Professor Yvonne Elsworth elected Royal Society Fellow

Congratulations to Professor Yvonne Elsworth on her election as a Fellow of the Royal Society, a fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering and medicine.  Professor Elsworth was selected through a peer review process on the basis of her excellence in science.

Professor Elsworth is a world leader in solar and stellar physics. She pioneered seismic studies of the Sun, the field of helioseismology. Her ground-breaking contributions have transformed our fundamental understanding of the Sun, in ways that are of key importance for stellar structure and evolution, and for unlocking the secrets of the solar-cycle variations in the Sun's emissions.

 Yvonne-ElsworthProfessor Elsworth. ©Lucinda Douglas-Menzies 

Professor Andy Schofield, Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy, said: "We are delighted at Professor Elsworth's election to the fellowship of the Royal Society. This is extremely well deserved and recognizes not only her pioneering contributions to solar and stellar physics, but also her leading service to the international scientific community and her strong support for women in science."

In 2011 Professor Elsworth was awarded the Payne Gaposchkin Medal from the Institute of Physics in recognition of her international leadership in observational helioseismology, in particular the studies performed by the Birmingham Solar-Oscillations Network (BiSON). She has recently applied her world-leading techniques to other stars observed by the Kepler space mission, and developed a notable interest in the study of red-giant stars (old Suns).

Professor Elsworth was the first woman appointed to the Poynting Chair of Physics. She has a long history of involvement in the policy direction and management of astronomy in the UK and internationally, and recently served on the 2014 Research Assessment Framework panel for Physics. She founded and chaired the Status of Women in Astronomy and Geophysics committee of the Royal Astronomical Society, and served on the Institute of Physics ‘Women in Physics’ committee.

In the 1994 she was instrumental in ‘The Rising Tide’ report that followed her contributions to the ‘Realising the Potential’ White Paper under the chief scientific adviser, then Professor Bill Stewart. The lasting influence of her work is seen in improved gender balance in areas of astronomy and in the personal advancement of female scientists whom she has so actively supported.