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University colleagues join first UK-wide Young Academy

Posted on 10 January 2023

Three University of York academics have been asked to join the new UK Young Academy – a network of early career researchers and professionals established to help tackle local and global issues and promote meaningful change.

Three University of York academics have been asked to join the new UK Young Academy

Dr Andrew Holding, a lecturer in Biomedical Science in the Department of Biology and York Biomedical Research Institute, Reader Dr Yihua Hu, from the School of Physics, Engineering and Technology and Dr Sophie Meekings, a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow in the Department of Psychology are among the first cohort of 67 members to join the new network.

Along with their fellow members from across academia, charity organisations and the private sector, they will have the chance to inform local and global policy discussions, galvanising their skills, knowledge, and experience to find innovative solutions to the challenges facing societies now and in the future.

Dr Andrew Holding from the Department of Biology

Dr Holding leads a research team in cancer biology, to understand the impact of steroid hormones on cancer patients. Dr Hu researches power electronics and motor drives for renewable energy, smart grid and electric vehicles and Dr Meekings researches the neuroscience of speech production, with a focus on how communication disabilities affect everyday interactions. 

Dr Holding, said: "I am honoured to be appointed to the UK Young Academy and am excited to work with such a talented and diverse group of young professionals to tackle important issues facing society.”

“I look forward to bringing my unique perspective and ideas to the table, and listening to those of my fellow members, as we work towards creating positive change."

Dr Yihua Hu, from the School of Physics

Dr Hu, said: “I was thrilled to be selected as a member of the UK Young Academy. It can provide validation of my hard work and dedication to my research impacts, and can also be a source of pride and accomplishment, whilst giving me a sense of recognition and respect within the academic community.”

Dr Meekings, said: “My research, and my personal experience as a profoundly deaf and disabled woman in science, has given me a strong personal desire to work towards equality in society.”

“I'm hopeful that being a part of the UK Young Academy will help me achieve that work, and allow me to reach beyond the boundaries of academia to find ways to make a practical difference in the worlds of policy and business.”

Dr Sophie Meekings from the Department of Psychology

The UK Young Academy has been established as an interdisciplinary collaboration with prestigious national academies: the Academy of Medical Sciences, British Academy, Learned Society of Wales, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Irish Academy, Royal Society of Edinburgh, and the Royal Society. It joins the global initiative of Young Academies, with the UK Young Academy becoming the 50th to join the Young Academy movement.

The successful applicants officially took up their posts on 1 January 2023, and membership runs for 5 years. It is expected that the next call for applications will open in 2023.

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