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The Fellowship


Sir Adrian Smith is President of the Royal Society. He started his five year term on 30 November 2020.

Adrian is a mathematician with particular expertise in the field of Bayesian statistics and was knighted in 2011.

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About the Fellowship

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth. Fellows and Foreign Members are elected for life through a peer review process on the basis of excellence in science.

There are approximately 1,700 Fellows and Foreign Members, including around 75 Nobel Laureates. Each year up to 52 Fellows and up to 10 Foreign Members are elected from a group of around 800 candidates who are proposed by the existing Fellowship.

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Read more about the Fellowship.

Fellows in the news

  • Professor Jennifer Doudna ForMemRS

    Professor Jennifer Doudna ForMemRS

    Elected 2016

  • Professor Jennifer Doudna ForMemRS

    • Foreign Member
    • Elected: 2016
    • Professor, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, BerkeleyExecutive Director, Innovative Genomics Initiative, University of California, Berkeley

Jennifer Doudna ForMemRS wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The Royal Society offers its congratulations to the winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Foreign Member of the Royal Society Jennifer A. Doudna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier “for the development of a method for genome editing”.

Professor Doudna was awarded the Society's Croonian Medal in 2018 for her outstanding studies of RNA and ribonucleoproteins and for elucidating the molecular mechanism of the CRISPR-Cas9 system and developing it for genetic engineering.

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Professor Sir Roger Penrose FRS wins Nobel prize in Physics

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the prize to Professor Penrose, for the “discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity” with the other half jointly awarded to Foreign Member of the Society Professor Genzel and Bakerian Medal winner Professor Ghez “for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy”.

Professor Penrose is known for his work on singularities, such as black holes, which he proved can arise from the gravitational collapse of massive, dying stars.

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The Royal Society is governed by a Council of Fellows, who are elected by the Fellowship. Find out more about the Officers, Council and Committees who oversee the work of the Society.

How is the Society run?

About the Fellowship

Discover the lives and scientific achievements of former Fellows in our Biographical Memoirs publication. Or find out more about the process of nomination, selection and admission.

How are Fellows and Foreign Members elected?

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