but be aware of the marginal position that women scholars have historically occupied in such communities and actively work to mentor and advocate for women in academia.”

Fellow FRSE Professor Alexander Garvie, who also lives in Bishopbriggs, congratulated Aileen on her election.

Aileen said: “I was taught Latin and Greek at school by Alex’s wife Jane.”

Alex, who is has been a Fellow of the RSE for many years, is Emeritus Professor at Glasgow University.