Indian-origin Nobel laureate to head Royal Society in UK

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Mar 20, 2015 00:03 IST

Sir Venkatraman (Venki) Ramakrishnan, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009, has been elected president of the Royal Society, one of the foremost fellowships in the fields of science, engineeering and medicine founded in 1660.

Ramakrishnan, who is deputy director of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, will take up the post on 1 December, the society said after the result of a ballot was confirmed at a meeting of the society's council.

Ramakrishnan, who graduated from Baroda University and continued higher studies in the United States, received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2009 with Tom Steitz and Ada Yonath, and was awarded a knighthood in 2012. He is also a fellow of of Trinity College, Cambridge.

There have been 60 Presidents of the Royal Society since it was founded in 1660. Previous presidents included Christopher Wren, Samuel Pepys, Isaac Newton, Joseph Banks, Humphry Davy, and Ernest Rutherford.

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship of many of the world's most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering, and medicine.

The society's fundamental purpose, reflected in its founding Charters of the 1660s, is to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

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