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Durham University

Durham University News


Durham University academics honoured by Royal Society

(20 May 2011)

Professor David Milner, FRSE, FRS and
Professor Tom McLeish, FInstP, FRSC, FRS

Two leading Durham University academics have been appointed as new Fellows of the Royal Society - the UK's prestigious national academy of science.

Professor Tom McLeish, Professor of Physics and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, and Professor David Milner, Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, join a list of 44 new Fellows drawn from universities and institutions across the UK and eight new Foreign Members drawn from Commonwealth countries.

Professor McLeish is recognised for his outstanding contributions to increased understanding of the molecular and micro-structural mechanisms that underlie the dynamics and flow of Soft Condensed Matter - a class that includes polymers, foams, gels, granular and a number of biological materials.

Professor McLeish said: "The fact that both Professor Milner and I have been recognised by the Royal Society highlights the level at which research undertaken here at Durham University is viewed by our peers in the broader scientific community.

"On a personal level I am deeply honoured that the oldest and one of the most highly respected scientific academies in the world has acknowledged with this Fellowship the work done within the extensive research team I have been privileged to lead over the years."

Professor Milner is recognised as one of the leading neuropsychologists of his generation.  His studies of neurological patients have resulted in a new conception of how the human brain deals with the visual information we take in through our eyes.  The work has uncovered a distinct visual system that guides our everyday actions, a system that operates independently of our visual consciousness.

Professor Milner said: "I am extremely proud and pleased to have my work, along with that of an outstanding series of colleagues over the years, acknowledged in this way." 

Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, said: "It is a true pleasure to welcome this year's new Fellows to the Royal Society. They join the ranks of the UK and Commonwealth's leading scientists, counting themselves among early Fellows such as Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle and Charles Darwin.

"The Society aims to expand the frontiers of knowledge by championing the development and use of science, mathematics, engineering and medicine for the benefit of humanity and the good of the planet. It is the contribution of excellent individuals such as these which makes this possible."