A DURHAM University professor has been elected to a prestigious fellowship whose membership boasts names such as Sir Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking and Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
Particle physicist Prof Nigel Glover has joined the Royal Society after being nominated for his work at Durham’s Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology, studying “the elementary building blocks” of life.
Born at the family home in Leechmere Road, Sunderland, the 51-year-old miner’s grandson thanked the PhD students who have helped him with his research.
The society, founded in the 17th century, recognises the work of some of the world’s most distinguished scientists, engineers and doctors.
“It’s a great honour,” said Prof. Glover. Sir Isaac Newton was a founder of the society and pretty much any great British scientist is in it, so it’s quite intimidating really.
“I have had a lot of great PhD students, and most of the things I consider to be my biggest achievements have been done with their help.
“Something that is so understated is luck, being in the right place at the right time. It’s almost always about luck.”
Each year, up to 44 new fellows can be elected, after a peer review process followed by a vote cast by existing fellows.
The society was founded in November 1660, when a group of 12 thinkers met after a lecture by Christopher Wren at Gresham College.
Each week, the group would meet to undertake experiments and discuss the latest scientific developments.
Among the Royal Society’s 1,450 fellows are 80 Nobel Laureates.
Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, said: “Science can offer to grand challenges such as food shortages, climate change and tackling disease.
“These scientists who have been elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society have already contributed much to the scientific endeavour following in the footsteps of pioneers such as Newton, Darwin and Einstein and it gives me great pleasure to welcome them into our ranks.”