Onora O'Neill Elected Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society

Onora O'Neill, President of the British AcademyOnora O'Neill, President of the British Academy and Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge, has been elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society. This is a major award - the Royal Society does not elect more than one Honorary Fellow each year, and it is rarely given to a scholar from the humanities and social sciences. She joins such well known figures as David Attenborough and Stephen Hawking.

Baroness O’Neill was elected in recognition of her outstanding contribution to philosophy and her analyses of ethical issues in science, particularly in the biosciences.

Onora O'Neill said: "It is a great honour to be elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society. I am particularly pleased that our sister Academy has recognised the value of the work I have done in philosophy and in establishing links between the humanities and the natural and medical sciences".

Dr Robin Jackson, Secretary and Chief Executive of the British Academy, congratulated her: "The British Academy is delighted with this news. I am confident that it will be greeted with widespread enthusiasm across the research community. It is an election that reflects the scholarly eminence of Baroness O'Neill as a philosopher, the leadership she has given to her own and related fields in the humanities and sciences, and the contribution she has made across a wide range of areas of interest to research and public policy, in bioethics and beyond."

The Royal Society and the British Academy each elect into their Fellowship scientists and scholars who have achieved distinction in their respective fields. The British Academy will announce its own 2007 elections in July.



18 May 2007

  1. Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve, CBE, PBA writes on ethics and political philosophy. She has particular interests in international justice, in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, questions of bioethics and conceptions of accountability and trust in public life. From 1992 until 2006 she was Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge. She was created a life peer in 1999 and sits in the House of Lords as a crossbencher. She is chair of the Nuffield Foundation. She has served on the House of Lords Select Committees on Stem Cell Research and the BBC Charter Review.
  2. For further details, and interview requests, please contact Michael Reade, External Relations, 020 7969 5263 / m.reade@britac.ac.uk
  3. The British Academy is the National Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  4. Established by Royal Charter in 1902, the British Academy is an independent learned society promoting the humanities and social sciences. It is composed of Fellows elected in recognition of their distinction as scholars in the humanities and social sciences.
  5. More information about the Academy may be found at: http://www.britac.ac.uk

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