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The RSE (Royal Society of Edinburgh), Scotland’s National Academy unveiled a new free photography exhibition at its offices on George Street in Edinburgh, celebrating some of Scotland’s leading female scientists, all of whom are RSE Fellows.

Dame Professor Anne Glover brought along a piece of Lego…. which she treasures

The women featured were asked to bring along an item that represents their inspiration to become a scientist or their scientific journey. Objects included a female lego scientist in a lab, solar powered cells, carbon dioxide locked up inside rocks, models of molecules, books, a sixth-year school report on biology and even a melted kettle element.  A short self-penned essay next to every photo explains each woman’s expertise and what inspired them to become a scientist and why they do what they do. 

Speaking at the exhibition, RSE President Professor Dame Anne Glover who herself is featured in the exhibition said: 

“The RSE is privileged to have amongst its Fellowship some of the most innovative female scientists in the world today. By celebrating some of them here, we can hopefully inspire many others in realising what a wonderful and diverse career path science can be and take pride in ourselves as a nation in the calibre of scientists who choose to study, work or carry out their research in Scotland.” 

The exhibition currently features 21 portraits including Professor Dame Anne GloverProfessor Mandy MacLean who carries out research into pulmonary arterial hypertension, a fatal disease mainly affecting women; Forensic Scientist Professor Niamh Nic DaeidProfessor of Computing Science Muffy Calder; Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland Professor Sheila RowanProfessor of Reproductive MedicineHilary Critchley who works with patients with menstrual disorders;  Solar Physicist Professor Ineke De MoortelProfessor Karen Fauldswho works on developing bionanosensors for detection of biomarkers related to disease; Professor Lesley Yellowlees, expert in solar energy; Professor of Physical Chemistry at University of St Andrews Sharon AshbrookDr Silvia Paracchiniwhose research currently focuses on the genetic basis of dyslexia; environmental hydrologist Professor Louise Heathwaite; synthetic chemist Professor Eva Hevia; Professor Rona MacKie whose research focused on epidemiology and molecular genetics of malignant melanoma; Professor of Microbiology Nicola Stanley-Wall; Crum Brown Chair of Chemistry Professor Polly Arnold;Professor of Chemical Engineering Raffaella Ocone; research engineer Professor Becky J Lunn; applied statistician Professor Ruth KingProfessor of Astrophysics at the Royal ObservatoryCatherine Heymans and Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer whose research is addressing global challenges to ensure sustainability of resources and energy. Four more portraits are to be added at the end of the month including former RSE President Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell.