St Andrews professor’s public success earns top academic medal

Professor Tariq Durrani, Vice President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, congratulates Professor Whiten on his award.

Professor Tariq Durrani, Vice President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, congratulates Professor Whiten on his award.

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A St Andrews University academic has been awarded a top prize by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Professor Andrew Whiten, Wardlaw Professor of Psychology and Professor of Evolutionary and Developmental Psychology, has received the Senior Prize and Medal for Public Engagement for his success engaging the public with academic research.

The award recognises excellence in communicating and engagement, an important factor in ensuring ‎the public receives the greatest benefit from St Andrews’ pioneering research and innovation.

Prof Whiten has been involved in creative and unique forms of public engagement, particularly as founding director of the university’s Living Links to Human Evolution Research Centre at Edinburgh Zoo, which has had more than 250,000 visitors annually since it opened in 2008.

Prof Whiten said: “I’ve been fortunate to have a wonderful team working with me who have done wonders sharing their enthusiasm and expertise with the public at Living Links and across the UK, particularly Mark Bowler, Lewis Dean, Alaina Macri, Emily Messer, Steve Smart and Lara Wood. I hope they see this award as recognising their contributions too.”

He was presented with the award by Prof Tariq Durrani, Vice President of the RSE.