Three Indian names are on the list of fifty scientists elected as Fellows of The Royal Society, a premier scientific academy of the U.K. and the Commonwealth. Physicist Sriram Ramaswamy, Director of TIFR Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences, Hyderabad; biochemist Ramanujan Hegde, MRC Laboratory of Microbiology, U.K. and applied mathematician Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan, Harvard University have earned the top honour.
Since the Royal Society’s foundation in 1660, about 8,000 Fellows have been elected, with persons of Indian origin numbering about 60. Srinivasa Ramanujan was the second Indian to be inducted, in 1918, the first being Ardaseer Cursetjee, an engineer, in 1841, according to a report in Current Science.
The Royal Society elects new Fellows and Foreign Members every year. Candidates must have made “a substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science”.
The Society, said to be the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, states that its mission is to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.