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Learned Society of Wales elects Fellows from The Open University

Professor Trevor Herbert, Emeritus Professor of Music at The Open University, and Rob Humphreys, Director of the OU in Wales, have been elected Fellows of The Learned Society of Wales. They are the first from The Open University to be accorded this status.

The Learned Society of Wales (LSW) is Wales’s national academy of science and letters.  It has a Royal Charter and sits alongside similar pan-discipline bodies such as the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal Irish Academy. The LSW is a member of ALLEA, the federation of European national academies.  

The Society is independent and self-governing and its purposes include providing public benefit through the recognition of scholarly excellence, promotion of research, and provision of expert, independent, scholarly advice on a variety of public policy and wider social and cultural issues.

The LSW was established in 2010 but the origins of a body of this kind in Wales can be traced back to the creation of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion in 1751.

Election to Fellowship of the LSW is a public recognition of academic excellence and contribution to the intellectual life of Wales and the world.  Fellows are elected following a rigorous examination of their achievements in their relevant fields and a five-stage election process.   

The Society now has more than 420 Fellows from all branches of learning, who are prominent figures within their respective academic disciplines or professions. They assist the Society in its work by serving on its various committees and working groups and by representing it nationally and internationally

Sir Emyr Jones Parry, the Society’s President, said:                                                                                                                  

“I am delighted to welcome such a wide range of outstanding individuals to the Fellowship this year. Each new Fellow is elected on the distinguished merit of their work. These new Fellows will help strengthen our capacity to support excellence across all areas of academic and public life, both in Wales and abroad.

Professor Trevor Herbert is Emeritus Professor of Music at The Open University. He is a major international authority on the cultural history of instrumental music. His books, articles and contributions to the world’s great reference works are highly regarded. He has been the recipient of several major academic awards and prizes and has honorary fellowships from Leeds College of Music and the Royal College of Music.

Commenting on his election as a Fellow, Professor Herbert said: ‘This is an important honour which I regard very highly.  I am proud to be listed among a group of people who have contributed so significantly to intellectual life throughout the world.”

Rob Humphreys is Director of the OU in Wales and Vice Chair of the sector-wide body Universities Wales. He is a highly respected adult educator who has made a significant contribution to the shaping of Welsh higher education policy in recent years. He has also been a prominent contributor to debates and analyses of constitutional reform in Wales and the UK, having been a member of the All Wales Convention and the Commission on Devolution (the Silk Commission).

Mr Humphreys said:

“I am delighted and honoured that the Society has recognised me and Professor Herbert, in this way. Wales has a long and rich tradition of academic excellence that more often than not has had a democratic impulse at its heart. The Open University in Wales makes a significant contribution to taking those endeavours forward, and we are committed to working in partnership with The Learned Society of Wales to promote public engagement in the intellectual life of the nation.” 

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