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The Royal Society of Edinburgh

Review 2005 (Session 2003-2004)

The Royal Society of Edinburgh Review 2005 (Session 2003-2004)



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Proceedings of the Ordinary Meetings


Proceedings of the Statutory General Meeting


Trustees Report to 31 March 2004


Auditor’s Report and Accounts


Schedule of Investments



Prize Lectures


Lectures 109

Conferences, Symposia, Workshops, Seminars and Discussion Forums




The Scottish Science Advisory Committee


Evidence, Advice and Comment




Events for Young People


Research and Enterprise Awards


Medals, Prizes and Prize Lectureships 217

Grants Committee


International Programme


Fellows’ Social Events


Grants, Sponsorship and Donations


Changes in Fellowship During the Session







10 November 2003

Chairman Professor Andrew Walker VPRSE

Formal Admission to Fellowship Professor Jeffrey Williams

Lecture Grand Challenges for Computing Research. Professor Sir Tony Hoare FRS, Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research Ltd. (page 109)

1 December 2003

Chairman Professor Gavin McCrone CB VPRSE

Formal Admission to Fellowship Sir Gerald Gordon (Honorary Fellow)

Discussion Do We Approve of a Jury System for Complicated Trails? Professor Gerry Maher QC, a Commissioner at the Scottish Law Commission, and The Rt Hon Lord Penrose, Senator of the College of Justice in Scotland. (page 162)

12 January 2004

Chairman Professor John Coggins VPRSE

Discussion The Cause of Eating Disorders: The Individual, the Culture, or Both? Dr Chris Freeman, Consultant Psychia- trist, Royal Edinburgh Hospital and Dr Harry Millar, Consultant Psychia- trist, Eating Disorder Service, Royal Cornhill Hospital. (page 166)

2 February 2004

Chairman Lord Sutherland of Houndwood KT FBA PRSE

Lecture The Value of the Performing Arts:

An Illustrated Lecture. Professor John Wallace OBE FRSE, Principal, The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. (page 120)

1 March 2004

Chairman Professor Andrew Walker VPRSE

Election of Fellows (see list on page 231)

Scrutineers Professor Roland Paxton MBE FRSE and Professor Vincent Bruce Proudfoot OBE FRSE

Formal Admission to Fellowship Dr Malcolm Kennedy and Profes- sor Stuart Reid.

Lecture Electricity Supply in the New Century. Dr Malcolm Kennedy CBE FREng FRSE, Consultant, PB Power. (page 130)

5 April 2004

Chairman Professor John Coggins VPFRSE

Formal Admission to Fellowship Professor Paul Bishop, Professor Callum Brown, Professor Graham Caie, Professor Alan Hood, Professor Anne Magurran, Dr Karl Oparka, Professor Lindsay Pater- son.


Review of the Session 2003-2004

Lecture Frank Fraser Darling 1903-1979:

Ecologist, Conservationist, Prophet. Professor Palmer Newbould, Emeritus Professor of Environmental Science, University of Ulster. (page 138)

10 May 2004

Chairman Professor Andrew Walker VPFRSE

Formal Admission to Fellowship Professor Asen Michaylov Asenov, Professor John Alan Dawson, Professor Roderick Allister Mcdonald Galbraith, Professor Richard Milne Hogg, Professor Andrew Peter Mackenzie, Ms Agnes Lawrie Addie Shonaig Macpherson, Professor Stephen McLaughlin, Professor Philippe George Schyns, Sir John Ward KB CBE, Professor Alan Jeffrey Welch.

Lecture Broadband Access Technologies:

Reality and Myth. Professor Steve McLaughlin FRSE, Professor of Electronic Communication Systems, Institute of Digital Communications, The University of Edinburgh. (page 144)

3 June 2004

Chairman Professor Andrew Walker VPFRSE

Formal Admission to Fellowship Professor Brian Ashcroft, Miss Frances Anne Cairncross, CBE,


Professor Deborah Howard, Professor Elizabeth Ann Moign- ard, Dr Mark Robert Shaw, Professor David Tollervey, Profes- sor David John Webb, Professor Bonnie Lynn Webber, Professor Eric George Wright.

Lecture The Coming Century – Ten Trends to Back. Miss Frances Cairncross, CBE, FRSE. (page 146)

6 September 2004

Chairman Lord Sutherland of Houndwood KT FBA PRSE

Formal Admission to Fellowship Professor Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell, CBE FRS, Professor Oscar Peter Buneman, Professor Stuart Malcolm Cobbe, Professor David John Cooke, Professor David Alexander Syme Fergusson, Professor Bruce Philip Lenman, Professor Andrea Mary Nolan, Professor Murray George Hornby Pittock, Professor John Arthur Swaffield, Professor John Richard Underhill, Dr Christiaan Richard David Van der Kuyl.

Lecture (Bruce Preller Prize Lecture)

The Threat of Terrorism: The Place

of Science.

O’Nions FRS, Director General of

Research Councils, Office of Science and Technology. (page


Professor Sir Keith


Minute of the Statutory General Meeting held on 25 October 2004, ending the 221st Session

The Annual Statutory Meeting took place in the Society’s Wolf- son Theatre on Monday 25 October 2004 at 5.30pm. Lord Sutherland of Houndwood, KT, FBA, FRSE, President, took the Chair.

Minutes The Minutes of the Annual Statutory Meeting held on Monday 27 October 2003 were taken as read, approved by those Fellows present and signed by the President as a correct record.

Election of Officers and Council for the 222nd Session. It was agreed that Professor P M Grant and Professor R N Ibbett would act as Scrutineers for the ballot to elect the Officers and Council of the Society for the 222nd Session. The ballot papers were then collected and examined and following presentation of the Officers’ Reports (following pages), the Scrutineers reported to the President that Council and Office Bearers had been elected unanimously, as follows :


President Lord Sutherland of Houndwood KT FBA

Vice-Presidents Professor Gavin McCrone CB, Professor John Coggins Professor John Mavor.

General Secretary Professor Andrew Miller CBE

Treasurer Mr Edward Cunningham CBE

Fellowship Secretary Professor Colin Bird, CBE

Ordinary Members Professor Ron Asher Mr Ewan Brown CBE Professor Tariq Durrani Professor Rona M MacKie CBE Dr Ian P Sword CBE

Executive Board

General Secretary Professor Andrew Miller CBE

Treasurer Mr Edward Cunningham CBE

Curator Dr Brenda E Moon

International Convener Professor Rona M MacKie CBE

Programme Convener Professor Ian H Stevenson

Research Awards Convener Professor David H Saxon OBE

Young People’s Convener Professor C A Tickle CBE FRS

RSE Scotland Foundation Chair- man Professor Andrew C Walker


Review of the Session 2003-2004

Annual Review for Fiscal Year


The President commented that, in addition to producing the formal Trustees’ Report and Accounts for 2003-2004 in accordance with Charity Regulations, an illustrated Annual Review of highlights of the year (with a summary financial review) was again produced, and this had been widely circulated to all Fellows, as well as to many others interested in the Society. This publication was well received and it was agreed this arrange- ment should continue.

The President then invited Professor Andrew Miller to present the following report:

General Secretary’s Report to the ASM

“There are two different annual reporting cycles at the Society, viz:

- The fiscal year from April to March, and

- The Session beginning and ending on the last Monday in October.

Reports on both these periods come to the Annual Statutory Meeting (ASM) which concludes each Session. The overlapping nature of both these cycles could be a source of confusion and duplication, which we strive to minimise. Hence, you were sent an illustrated Annual Review, summarising the highlights from the more detailed Trustees’ Report


and Accounts for the fiscal year 2003/04, which we are required to produce to comply with charity legislation.

The General Secretary’s report to the ASM is traditionally an oral report on the Session and will appear in full in the Review of the Session published annually and will be sent to all Fellows early next year.

Significant developments during the current Session include.

Changes in Governance and Management - following implementation of a re-organisa- tion of the staff structure prompted by a review by Dr Chris Masters, the Council put forward plans for significant reshaping the way the Society is managed. These proposals were subject to detailed consultation with the Fellowship, including two well-

attended Fellows’ meetings held on 31 May and 20 September.

The level of interest shown by Fellows and the many constructive comments received was most gratifying. At the meeting on 20 September, the many changes to the Society’s Laws necessary to implement the changes in governance and management were approved unanimously, after lively debate. These changes take effect from today’s ASM. The principal changes are:

- The Trustee membership of Council has been reduced from

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25 to 12, in order that Council can concentrate more on governance issues and increase the delegation of management issues to a largely separate Executive Board, consisting of Office Bearers and senior staff.

- The Council will consist of seven Office Bearers, viz: the President, General Secretary, Treasurer, three Vice- Presidents and the Fellowship Secretary, and five Ordinary members, who normally will not be Office Bearers.

- The existing offices of Curator, International Convener, Pro- gramme Convener and Research Awards Convener will continue with largely unchanged roles, except for the Curator, whose responsibility for ensuring building upkeep and mainte- nance will pass to the General Secretary. All these Office Bearers will cease to be mem- bers of the Council but will be members of the new Executive Board.

- The Executive Board will replace the Business Committee and will be chaired by the General Secretary (not the President). In addition to the Office Bearers no longer members of Council, its voting members will be the Treasurer, Convener of the RSE Scotland Foundation Trustees, the Executive Secretary (to be

retitled Chief Executive) and the Director of Finance.

- The other members of the senior staff management group will normally attend the Executive Board, but will not be voting members.

- The roles of Secretaries to Meetings will cease and their duties re-allocated to the Fellowship Secretary and the Programme Convener.

- The election of all Council members and Office Bearers will take place annually, normally at the Annual Statutory Meeting in October, but will be by postal ballot of all Ordinary Fellows (i.e. the vote will not be restrict- ed to those at the Annual Statutory Meeting). Similar voting arrangements will be introduced for the election of New Fellows.

- All Office Bearers and members of Council will continue to serve up to three years (subject to annual re-election) except the General Secretary, Treasurer and Programme Convener who can serve up to four years.

· The Annual Statutory Meeting (ASM) will be held on the first Monday in October (not the last). It is intended that the ASM will be arranged to allow more detailed consideration by Fellows of the Trustees’ and Office Bearers’ Reports, and


Review of the Session 2003-2004

hence will not be followed by a public lecture.

- A new independent Audit Committee will be created to replace the Treasurer’s Commit- tee.

I am sure that these extensive changes will serve us well and I should like to record my profound gratitude to the President for so skilfully piloting us through these changes and, especially, for doing so in a way which has not proven divisive within the Fellowship.

Corporate Plan – just as it is essential to be able to satisfy those who fund the Society’s various range of activities, that there are robust systems of governance and management in place, so too we need to articulate clearly what the Society wants to achieve. The Corporate Plan first produced in 2001 was thoroughly reviewed. This demonstrated that far from being a ‘wish list’ as some feared, the Society was able to meet almost all of the ambi- tious targets it had set. Against this background, the main strategic objectives of the new Corporate Plan for 2004 to 2007 are:

- Consolidating ‘core’ activities, with improved integration of delivery.

- Seeking new resources to develop specific new activities to

expand the range of the Society’s activities.

- Encouraging greater involve- ment by the Fellowship.

I hope we will be able to develop the latter aspect later during the ASM.

Research and Innovation – two of the six core activities of the Society shown in the Corporate Plan are:

- supporting and enhancing excellence in the Scottish research base.

- supporting the commercialisa- tion of research and innovation.

These are now important areas of activity for the Society, with over 60% of last year’s expendi- ture being on research awards, prizes and grants. The funding for these comes from a broad range of supporters as demon- strated by the following new appointments made during the Session:

- 12 Enterprise Fellowships, funded by Scottish Enterprise

- 2 Enterprise Fellowships funded by PPARC

- 3 Scottish Executive Personal Fellowships

- 3 Scottish Executive Support Fellowships

- 2 Lloyds TSB Personal Fellow- ships

- 2 Lloyds TSB Studentships


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- 1 BP Fellowship

- 6 Cormack Vacation Scholar- ships

- 6 Lessells Travel Scholarships

- 7 Caledonian Research Foundation Visiting Fellow- ships

These and other awards were announced at the Annual Research Awards Reception on 2 September 2004.

Having been a research scientist myself, I am particularly pleased that the Society and its funding partners are able to offer so much to Scottish-based re- searchers and potential entrepreneurs working here today. I should also like to express my thanks to Professor David Saxon, who chairs several of the Selection Panels for our academic awards and to Dr Ian Sword, who chairs the selection process for Enterprise Fellow- ships. Processing so many diverse applications is not only time consuming, but requires astute perceptive judgement.

Also presented in September were the Royal Medals for

2004. This is our most prestig-

ious award conferred with the approval of the Society’s Patron, Her Majesty The Queen. Maintaining the high standard of outstanding achievement, these Medals were awarded to:

- Professor Sir Philip Cohen FRS FRSE, for his outstanding contribution to Life Sciences.

- Professor Sir Neil MacCormick FRSE FBA QC, for his out- standing contribution to academic life in Scotland and internationally, particularly in the field of legal philosophy, and

- Professor Robin Milner FRS FRSE, for his outstanding contributions to software engineering.

The Society’s other major award is the Gannochy Trust Innova- tion Award which was presented to Dr Ian Underwood FRSE, for his work in light emitting polymers in miniature displays. This was awarded at a splendid event in the Royal Museum of Scotland on 1 October.

Other Prizes were: The Mak- dougall Brisbane Prize, to Dr James Wright of the University of Edinburgh; the BP Prize Lectureship in the Humanities, which was awarded to Dr Rebecca Kay University of Glasgow; the Gunning Victoria Jubilee Prize Lectureship, awarded to Professor Peter Bruce FRSE, of the University of St Andrews.

Evidence and Advice - this is now a high-profile activity for which I have direct responsibility, and I am pleased to be able to


Review of the Session 2003-2004

acknowledge the support given by Dr Marc Rands.

The Society’s multi-disciplinary Fellowship helped provide authoritative advice on a diverse range of public consultations. There were 25 submissions mainly in response to Government requests on both sides of the border.

The Society also undertook an independent Inquiry into the future of the Scottish Fishing Industry. This major inquiry, independently funded, was Chaired by Sir David Smith with Vice-Chair Professor Gavin McCrone. It resulted in a com- prehensive report which was widely welcomed and which received positive media coverage. In preparing the report the committee visited fishing commu- nities throughout Scotland to take evidence, and listened to those affected by the decline in key fish stocks. Our thanks to Sir David, Professor McCrone and all of the committee for all their hard work and an excellent report. This continues an annual series of major Inquiries into controversial topics, where a broadly multi- disciplinary approach gives new insights. Inevitably, some will not be pleased or agree with the conclusions reached in these Inquiries, but the feedback we have had from those with respon- sibility for implementing our recommendations is that they


have found our reports most helpful. This encourages the Council to continue and we are actively considering options for our next Inquiry in 2005.

The Scottish Parliament Science Information Scheme was estab- lished in 2003 in collaboration with the Royal Society of Chemis- try and the Scottish Parliament’s internal Information Service. This scheme provides rapid, reliable information on science-related matters for MSPs. The pilot phase of this has gone well and we are looking at ways to continue and improve this service for the future.

International Activities – in fulfilling our role as Scotland’s National Academy, our pro- gramme of International Activities and links has continued to grow significantly over the Session, thanks both to the enthusiasm of our International Convener, Professor Rona MacKie, and the helpful partnership we have with British Council Scotland through the secondment of Michael White.

Not only has there been a steady stream of distinguished overseas visitors, particularly from China and Taiwan, Poland, Ireland, Australia, the EU and the USA, but the Society has also funded 29 international exchange visits by Scottish researchers going to the USA, Australia, Armenia, Sweden, France and Argentina, as well as to China, Poland and Taiwan,

Proceedings of the Annual Statutory Meeting

where we have bilateral agree- ments.

Another important activity is the organisation of international events including:

- Sino-Scottish Science: sharing ideas - a team of 10 from Scotland travelled to Beijing in March to take part in a work- shop with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as well as visits to a number of institutes.

- Crossroads for Ideas - a UK- wide initiative to welcome the eight new EU member states from East and central Europe by bringing together young professionals from the new member states and young professionals from the UK.

- Scotland in the Netherlands 2004: Brain Science Event - the RSE was invited to arrange the science element of this season of promotional activities run by the Scottish Executive. Professor Richard Morris FRS, FRSE gave a public lecture in Amsterdam in late September and the follow- ing day 30 scientists from the Netherlands and Scotland had a productive high-level scientific meeting.

- European Enlargement - During a year which saw Enlargement of the EU to 25 Member States, representatives of the RSE have participated in several related events, including hosting a dinner during the conference,

“Scotland’s Role in the Enlarged Europe”.

- EU Framework 6 - a meeting hosted with the UK Research Office enabling researchers from Scotland to discuss the implications of consent agree- ments and intellectual property rights within consortia involved in EU Framework 6 research projects.

An area of growing importance in

the Society’s international pro-

gramme is the promotion of Scottish research and science abroad. The RSE has been involved in two new projects: the first was the publication of a magazine called Science Scotland - funded by the Scottish Executive. It features the best of science and

technology in Scotland and aims to raise the profile of Scotland’s scientific excellence to an interna- tional audience. An Editorial Board has been set up, chaired by Professor John Coggins.

The Society also had a key role in managing a pilot project called “Voyages of Discovery” involving Scottish Development Internation- al and Universities Scotland. This attracted research managers from large multi-national companies to

come to Scotland with the aim of encouraging stronger research links. Two successful tours took place on Energy and Life Sciences.

Events – the Society has contin- ued to organise a busy varied


Review of the Session 2003-2004

programme of events aimed at the general public, young people and specialist audiences. These attracted large, lively audiences often filling the lecture theatre to capacity. There were 17 Public Lectures, 3 Prize Lectures, 10 Conferences and 3 Discussion Forums. Topics ranged from Heavy Quark Physics to the Value of the Performing Arts. Events of particular interest were:

The Coming Century: Ten Trends to Back by Frances Cairncross FRSE

Scotland and the Media: A Question of Trust, chaired by James Naughtie. The presence of Alastair Campbell attracted widespread interest.

The Threat of Terrorism: The Place of Science by Professor Sir Keith O’Nions FRS, Director General of Research Councils, Office of Science and Technology

Scotland and the Origins of Modern Art by Professor Duncan Macmillan, Curator of Talbot Rice Gallery, The University of Edin- burgh

Wind Energy - Powering the Future by Dr Ian Mays, Managing Director, Renewable Energy Systems Ltd.

The Reliability of Fingerprint Identification by Mr Bruce Grant, Head of Fingerprinting, Scotland Yard; Professor James Starrs, Law and Forensic Sciences, George Washington University, Washing-


ton DC and Dr James Thorpe, Director, Forensic Unit, Strathclyde University

The Young People’s Programme

has continued to grow. Amongst

its activities were:

The 2003 Christmas Lecture, Black Holes and White Rabbits, by Professor John Brown, FRSE, Astronomer Royal for Scotland was held at Inverness Royal Academy.

A Discussion Forum for S5/6

students on how we should tackle the problem of Scotland’s Future Energy supply.

Maths Masterclasses for P6/7 students in Glasgow, Kirkliston and Dundee.

Annual Road-show, held on the Isle of Skye, as part of National Science Week. This included a ‘sell out’ public talk by BBC Meteorol- ogist, Heather Reid. A further Road-show was held in Arbroath in October 2004.

Start-up Science – hands on Saturday morning masterclasses for S1/2 students at universities all over Scotland. Most classes were oversubscribed.

Summer School - talks and workshops for S5/6 students, were held in partnership with Heriot-Watt University.

Finally, Talk Science lectures – lively talks were held at schools all over Scotland, from Wick and Tober- mory to Selkirk

Proceedings of the Annual Statutory Meeting

Each year the Young People’s committee presents awards to individuals who have made a particular contribution to this. In 2004 awards were presented to:

- Dr Greig Chisholm, Ciba Specialty Chemicals

- Dr Chris Baddeley, University of St Andrews

- Dr Hilary-Kay Young, University of Dundee

- Dr Lyndsay Fletcher, University of Glasgow

- Dr Allan Jamieson, The Forensic Institute

Publications were issued throughout the year. In addition to the scheduled volumes of our highly-regarded journals, Transac- tions and Proceedings A, and the usual Fellows publications and newsletters, we produced reports of RSE events such as the Discus- sion Forum on Stem Cells held in Brussels in October 2003 and the Young People’s Discussion Forum on obesity in June 2003. Continu- ing to publish our highly regarded journals and providing useful and timely reports of our various activities, to further disseminate knowledge and understanding, will be a key focus of our activities in the coming year.

Scottish Science Advisory Committee - the SSAC completed the first phase of its work in April and most of its members, having originally been appointed for two

years, were replaced. The Society is very grateful to those who have contributed to the work of the Committee.

The Committee began its second

phase under the continued Chairmanship of Professor Wilson

Sibbett and with a, largely, new

membership appointed from August 2004.

During the Session the following reports were published and these

provide independent advice to the Scottish Executive on:

- Science Education Matters:

Supporting and Improving Science in Scottish Schools

- Science Matters: Making the Right Connections for Scotland,

- Knowledge Transfer: Science to Scottish Businesses

- Investing in Scientific Talent

Conclusion and Thanks This is by no means a complete account of all that has been achieved during the Session but it will be evident that we have made good progress on many different fronts. This reflects the enthusias- tic and dedicated contributions made by many Fellows and the support we have had from the Society’s staff. In particular, I would like to thank Sir Laurence Hunter who has been a most able Treasurer during a difficult financial quinquenium, when his clear thinking and cool head has served us particularly well as we


Review of the Session 2003-2004

have faced and overcome serious financial challenges without having to abandon or curtail key activities.

I would also like to thank Profes-

sor Andy Walker for his support as

Vice-President during the past three years. I am delighted he has agreed to succeed Professor Robert Donovan as Chair of the Trustees of the RSE Scotland Foundation.

Finally, there are eight other members of Council whose term of office finishes today and I am most grateful for their support.

The President invited comments on the General Secretary’s report, before it was warmly approved.

The President then invited Sir Laurence Hunter to present the following report.

Treasurer’s Report to ASM

At this time last year I was able to report the first signs of a recovery from the difficult years of 2001- 2003, and a prospect of a return to a positive outcome in the financial year 2003-04, with a commencement of the process of rebuilding our depleted reserves.

I am pleased to be able to report

to you this evening that this has indeed proved to be the outcome, in what has been a year that exceeded our expectations. This is my last report as Honorary Treasurer and I am delighted to be able to pass on to Edward


Cunningham, the Treasurer-elect,

a satisfactory base from which to begin.

Fellows will have the summary

report provided in the Annual Review, and copies of the full report and accounts are available this evening and on the Society’s website. I hope that this combi- nation of summary and full detail continues to be acceptable.

I have three tasks this evening:

- to provide some detail on the outcome for 2003-04

- to comment on financial reporting arrangements and controls now in place

- to bring Fellows up to date with developments since the end of the last financial year on April.

Annual Accounts 2003-04

The headline news is that the Society achieved a surplus of £59k on its operating account during the year and was able to make a significant contribution to rebuilding the General Fund, which stood at £69k. This reflected substantial increases in both income and expenditure, reflecting the increased level of

activities, and particularly the promotion of research through research awards and prizes, which rose from 55% to 62% of expenditure.

The increase in income included £125k for international activities

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from the Scottish Executive, the Gannochy Trust Innovation Award, and increased support for research and enterprise awards. Some offset occurred in the lower level of Appeal funds from Fellows, though this flow still continues. Investment income held up well.

On the expenditure side, grants payable increased by 32%, activities expenditure rose by 5%, while the cost of generating funds decreased by £75k as the first phase of fund-raising came to an end. Management and adminis- tration costs declined by 3%, reflecting a lower spend on PR and publicity compared with last year.

The surplus on the revenue account was much better than budget. Variances were due firstly to Society’s overheads being significantly below budget, offsetting lower contributions from some areas in which activity was reduced, and the waiver of interest from the Foundation; while the RSE Scotland Founda- tion benefited from the waiver on interest and some saving on overheads. Smaller contributions came from the Appeal budget and other designated funds.

The realised surplus for the year after including realized gains on investments rose to £19,000 in the General Fund and £94,000 overall. This improvement from

last year is very welcome and reflects both increased funding levels and the recovery of the investment portfolio, following its realignment last year.

The balance sheet shows a recovery from last year, up nearly 5%, due largely to the 15% increase in the investment portfolio value. Continuing progress has been made in working to assist the Foundation to recover from its deficit of net assets, and hopefully that deficit will be eliminated in the next year, with the recent waivers of interest payments becoming unnecessary.

Financial Reporting and Controls

Considerable progress has been made in recent years in upgrading the financial reporting and control systems to ensure that Council and senior officers are kept aware of financial issues during the course of the year, with a clear schedule of reporting. This has continued during the past year, not least with an eye to the probable changes in Charities legislation in Scotland, which will demand more transparency on the part of Charities and greater accountability on the part of Trustees. The introductory text to the Trustees Report draws atten- tion to the SORP requirement for statements of policy on Invest- ment, Grant-making and Reserves, and outlines the current policies that we operate. Of particular


Review of the Session 2003-2004

importance here is the intention to rebuild the reserves in the General Fund to a level where it could cover 3 to 6 months expenditure on central costs. It is encouraging that we have been able to make a good start in this re-building process this year, and have prospects for continuing the process next year.

The arrangement with Speirs and Jeffrey & Co to manage our investments on a discretionary basis appears to be working smoothly and has contributed to economies relative to the use of an investment management company. After a competitive tender, the auditors were also changed this year and a number of useful points came to light as a result of a new set of eyes review- ing our accounting procedure – again, with some economy of expenditure.

Internally, the audit process will be passed from the Treasurer’s Committee (which will disappear) to the new Audit Committee, which will be set up under the new governance arrangements now approved. While there is no case for complacency, I believe that the steps taken in recent years have done much to improve the rigour of the Society’s financial reporting and management procedures. The implications of new Charities legislation will still have to be considered carefully as it emerges.


The Future

Interim results for the current financial year suggest that the Society is on course to achieve its budget targets of achieving a net revenue surplus and building up the General Fund reserve - though the unevenness of activities and expenditure through the year always leave some uncertainties. The latest report from our invest- ment managers suggests that modest progress is still being made, and the budgetary controls in place ensure that expenditures are closely monitored. It is pleasing to note that (as reported in the Accounts) a new designated fund – the Programmes Fund – has been established, with some contribution from the Appeal receipts, as a funder of last resort for meetings activities, to under- write activities that are not otherwise fundable but are viewed as in line with the Society’s objectives.

In the longer term, the main task will be to secure the additional income that will certainly be needed if the objectives of the revised Corporate Plan to 2007 are to be achieved. That will require a continuation of the careful management of resources that is now in place, but it will also need new sources of income. The second phase of fundraising, to be aimed mainly at the corpo- rate sector, was postponed during the period of general economic

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downturn and uncertainty, but steps are now being taken to revive this initiative. This will involve a clearer statement of what funds need to be raised, identification of likely new sources of support, and the organizational arrangements to take this for- ward.

If I may be allowed, I would like to finish on a more personal note. The last five years have been difficult and challenging, not least due to the substantial loss of income from our former tenants in 26 George Street. But they have also been very rewarding, with the development and implementation of the first Corporate Plan and the associated Business Plan and Fundraising Appeal, leading on to the second Corporate Plan. Finance has been central to all these developments, in the course of which I have greatly enjoyed working with my fellow-officers and a cross-section of the Fellowship more generally. But above all I am very aware of the considerable debt I owe to Kate Ellis and William Duncan, who have provided me with invaluable support throughout, and encouragement when things were not proceeding as one would have wished. I could not have wished for better support and my sincere thanks goes to them both for all their efforts.

The President asked if there were any queries on the Treasurer’s

report, which was well received without dissent.

The President invited Professor Colin Bird to present the follow- ing report.

Fellowship Secretary’s Report to ASM

This year Council approved some changes to the structure of the Sector Groups. The reasons behind these changes will be communicated in detail to Fellows when the list of candidates is distributed. The selection process is reviewed every year to ensure it remains an equitable and trans- parent process. The current changes were implemented by Council following an analysis of the distribution of candidates going forward to Sectional Committees over the past two years.

In March this year the Society elected 55 Ordinary Fellows, eight Corresponding Fellows and three Honorary Fellows. With respect to the age of the Fellowship we have seen a positive trend towards electing younger Fellows for Ordinary Fellowship and this year the average age at election of the Ordinary Fellows was down to 49 (in 2003 it was 53). Nine of the Ordinary Fellows this year were female.

Currently the Fellowship is composed of 68 Honorary Fellows, 24 Corresponding Fellows and 1267 Ordinary


Review of the Session 2003-2004

Fellows. The discipline balance of the Ordinary Fellowship remains the same as last year with 38% from the Physical, Engineering and Informatic Sciences, 34% from the Life Sciences, 19% from the Arts and Humanities and 9% represent Economics, Business and Administration. In the Arts and Humanities and in Business and Industry, this represents an increase of around 2% since 1999 when the Working party on the Fellowship reported on the balance of the Fellowship.

We have also seen an increase of around 2% since 1999 in the numbers of female Ordinary Fellows. Currently they make up 6.8% of the Ordinary Fellowship with the majority representing the Life Sciences.

This year will see the introduction of the first postal ballot to elect Fellows. The ballot list as ap- proved by Council will go out to all Fellows in December and the result will be announced at the Ordinary meeting on the first Monday in March. This will make it easier for all Fellows to engage in this process if they so wish.

Finally, the Fellowship Office is moving towards a completely electronic method of distributing


the large amount of papers that have to go out to Sectional Committees. The first year of this process proved successful and will be built upon in the future. The President invited comments on the the report, which was warmly approved.

Appointment of Auditor

The President confirmed that, subject to negotiations over fees, Council intended to re-appoint Henderson Loggie as Society auditors.

Following a brief discussion on achieving greater involvement of the Fellowship in RSE activities, the President concluded the meeting by thanking the Office Bearers for their comprehensive reports, and the Fellows for attending. It was generally agreed that the new format of the Annual Statutory Meeting, which allowed greater time for Officers’ reports and the opportunity for Fellows to discuss these, had been successful and should continue.


The Council of the Society as Trustees of the Society present their report for the financial year ended 31 March 2004.

Statement of Council’s Respon- sibilities

Under the Laws of the Society, the Council has the responsibility to manage all matters concerning the affairs of the Society. The Treasurer, a member of the Council, has a duty under the Laws of the Society to present to the Fellows at the Statutory Meeting the Accounts for the preceding financial year to 31 March.

Under Charities legislation, the Council is required to prepare accounts for each financial year which give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Society at 31 March and of its financial activities during the year then ended.

In preparing these accounts, the Council should

- select suitable accounting policies and apply them consistently

- make judgements and esti- mates that are reasonable and prudent

- ensure that the recommenda- tions of the Statement of Recommended Practice (Accounting by Charities) have been followed

- prepare the accounts on a going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to assume the Society will continue its activities.

The Council has a responsibility for keeping proper accounting records which disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Society and which enable it to comply with the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990 and the Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 1992. It has general responsibility for taking such steps as are reasonably open to it to safeguard the assets of the charity and to prevent and detect fraud and other irregularities.

Investment Powers and Policy

The Council has power under the Laws to control the investment of the Funds of the Society.

The management of the invest- ments is carried out by Speirs &

Jeffrey & Co on a discretionary

basis. The objectives set by the Council of the RSE are first to stabilise a sufficient level of

income to meet the target set annually by Council and thereafter to invest for capital growth

potential. The Council has delegated the detailed monitoring of performance to the Investment Committee, which makes compar- isons against a composite benchmark reflecting the mix of


Review of the Session 2003-2004

assets held and the WM Median index.

As a consequence of the restric- tion being placed on the total return available from the portfolio by the high income requirement, the Council has agreed in princi- ple to realise part of the overall capital gain to make up a propor- tion of the targeted “return for the year” subject to no more than 2% of capital value being drawn out of capital. This has not yet been drawn down. The income targets for the year have been met and the total return values have outperformed the average charity index and the UK market.

Representatives of the Investment Committee meet annually with the investment managers to discuss their compliance with the constraints set by the Committee and risk environment. In the year under review no compliance issues arose which required to be reported to the Committee.

Operating Policies - Grant Making

The RSE makes grants to individu- als in higher education institutions in support of research activities in the categories of postdoctoral research Fellowships, support research Fellowships, post graduate studentships, under- graduate vacation scholarships and Enterprise fellowships. Each of these categories is specifically funded from various sources


including the RSE’s restricted funds. The basis of eligibility and selection varies according to the detailed scheme regulations, which are published on the RSE’s Web site (

Grants are also made in support of research activities of Fellows of the RSE including support for travel connected with research or scholarship, small scale specialist meetings, to assist research visitors to Scotland to undertake collaborative research work with a Fellow, to assist a visiting lecturer to come to Scotland to assist research collaboration between two institutions in Scotland or between universities and industry and to assist in the publication of books written by Fellows. These grants are funded by the RSE designated Grants Fund. The Grants Committee is responsible for making awards in accordance with the detailed rules set out by the Council of the Society for the disbursement of the Grants fund.

Details of committee membership are to be found in the Society’s annual directory and on its website.

Reserves Policy and Funds

The Society holds a number of restricted funds resulting from bequests for particular purposes, details of which are set out in note 2c) to the financial state- ments. The Council has also created designated funds, where

the Society has set aside sums from its unrestricted funds, the purposes of which are set out in note 2b) to the financial state- ments. The General Fund represents the balance of unre- stricted funds arising from past operating results, which are not invested in fixed assets or desig- nated for a specific purpose.

As a result of a review of the level and purpose of each of the Designated funds, the Council has created a new Designated fund, the Programme Fund, by transfer from the Grants fund and the Development Appeal fund. This Fund, which will also be increased by any legacies which are received for general purposes, is intended to act as a funder of last resort for meetings activities and events which could not otherwise be funded but that would be consistent with the Society’s objectives.

The Council has examined the requirement for free reserves, and concluded that whilst the present

Trustees’ Report to 31 March 2004

level of reserves gives adequate working capital for core costs that it would be desirable to have a General Fund reserve in the range of three to six months expenditure on central costs. They have also concluded that the Society should maintain a Development fund to give flexibility to respond to new initiatives on a timely basis without the need for specific fundraising.

Risk management

The Treasurer’s Committee remit includes examining the major risks faced by the Society and formalis- ing, and extending where necessary, existing systems established to monitor and control these risks to mitigate any impact that they may have on the Society. The Council believes that the existing systems and the structure of decision taking and reporting through Business Committee and Council continues to provide assurance that risks are carefully managed.


Review of the Session 2003-2004

The Year 1 April 2003 - 31 March 2004

The Society has continued to thrive, thereby serving the inter- ests of a wider community in Scotland, delivering the RSE’s Royal Charter for the “advance- ment of learning and useful knowledge” in a twenty first century context. It has maintained and developed new strategic partnerships because working together with key public and private bodies, it can contribute more to the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of Scotland and beyond. The year to 31 March 2004 has seen changes:

the staff structure has been reorganised; a revised Corporate Plan and a related management plan have been developed; and the governance structures and management of the Society have been looked at afresh. It has been an extremely dynamic and produc- tive year in which the Society’s resources in time, expertise and funding have been carefully managed, and put to good effect.

The Corporate Plan

In 2001 the Society produced its first Corporate Plan, which set a wide range of activity and pro- gramme targets through which the Society could make an effective contribution to a Scot- land facing the challenges of devolution. It was intended to review and develop the 2001 Plan

after some experience had been built up and this has now been successfully completed. In order to provide further public benefit consistent with its Royal Charter, the Society has set three strategic objectives for 2004-2007. These are:

- to continue to deliver its existing range of “core” activities, thereby maintaining existing arrangements with funders and partners;

- to prioritise selected action areas and, where necessary, seek the resources needed for development; and

- to encourage wider Fellowship and public participation, and better integration in the delivery of Society programmes.

These strategic objectives will be achieved through a broad range of specific activities and pro- grammes, each with defined targets. The outcomes depend on on the efforts of the Society staff and the Fellowship, all with their own expertise and skills. Fellows and staff are pivotal to the delivery process and achievements against targets will also be the subject of regular monitoring. All Fellows and staff have had the opportuni- ty to contribute to the content and presentation of the Corporate Plan. Staff have also participated


in the setting of the operational agenda in the associated Manage- ment Plan.

Research Awards, Excellence and Enterprise

The Society continues to recog- nise, celebrate and promote excellence. The invaluable relationships with key funding partners, which enable us to award over £1.5 million annually, continued to grow due to the outstanding calibre of awardees and prize winners. In the period 2003-2004 the Society awarded fifteen Enterprise Fellowships, funded by Scottish Enterprise and one PPARC Enterprise Fellowship, one BP Fellowship, one Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland Personal Fellowship and two Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland PhD Studentships. With additional funding from the Scottish Execu- tive now in place, the Society was able to award a larger number of Personal and Support Fellowships this year, awarding five Personal Fellowships and three Support Fellowships. Six Cormack Vacation Scholarships, seven Lessells Travel Scholarships, six CRF European Visiting Research Fellowships (four from Scotland to Europe and two from Europe to Scotland) and three Wellcome Trust Research Workshops were also awarded.

As the result of an important new partnership with the Gannochy Trust, the Society was delighted to present the inaugural Gannochy

Trustees’ Report to 31 March 2004

Trust Innovation Award of the Royal Society of Edinburgh to Dr Barbara Spruce, Department of Surgery and Molecular Oncology, University of Dundee for her innovative technology for the treatment of cancer. This award was presented by Sir James Black OM, FRS, Hon FRSE, at a ceremony held in Scone Palace on 21 June


Individuals who have made outstanding achievements in their field which have been of benefit to people in Scotland and abroad continued to set the standard for the prizes awarded by the Society. HRH The Duke of Edinburgh honoured the Society greatly by presenting the Royal Medals at a ceremony held in the Society’s rooms on 27 October 2003, to Professor Sir Paul Nurse FRS HonFRSE, for his outstanding contribution to genetics research, to Sir Michael Atiyah OM, FRS, HonFRSE, for his profound and beneficial effect on the develop- ment of mathematics and science in the UK and Europe, and to Lord MacKay of Clashfern PC, KT, QC, FRSE, for his outstanding contri- butions to Scots Law and his international reputation both in law and public service.

The CRF Prize Lectureship in Biological Sciences was awarded to Professor Joan Steitz of Yale University, USA. The Bruce Preller Prize Lectureship was awarded to Sir Keith O’Nions FRS, Professor of


Review of the Session 2003-2004

the physics and chemistry of minerals, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford and the new Director General of the Research Councils. The Henry Duncan Prize Lectureship was awarded to Professor Duncan Macmillan, Professor of the History of Scottish Art, University of Edinburgh.


The Society organised a wide range of public events, involving a spectrum of speakers, of interest both to the specialist and the general public, offering a neutral platform for debate on matters of national and international importance. Attendance has continued to rise with full houses a regular occurrence. Feedback has on the whole been positive from audiences consisting of Fellows and non-Fellows including members of the public across the age range, individuals from business, academia, politics, the media, private and public bodies

Examples of successful events held during the year include: Do we approve of a Jury System for Complicated Trials? - a debate- style event between The Rt Hon Lord Penrose, Senator of the College of Justice in Scotland and Professor Gerry Maher, Commis- sioner of the Scottish Law Commission; The Cause of Eating Disorders: the Individual, the Culture, or Both? by Dr Chris P.

Freeman, Consultant Psychiatrist, Royal Edinburgh Hospital and Dr Harry R. Millar, Consultant Psychiatrist, Eating Disorder Service, Royal Cornhill Hospital, and Electricity Supply in the New Century, Dr Malcolm Kennedy, CBE, FRSE, Former Chairman, PB Power and of The Institution of Electrical Engineers.

Other notable events included: A joint two-part conference with the British Academy: England and Scotland in Union from 1603 - Anglo-Scottish Relations - Past, Present and Future (one held in London at the British Academy, one in Edinburgh); The Value of the Performing Arts - An illustrat- ed Lecture, Professor John Wallace, OBE, FRSE, Principal, The Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama; Scotland and the Media - A Question of Trust a spirited conference which brought media managers, journalists, politicians, and other key stakeholders together; and Scotland’s Drug Problem, a highly regarded conference in which a national and international perspective was applied to policies including “legalisation”.

Links with Young People

It has again been a busy year which has seen expansion for the ever-popular programme of activities for young people held throughout Scotland:


A Discussion Forum (Supported by the Darwin Trust of Edinburgh and the Rowett Research Institute) on Scotland’s Obesity Epidemic took place at the Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen in June 2003. Senior school students heard the facts from the experts and held group discussions as to how society should proceed. A week- long, non residential Summer Camp based at and in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh on the theme of Science in Our World was held in July 2003. It included talks, workshops and educational trips.

Talk Science lectures (previously known as Schools’ Lectures), which aim to enthuse secondary school pupils about science, engineering and technology, were held at Culloden Academy, Brechin High School, Grange- mouth High School, Inverurie Academy, James-Watt College (Greenock and Kilwinning Campuses), Preston Lodge High School, Torrie Academy, Spring- burn Academy, Stranraer Academy, Thurso High School, Tobermory High School and Wick High School.

The RSE Roadshow was held on the Isle of Skye, as part of National Science Week in March 2004.

Startup Science Masterclasses at the University of St Andrews (2 series), University of Dundee (2 series), University of Glasgow (2 series), Heriot Watt University (2

Trustees’ Report to 31 March 2004

series) and Satrosphere/University of Aberdeen have continued to be very popular and often over- subscribed. The long-running primary Maths Masterclasses were held; at Kirkliston Primary School, Glasgow High School and the University of Dundee. The Physics Masterclasses, run in conjunction with the University of Glasgow, were held successfully in August/ September 2003.

The 2003 Christmas Lecture, Black Holes and White Rabbits was given by Professor John Brown, FRSE, Astronomer Royal for Scotland at Inverness Royal Academy on 8 December 2003. Professor Brown’s accompanying public lecture in Inverness also received a warm reception from a sizeable audience.

Young People’s awards were presented for the first time to those who have made an extraor- dinary voluntary contribution to the Young People’s Events. In August 2003 these were present- ed to: Dr Lesley Glasser MBE FRSE, Satrosphere; Dr Martin Hendry, University of Glasgow; Ms Heather Reid, BBC Scotland; Mrs Monica Lacey, University of Dundee and Dr Bruce Sinclair, University of St Andrews.

Policy, Evidence, Advice & Comment

The expertise of the RSE’s multi- disciplinary Fellowship was harnessed to provide authoritative


Review of the Session 2003-2004

advice in response to 24 public consultations including:

- CAP Reform: Opportunities for Scotland. Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department

- Inquiry into Renewable Energy in Scotland. Scottish Parliament Enterprise and Culture Com- mittee

- The Future of Higher Educa- tion. Department for Education and Skills.

- The Scottish Human Rights Commission. The Scottish Executive Justice Department.

In response to concerns expressed within and outwith the Fellowship about the plight of the Scottish Fishing Industry, the Council instigated an independent inquiry into how a sustainable future could be achieved for this impor- tant national industry. Independently funded and chaired by the distinguished biologist, Professor Sir David Smith, FRS, FRSE with Vice Chair- man, Professor Gavin McCrone, CB, FRSE, this major report was launched in March 2004, after almost a full year spent consider- ing the many issues involved.

The expert inquiry concluded that a secure and sustainable future for the Scottish Fishing Industry is achievable, but not without a long-term view being taken and important changes being made


both to policy and management. The report made 35 key recom-

mendations covering the

operation of the Common Fisheries Policy, the science of fish stock assessment and the man- agement of fisheries policy. It also

outlined measures to help the industry and the fishery depend- ent communities. It was widely welcomed.

The Scottish Parliament Science Information Scheme was set up collaboratively by the RSE, The

Scottish Parliament, The Royal Society of Chemistry, in associa- tion with The Institute of Physics and The University of Edinburgh. This innovative scheme, which was created to help Members of the Scottish Parliament to have access to reliable, rapid and impartial information on science, engineer- ing and technology-related issues in order to support parliamentary work, has dealt with a number of queries from MSPs including:

alternatives to fishmeal for feeding farmed salmon; wind farms; effectiveness of ventilation to extract toxins in tobacco smoke and Broadband coverage in Scotland.

The Society also participated in the following Foresight/Commer- cialisation forums:

- Scottish Executive Foresight Forum, developing a mecha- nism for examining future

thinking between the ITIs, SSAC and DTI.

- Scottish Executive National Innovation Systems working group undertaking a case study examination of innovation in Scotland, from the perspectives of different sizes and back- grounds of organisation.

International Activities

The Society’s growing programme

of international activities has attracted much positive attention during the year, with the result that the Society is increasingly being approached to participate

in major projects, both within the

UK and overseas.

After a slow start, mainly due to travel restrictions to Asia, applica- tions to the International Exchange Programme, launched in early 2003, are steadily increasing. Funding for the following visits has been granted: four weeks to/ from China under the bilateral agreement with the Chinese Academy of Sciences; nine weeks to/from Poland under the bilateral agreement with the Polish Academy of Sciences; five weeks to/from Taiwan under the bilateral agreement with the National Science Council; and 19 weeks under the Open Programme.

A Stem Cell Discussion Forum was

held on 15 October 2003 in Brussels. A full report of this successful event, which has stimulated new ongoing national

Trustees’ Report to 31 March 2004

and international collaboration, is available from the International

Office, and from the RSE website.

A Voyages of Discovery pro-

gramme was developed with

Universities Scotland and Scottish Development International. This showcased Scotland’s research excellence and capabilities in a range of disciplines to senior business executives, with the aim

of creating stronger research links,

and has completed its pilot stage. Two successful tours were run in November 2003 and January 2004 on the respective themes of Energy and Life Sciences.

The Society hosted an EU Frame- work 6 meeting with the UK Research Office to discuss the implications of consent agree- ments and intellectual property rights within consortia involved in EU Framework 6 research projects.

The RSE and the Chinese Academy

of Science, with which there is a

Memorandum of Understanding, organised a two-day seminar in Beijing in March 2004, entitled:

Sino-Scottish Science: Sharing Ideas. It was followed by visits to key institutes to identify areas where there was potential mutual benefit in developing bilateral collaboration.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences

were among the Society’s distin- guished overseas guests, when a delegation led by its Vice-Presi- dent visited in August 2003.


Review of the Session 2003-2004

The President of the French Academy of Sciences delivered a lecture entitled European Science in Difficulty at the Annual Statuto- ry Meeting - October 2003. Other international visitors included: The Chinese Academy of Forestry - November 2003; The President of the Royal Irish Academy - Decem- ber 2003; Senior Management from the Technical University of Lodz, - January 2004; the Polish Minister for Europe (and subse- quently nominated European Commissioner), Professor Danuta Hübner - to deliver a lecture entitled New Europe: World Views - January 2004; and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences - March 2004.

The National Science Council of Taiwan (Taipei Representative Office in the UK) met RSE dele- gates in Edinburgh in September 2003 and March 2004.

Science Scotland is an electronic and print publication created by the Society, in partnership with the Scottish Executive, British Council Scotland and Scottish Development International, which features the best of science and technology in Scotland, with the objective of raising awareness in an international audience. The first issue of Science Scotland was launched at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held in Seattle in February 2004.



The Society published the follow- ing titles during the year.

ReSourcE (formerly called RSE News) - issues were published in April 2003, October 2003 and January 2004. (ISSN 1473-7841); The Fellows’ Directory 2004, December 2003 (ISSN 1476- 4334); Review 2003 (review of Session 2001-2002), Spring 2003 (ISSN 1476-4342); Annual Review 2003, September 2003 (ISSN 1742-1810); and the Trustees Report 2003, September 2003. Transactions - volumes 93.3, 93.4 and 94.1 and Proceedings A - volumes 133.2 to 133.6 and volume 134.1 were also pub- lished.

The following publications reporting RSE events were produced and are available from the Society:

Diet and Obesity: Report of Young People’s Discussion Forum (ISBN 0 902 198 83 1)

I, Cyborg: the 2003 RSE/Royal Academy of Engineering Joint Lecture (ISBN 0 902 198 68 8)

Scotland’s Drug Problem: Report of an RSE Conference (ISBN 0 902 198 73 4))

Stem Cell Research Opportunities and Challenges: Report of Discussion Forum (ISBN 0 902 198 88 2)

The A-Z of Oral Cancer: An Holistic Route: Report of Oral Health Workshop (ISBN 0 902 198 63 7)

The Future of the Scottish Fishing Industry: Inquiry Report (ISBN 0 902 198 09 2)

Value of the Post-Mortem Exami- nation: Report of an RSE Conference (ISBN 0 902 198 78 5)


In March 2004 the Society elected 55 Ordinary Fellows, eight Corresponding Fellows and three Honorary Fellows. The average age at election of the Ordinary Fellows was 49 (last year it was 53). Nine of the Ordinary Fellows were female. At September 2004 the Fellowship comprises 71 Honorary Fellows, 24 Corresponding Fellows and 1278 Ordinary Fellows. The discipline balance of the Fellowship remains the same as last year - 34% of the Ordinary Fellowship represent disciplines in the Life Sciences, 38% in Physical, Engineering and Informatic Sciences, 19% in Arts and Humanities and 9% in Economics, Business and Administration. The majority (77.6%) of Ordinary Fellows are resident in Scotland, 17.4% in England, 4.8% overseas and 0.2% either in Wales or Ireland.

Trustees’ Report to 31 March 2004

Staffing Matters

We were pleased to welcome the following to the staff team:

- Ms Christel Baudere, Personnel Assistant

- Ms Emma Faragher, Education Assistant

- Ms Jean Finlayson, Internation- al Assistant

- Mrs Rebecca Gibson, Recep- tionist/Telephonist

- Mr Gary Johnstone, Accounts Assistant

- Mrs Sheila Stuart, Administra- tion Assistant

The following members of staff left during the year.

- Miss Cathy Crawford, Recep- tionist/Telephonist,

- Mrs Elizabeth Bigelow, Recep- tionist/Telephonist

- Mrs Sharon Jesson, PA to President and General Secretary

- Mr Colin Nelson, Facilities Assistant

Sandra McDougall, latterly Special Projects Manager and formerly Programme Manager, retired after 29 years service, in June 2003. A well-attended reception was held to mark her service to the Society.


Review of the Session 2003-2004

Financial review 1 April 2003 - 31 March 2004

After the difficult financial circumstances of the last two or three years, it is pleasing to be able to report a successful outcome in my last year as Treasurer.

Result for the Year

The overall result at the net incoming resources, or revenue, level was a surplus of £59,000, with the General Fund result contributing £18,000 of this sum. The realised surplus for the year after including realised gains on investments rose to £19,000 in the General Fund and £94,000 overall. This improvement from last year is significant and reflects both increased funding levels and the recovery of the investment portfolio, following its realign- ment last year.

The result is in line with the expectation set out last year, which was for a balanced budget and a contribution to the rebuild- ing of the General Fund.

Income and Expenditure

Total incoming resources of £2.9m have increased by 19% or £0.46m over last year. The increase has come from both donations and grants and support for our charitable activities. The increase in ‘Donations and grants’ of 15% or £0.15m includes £125,000 of new money for international activities from the

Scottish Executive and a donation from the Gannochy Trust for the prestige Gannochy Trust Innova- tion Award. These new sources are offset by the expected lower level of Appeal receipts from Fellows, although a pleasing stream of annual donations is continuing.

The support of charitable activities has increased by 19% or £0.27m. The majority of the increase comes from increased support for research and enterprise awards. Income for the latter has almost doubled as the appointment of a further fifteen Scottish Enterprise Fellows during the year flowed through to income and expendi- ture. Close to half the total expected numbers of appoint- ments have now been made in this very successful scheme, which commenced in 2002 and is scheduled to run until 2007-08. In addition there continues to be a steady flow of PPARC Enterprise Fellows.

The income from Scottish Execu- tive for post doctoral Research Fellowships has also risen in line with a rise in the number of postholders to be funded.

Income for other activities has shown some decreases, not due to a fall in general activity levels but due to the impact of some one off projects in 2002-03.


Investment income has held up well at £92,000, despite the final removal of the transitional tax relief on dividends. The total of this category is boosted by interest received on cash, which is mainly held in the designated funds, and interest of £30,000 received on the loan to the RSE Scotland Foundation.

Resources expended

As would be expected from the increase in income, the total resources expended have in- creased by 17% or £0.41m from last year. This mainly reflects the increase in support for research and Enterprise awards discussed above.

Expenditure categorised as Cost of Generating funds has de- creased this year by £75,000, as the formal and very successful first phase of fundraising came to a close. In the present economic climate there has been little activity in the second phase, corporate fundraising, and this is shown by the decline in expendi- ture. This heading does not include the costs of ongoing negotiation with, claims from and reconciliations for funders of continuing activities. These costs are regarded as support costs for the activities concerned.

Grants payable of £1.76m have increased by 34% or £0.45m. This includes the costs of the first Gannochy Trust Innovation Award

Trustees’ Report to 31 March 2004

as well as the disbursement of the increased funding for research and enterprise awards.

Expenditure on Activities has increased by 5%, mainly in the area of international activities where, with funding from Scottish Executive and in partnership with the British Council, the Society has established a substantial pro- gramme of activity. This is co-ordinated by Michael White, who has been seconded on a part-time basis from the British Council.

Management and Administration costs have decreased by about £6,000 or 3% overall, but this is mainly due to a lower spend on PR & publicity, as compared to the previous year. The management component of this category has increased by £5,000 or 6%, in line with the overall increase in central costs of 5.8%. It is pleasing to note that some elements of central costs have decreased as a result of careful management,

offsetting the rise in salary cost as

a result of increased staffing.

Worth noting are the £10,000 reduction in professional fees as a result of the transfer of the investment management to Speirs

& Jeffrey and a 20% reduction in

audit fees obtained by the change in auditors from KPMG to Hender- son Loggie.

As is explained in the policy on reserves on page 3, the Council


Review of the Session 2003-2004

undertook a review of the level and purpose of all the Designated Funds. The transfers shown in the Statement of Financial Activities represent the release from the Capital Asset Reserve of a total of £101,000 to match the write down of buildings and the capital repayment of the loan to the Foundation, of which £47,000 is passed to General Fund, net of a transfer of £8,000 to the Staff Development Fund.

Balance Sheet

Net assets have recovered some- what from the decline last year, being up 4.7% overall to a total of £7.0m; the major reason being the 15% increase from £1.73m to £1.98m in the investment portfo- lio.

The loan to the RSE Scotland Foundation continues to decrease annually by £47,000, the amount of the capital repayment, despite the partial waiver of interest payments, required to assist the Foundation to recover from its deficit of net assets. As can be seen from note 23, continuing progress is being made in this direction.

Net current assets have increased by 41% to £551,000. Of the total cash balance, £591,000 is allocated to Designated funds, the major part of which is the cumula- tive receipts from the Appeal; a further £209,000 relates to restricted income; cash is favoura-


bly affected where restricted income is received in advance of the committed expenditure. In this case a deferred income balance is held in creditors - this has in- creased by £81,000 this year.

The net assets are allocated to the funds they support as set out in note 20. As the General Fund balance is much improved, it now has a proportionate share of the investment portfolio as well as the share of the current assets and liabilities. In addition the extent to which the General Fund is funded by cash balances held in the Designated Funds is much reduced.


As mentioned above, the second phase of fundraising, aimed largely at the corporate sector, has not yet got properly under way, due to the continuing uncertain- ties in the industrial and commercial worlds. It is hoped that in the coming year a positive start will be made in identifying possible sources of support and additional finance for new development. In the longer term, success in fundraising will be essential to enabling the Society to achieve its strategic intentions in the new Corporate Plan.

Conclusion and Future Prospects

After two or three years of real difficulty, my hope that we would ‘turn the corner’ in 2003-2004 has been fulfilled. While still

maintaining an expanded pro- gramme of activities, the Society has achieved a modest surplus, the investment portfolio has continued its recovery, the re- building of the General Fund has begun, and initial provision has been made to establish a new (designated) Programme Fund to support some events and meet- ings activities that are desirable but require internal financial support to make them happen. These are very welcome develop- ments, which are due in part to additional funding from a variety of sources, including the first phase of the Appeal, but also to improved housekeeping in the form of tight financial manage- ment, budgeting and planning. Hopefully, the procedures now in place will continue to deliver benefits, though there is a continuing need for prudence in expenditure plans and for a watchful eye on staffing and administrative costs.

Experience suggests that the unexpected will surely happen at some point, and it is for this reason that the General Fund needs to be re-built towards the target level of 3-6 months expenditure on central costs. This has to be seen as a medium term objective but it is important that we continue to make progress towards it, as a key feature of our risk-management policy.

Trustees’ Report to 31 March 2004

The next phase of the Society’s Corporate Plan has now been prepared and in the current year is being implemented successfully. To a large extent, the intention is to consolidate the growth in activity over the last five years, which is consistent with the present financial situation. But there are some new aims also, and if these are to be delivered in full, additional funding will be required. It is necessary to underline the fact that without supplementary funding support, progress towards these new targets may be very limited.

This is my final Report as Treasur- er. Looking back over the last five years, I am delighted at the progress that has been made by the Society in achieving a more active - and indeed proactive - role, both in Scotland and further afield, particularly in international relationships. Finance has been a key factor in enabling these developments, and I am very conscious of, and grateful for, the contributions of Fellows in the Appeal; not only for the intrinsic benefits these bring, but also as they have encouraged greater support from the Scottish Execu- tive and other donors and supporters of mutually beneficial activities. But my biggest debt is to Kate Ellis and William Duncan for their unfailing support and excellent advice on the financial and administrative management



We have audited the financial statements on pages 37-54.

These accounts have been prepared under the historical cost convention as modified to include the revaluation of investments and in accordance with the Statement of Recommended Practice: Accounting by Charities and applicable accounting standards.

This report is made solely to the Society’s Trustees, as a body, in accordance with regulation 7 of The Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 1992. Our audit work has been undertaken so that we might state to the Society’s Trustees those matters we are required to state to them in an auditor’s report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the Society and the Society’s Trustees as a body, for our audit work, for this report, or for the opinions we have formed.

Respective responsibilities of Council and Auditors

The Council is responsible for preparing the Trustees’ Report and, as described above, the financial statements in accordance with the Laws of the Society, relevant United Kingdom legisla- tion and accounting standards. Our responsibilities, as independ- ent auditors, are established in

the United Kingdom by statute, the Auditing Practices Board and by our profession’s ethical guidance.

We report to you our opinion as to whether the financial state- ments give a true and fair view and are properly prepared in accordance with the Laws of the Society, the Law Reform (Miscella- neous Provisions)(Scotland) Act 1990 and the Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 1992. We also report to you if, in our opinion, the Trustees’ Report is not consistent with the financial statements, if the Society has not kept proper accounting records, if we have not received all the information and explanations we require for our audit, or if infor- mation specified by The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990 and The Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 1992 is not disclosed.

We are not required to consider whether any statement in the Trustees’ Annual Report concern- ing the major risks to which the charity is exposed covers all existing risks and controls, or to form an opinion on the effective- ness of the charity’s risk management and control proce- dures.

We read other information contained in the Trustees’ Annual Report and consider whether it is consistent with the audited


Review of the Session 2003-2004

financial statements. We consider the implications for our report if we become aware of any apparent misstatements or material incon- sistencies with the financial statements. Our responsibilities do not extend to any other information.

Basis of audit opinion

We conducted our audit in accordance with Auditing Stand- ards issued by the Auditing Practices Board. An audit includes examination, on a test basis, of evidence relevant to the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. It also includes an assessment of the significant estimates and judgments made by the Trustees in the preparation of the financial statements, and of whether the accounting policies are appropriate to the Society’s circumstances, consistently applied and adequately disclosed.

We planned and performed our audit so as to obtain all the information and explanations which we considered necessary in order to provide us with sufficient evidence to give reasonable

assurance that the financial statements are free from material mis-statement, whether caused by fraud or other irregularity or error. In forming our opinion we also evaluated the overall adequacy of the presentation of information in the financial statements.


In our opinion the financial statements give a true and fair view of the state of the Society’s affairs as at 31 March 2004 and of its incoming resources and application of resources including its income and expenditure for the year then ended and have been properly prepared in accordance with the Laws of the Society, The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990 and the Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 1992.

Henderson Loggie Chartered Accountants Registered Auditor Edinburgh September 2004




AT 31 MARCH 2004

Note No.








Fixed Assets Tangible fixed assets Fixed Asset Investment Investments at market value Historical Cost :£1,862,114.









Loan to RSE Scotland Foundation







Current Assets


RSE Scotland Foundation current account Debtors Cash at bank and in hand Money Market and other term deposits










designated funds




General fund






Current Liabilities Creditors :


Amounts falling due within one year




Net Current Assets Net Assets Funds General Fund Designated Funds Restricted Funds



















Approved by the Council on 20 September 2004

Laurence C Hunter Sir Laurence Hunter, CBE Treasurer


Review of the Session 2003-2004



Note No.












Incoming resources Donations , grants and similar





incoming resourcess







Activities in furtherance of the Society’s objectives





1,663,675 1,394,109

Investment income







Total incoming resources

826,034 106,274 1,964,394 2,896,702 2,440,548 9,119 - - 9,119 84,257 13,872 22,117 1,726,785 1,762,774
2,896,702 2,440,548
1,762,774 1,310,936

Resources Expended Cost of generating funds Charitable expenditure:


Grants payable


Activities in furtherance of the Society’s objectives


Buildings, management and administration


Total resources expended

Gains/(losses) on investment assets




2,837,613 2,426,200

Net incoming resources before Transfers

Realised gains Realised losses

18,074x 36,300 4,715v 59,089 14,348d 1,649 13,206 23,040 37,895 29,308 (118) (942) (1,642) (2,702) (380,496)
6,731,776 7,232,604
7,047,648 6,731,776

Realised Surplus/(deficit) for the year Transfers between funds


Unrealised gains /(losses) Net Movement in Funds Balance brought forward at 1 April 2003 Balance carried forward at 31 March 2004



Auditors’ Report and Accounts








Cash flow statement Net cash outflow from operating activities



Returns on investments and servicing of finance:

Interest received


13,794 91,123

Dividends received


Capital expenditure and financial investment:

Purchase of tangible fixed assets:

Proceeds from sale of investments Purchases of investments Loan to RSE Scotland Foundation

Net cash flow before financing Financing Appeal receipts Increase in cash in the year

Reconciliation of net cash flow to movement in net funds (note 25) Increase in cash in the year Net funds at beginning of year Net funds at end of year

Reconciliation of net movement in funds to net cash outflow from operating activities Net incoming resources before Transfers Appeal receipts Dividends receivable Interest receivable Depreciation (Increase)/Decrease in debtors (Increase)/ decrease in RSE Scotland Foundation current account Increase in creditors Net cash outflow from operating activities

154,618 (451) 262,552 (262,552) 46,808 46,357 198,245 56,558 254,803















Review of the Session 2003-2004


1 Accounting basis The accounts have been drawn up to comply with the provisions of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990, the Charity Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 1992 and follow the recommendations of the revised Statement of Recommended Practice for charities (SORP) approved by the Accounting Standards Board in October 2000 and applicable accounting standards. The accounts have been prepared under the historical cost accounting rules as modified to include the revaluation of investments. The accounts comprise three primary financial statements: the Statement of Financial Activities, which incorporates the Income and Expenditure Account, the Balance Sheet and the Cash Flow Statement.

2 Funds The Society’s funds are classified in accordance with the definitions in the SORP into Restricted funds, where there are restrictions placed by a donor as to the use of income or capital, Designated funds, where the Council of the Society has set aside sums from its unrestricted funds for a particular purpose, and the General (unrestricted) Fund. The classifications made are as follows:

a) General Fund – a discretionary Fund available to Council to meet the ordinary activities of the Society.

b) Designated Funds

Staff restructuring fund – In July 2000 Council resolved to create a Staff restructuring fund, to be used at its discretion to provide flexibility in staffing arrangements and in developing future operations. Development Appeal Fund – an appeal to provide development finance to implement the Society’s Corporate plan Capital Asset Reserve Fund – representing the book cost of the rooms at 22-24 George Street, and 26 George Street and an allocation in respect of funding of the refurbishment of 26 George Street. Building Maintenance Fund – a reserve to support the future maintenance of the fabric of the Rooms. Dr James Heggie Fund – income from this fund supports the Society’s activities with young people. Grants Fund – a fund created by contributions and legacies from Fellows and used to provide grants to support research activities of Fellows. Programme Fund – a fund created in 2004 by transfer from the Development Appeal fund and surplus funds in the Grants fund to act as a source of funding for meetings activities. C H Kemball Fund – income from this fund is used to provide hospitality for distinguished visitors from other learned societies and academies.

c) Restricted Funds

Robert Cormack Bequest – to promote astronomical knowledge and research in Scotland Lessells Trust – to fund scholarships abroad for engineers Auber Bequest – to fund research in Scotland and England by naturalised British Citizens over 60 years of age Prizes Fund – to fund various prizes Dryerre Fund – to fund postgraduate research in medical or veterinary physiology Piazzi Smyth Legacy Fund – to fund high altitude astronomical research

CASS Fund – to fund academic/industrial liaison Retailing Seminar Fund – to fund a programme of seminars on retailing

3 Accounting Policies Incoming resources

a) Donations grants and similar incoming resources

Subscriptions are accounted for on the basis of the subscription year to October 2004 and include income tax recoverable on subscriptions paid under Gift Aid. Revenue grants are credited to income in the period in which the Society becomes entitled to the resources. Donations of a recurring nature from other charitable foundations and one-off gifts and legacies included in other income are taken to revenue in the period to which they relate.

b) Incoming resources for charitable activities

Incoming resources for activities are accounted for on an accruals basis. Publication income receivable in foreign currencies is converted into sterling at rates of exchange ruling at the date of receipt.

c) Investment income

Interest and dividends are accounted for gross in the year in which they are receivable, tax deducted being recovered or recoverable from the Inland Revenue.

Resources expended

d) Expenditure and support costs

All resources expended are included on an accruals basis and where directly attributable allocated to the relevant functional category. Central costs, which include support costs, are allocated to categories of resource expended in proportion to staff salaries

e) Tangible Fixed Assets, Depreciation and repairs

The Society’s principal assets are its buildings in George Street, Edinburgh, which are stated at historical cost. Under FRS 15 the Society depreciates the buildings assuming a 50 year life. It is the policy of the Council to maintain the buildings to a high standard and a provision is made for upkeep of the buildings through a designation from General Fund. Any permanent diminutions in value are reflected in the Statement of Financial Activities. Costs of repairs and maintenance are charged against revenue. Minor equipment is written off to Income & Expenditure Account in the year of purchase. Computer and audio-visual equipment is depreciated on a straight-line basis over four years.

f) Investments

Investments are stated at their market value at the balance sheet date. Gains and losses on disposal and revaluation of investments are charged or credited in the Statement of Financial Activities and allocated to funds in accordance with their proportionate share of the investment portfolio.

g) Pensions

The Society participates in defined benefit pension schemes which are externally funded. The cost of providing pensions is allocated over employees’ working lives with the Society and the Foundation and is included in staff costs.


Auditors’ Report and Accounts



Note No.







Donations, grants and similar incoming resources Fellows’ subscriptions Scottish Executive Grant - international activities Scottish Executive Grant other activities Scottish Executive Grant re Scottish Science Advisory Committee Gannochy Trust Other grants and donations Gifts in kind - (value of secondment of staff) Appeal receipts

























Subscriptions Contributions from Fellows Admission Fees Annual Subscriptions Income tax recoverable under gift aid












Other grants and donations Fleck additional receipt Lessells Trust additional receipt Legacy Donations for Foot & Mouth Disease Inquiry Donations for Fishing Disease Inquiry Sales of ties (net) Sales of sundry publications Other income






















In addition to the donations set out above the Society receives donations made specifically in support of meetings which are included in meetings income (see note 24c)


Activities in furtherance of charitable objects – incoming resources







Promotion of research Meetings Educational activities Academic / Industry links International activities
















Promotion of research – receipts Scottish Executive grant Research fellowships Teaching fellowships British Petroleum Research Fellowships Trust Caledonian Research Foundation Scottish Enterprise PPARC Enterprise Fellowships Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland




















Review of the Session 2003-2004



Note No.







Investment income Dividends (Net) Income tax recoverable on dividend income Interest arising on deposits (Gross) Interest receivable from RSE Scotland Foundation (note 23)














Cost of generating funds Fundraising costs Proportion of central costs (note 11)










Grants payable Promotion of Research Prizes and Grants











Promotion of Research Direct Costs : Restricted Funds SEELLD Research Fellowships - Support SEELLD Research Fellowships - Personal SEELLD Teaching Fellowships












BP Research Fellowships CRF European Fellowships Enterprise Fellowships (Scottish Enterprise) Enterprise Fellowships (PPARC) Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland Fellowships Robert Cormack Bequest John Moyes Lessells Scholarship Auber Bequest Awards Henry Dryerre Scholarship
























Direct costs : Designated Funds D S McLagan Travel Grant







Direct costs : General Funds Library







Proportion of central costs (note 11)







Charitable activities Publications Meetings Educational activities Academic / Industry links Fellowships Office International activities Evidence Advice and Comment Scottish Science Advisory Committee























Auditors’ Report and Accounts








Publications Editorial & management costs of journals Less surplus onf journals published by RSE Scotland Foundation Other publications












Proportion of central costs (note 11)







The RSE Scotland Foundation became publisher of the Society’s journals and Year Book with effect from the 1997 volumes. The Society retains copyright and incurs editorial costs in respect of these publications. The Society has received a donation from the RSE Scotland Foundation equivalent to the Foundation’s net surplus on publications.


Buildings, Management and administration







Buildings and Maintenance 22-24 George Street - depreciation 26 George Street - depreciation 22-24 George Street - expenditure from designated funds













Management and secretariat Publicity









Central Costs Total Payroll:



Less paid by Scottish Science Advisory Committee Less paid by RSE Scotland Foundation Salaries (note 12) Value of secondments Staff training, agency and recruitment costs Total staff costs