Congratulations to Professor Stan Cowley FRS

Posted by mjs76 at May 20, 2011 11:15 AM |
Professor Stan Cowley from our Department of Physics and Astronomy has received the highest accolade in British science - he has been made a Fellow of the Royal Society.

The Royal Society is the oldest learned society in the world – and the most prestigious. It was founded in 1660, receiving Royal Consent from King Charles II. The founding members included Robert Boyle (of Boyle’s Law fame), Robert Hooke and architect Christopher Wren.

There are approximately 1,450 Fellows of the Royal Society. Each year about 700 candidates are proposed but the election procedure limits the number of new fellows to 44 per annum (plus eight foreign members and very occasionally an Honorary Fellow). Fellowship is for life and there have been about 8,000 in total over the past 350 years.

Past fellows have included Charles Darwin, Captain James Cook, Michael Faraday, William Herschel, Isaac Newton, Joseph Priestley and Ernest Rutherford. The current fellowship includes such notable names as Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking and University of Leicester Distinguished Honorary Fellows Sir David Attenborough and Sir Patrick Moore.

Professor Cowley is Professor of Solar-Planetary Physics in our Department of Physics and Astronomy and Head of our Radio and Space Plasma Physics Group. He studied at Imperial College, London and joined the University of Leicester in 1996 from a position as Professor of Physics at Imperial.

His research into solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere interaction around Earth, Jupiter and Saturn has greatly advanced knowledge of this important field, and he has been a Co-Investigator on several NASA and ESA missions including Cassini.

Everyone at the University is delighted to see Professor Cowley receive this honour. There is one other Fellow of the Royal Society working at Leicester, Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys in the Department of Genetics, and four of our Emeritus Professors are FRS: Ken Pounds (Physics and Astronomy), Harry Smith (Biology), Peter Sneath (Microbiology) and Ron Whittam (Physiology).

Professor Sir Hans Kornberg, who held a Chair in Biochemistry here from 1960 to 1975 is a Fellow (now teaching in Boston); the late Professor Charles Reece (Chemistry) and the late Professor Martin Symons (Chemistry) were Fellows too. All five of our former Chancellors – Lord Adrian, Sir Alan Hodgkin, Sir George Porter, Sir Michael Atiyah and Sir Peter Williams - are/were Fellows and in fact four of them were President of the Royal Society, as were Thomas Tutin and Winifred Pennington, husband and wife who both worked at Leicester as botanists.