Professors David Beerling and Richard Jones elected to Council of the Royal Society

Professors David Beerling and Richard Jones have been elected to be members of the Council of the Royal Society.

A Fellowship of the world's most eminent scientists, the Royal Society was founded in the 1660s and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.

Known around the world for its unparalleled advocacy for excellence in Science, the Royal Society's fundamental purpose is to recognise, promote and support excellence in science, and to encourage its development and use for the benefit of humanity.

The Society has played a part in some of the most fundamental, significant, and life-changing discoveries in scientific history and Royal Society scientists continue to make outstanding contributions to science in many research areas.

In addition to identifying and supporting the work of exceptional scientists, the Royal Society also provides early and senior career researcher schemes and operates programmes in relation to innovation and industry.

This is the first time that our University has had two representatives on the Royal Society Council.

The elected Councillors will take up their posts on the Royal Society’s Anniversary Day in November 2019.

Professor David Beerling

Professor David Beerling, who became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014, is founder and Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation, a premier international centre for carbon dioxide removal, funded through a Leverhulme Research Centre award in 2015 (£10 million) from the Leverhulme Trust.

A notable achievement includes the establishment of a network of long-term field sites across continents assessing carbon capture with diverse agricultural ecosystems and potential co-benefits for soil health and yields.

He recently published his second popular science book, Making eden: how plants transformed a barren planet (Oxford University Press), with the central message: “Humanity’s future hinges on how we treat the extraordinary green legacy of those early land dwellers that adapted to life out of water half a billion years ago”.

On being elected, Professor Beerling said: "I'm delighted and honoured to be able to serve the Royal Society in this way, and assist it in addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by the interconnected problems of climate, food and soil security."

Professor David Beerling

Professor Richard Jones

Professor Richard Jones, Department of Physics and Astronomy, became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2006.

His research interests include the physics of polymers at surfaces and interfaces, relationships between processing and nanostructure in semiconducting polymer devices, and soft nanotechnology - synthetic biomimetic nanoscale structures and devices.

Richard was Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation from 2009–2016. He has been instrumental in the development of our University's relationship with the city region and in championing the cause of public engagement with research.

Professor Richard Jones said: “The role of the Royal Society as an independent, authoritative voice on scientific matters is more important now than ever, and I’m honoured to have been given the chance to contribute to its governance.”

Professor Richard Jones