Outstanding Manchester scientist elected as Fellow of the Royal Society

Professor Michael Garrett , Director of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of his "invaluable contributions to science".

Professor Garrett is one of more than 90 exceptional researchers across the world to be selected by the Royal Society - the UK’s national academy of sciences.

Michael is the inaugural Sir Bernard Lovell chair of Astrophysics at The University of Manchester and has broad scientific interest, including the study of the distant universe via high resolution radio observations. He is also active in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and is currently chair of the International Academy of Astronautics SETI Permanent Committee.

Prof Garret is a leader in the field of astrophysics and was responsible for the final design, construction, and operational phases of the International LOFAR Telescope , and while Director of the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (2003-2007), he developed the technique of wide-field Very Long Baseline Interferometry and spearheaded the roll-out of real-time VLBI (e-VLBI) across the European VLBI Network and beyond.

Garrett was also instrumental in finalising the original design concept for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope.

Drawn from across academia, industry and wider society, the new intake spans disciplines as varied as studying the origins and evolution of our universe, pioneering treatments for Huntington’s Disease, developing the first algorithm for video streaming and generating new insights into memory formation.

Prof Garrett joins other leaders in their fields, including the Nobel laureate, Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier; an Emmy winner, Dr Andrew Fitzgibbons (for his contributions to the 3D camera tracker software "boujou"); and the former Chief Scientific Advisor to the US President, Professor Anthony Fauci.

"It’s an honour to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society. I look forward to collaborating with other fellows on a wide range of issues relevant to science and society. My election also highlights the high regard in which the community holds astrophysics in Manchester and reflects the significant growth of the field of SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) over the past decade."

Sir Adrian Smith , President of the Royal Society, said: "I am pleased to welcome such an outstanding group into the Fellowship of the Royal Society.

"This new cohort have already made significant contributions to our understanding of the world around us and continue to push the boundaries of possibility in academic research and industry.

"From visualising the sharp rise in global temperatures since the industrial revolution to leading the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, their diverse range of expertise is furthering human understanding and helping to address some of our greatest challenges.

"It is an honour to have them join the Fellowship."

Statistics about this year’s intake of Fellows:

  • 30% of this year’s intake of Fellows, Foreign Members and Honorary Fellows are women.
  • New Fellows have been elected from 23 UK institutions, including The University of Nottingham, British Antarctic Survey, University of Strathclyde and the Natural History Museum
  • They have been elected from countries including Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico and Singapore

The full list of the newly elected Fellows and Foreign Members of the Royal Society can be found here: https://royalsociety.org/­news/2024/­05/new-fel­lows-2024/