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Society’s New Fellows Demonstrate Wales’ Thriving Academic and Civic Life

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The National Library of Wales’ chief executive and librarian Pedr ap Llwyd has been elected a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, the national academy for arts and sciences.

Pedr is one of 66 newly elected Fellows, half of them women, which the society says show that Wales has the solutions to many of today’s challenges.

Academics, researchers and public figures join the society from across academic and civic life in Wales and beyond.

Specialisms run from aerospace engineering to the history of African Europeans, ceramic microstructures to the Baroque violin, women in surgery to the National Trust and much else in between.

Pedr said:

“It is a privilege to be elected as a Fellow of the Learned Society that exists to celebrate, recognise, defend and encourage excellence in all the scholarly disciplines.

“As Wales' leading research centre, the home of the nation's memory and a leading institution in the field of digital scholarship, the National Library of Wales has a unique role to play in all scholarly areas and I am very much looking forward to highlighting the richness of our collections and services through the society.”

Professor Hywel Thomas, society president, said:

“The expertise of our new Fellows is outstanding. The range of research shows that Wales is well-placed to meet the environmental, technological, social, cultural, political and health challenges we face.

“The society’s ability to bring together this talent allows us to initiate and influence important debates about how Wales, the UK and the world can navigate the turbulent waters we are in today.

“I am most pleased that 50% of our new Fellows are women. This shows we are starting to meet our commitments on equality, diversity and inclusion. There is further to go, as we work to make the society reflect Wales’ diversity, but this is an important step.”

The society has also admitted four new Honorary Fellows who come with a world-class reputation and status in their field.

Baroness Brown of Cambridge Professor Julia King is an engineer, one of the UK’s most respected voices on climate change and chairs the UK Climate Change Adaptation Committee.

Charles Burton is one of Wales’ leading artists, whose work has an international flavour but captures in particular the landscapes and qualities of the Rhondda, from where he comes.

Dame Sue Ion is an engineer who has become a leading advocate for, and government advisor on, energy policy and the safe and efficient use of nuclear power.

Sir Karl Jenkins, born in the Gower, is a cross-genre musician and composer whose music is amongst the most performed in the world today.