Professor Sue Black, Sir Chris Hoy and Dr Ann Matheson honoured for their contribution to Scottish culture
Published On Mon 22 Sep 2014 by Roddy Isles
Leading international scientist Professor Sue Black, Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy and celebrated Academic Dr Ann Matheson have been named as this year’s winners of the Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun Award.
Established in 1988, the award forms part of the Saltire Society’s annual awards programme, which recognises and celebrates Scottish culture and heritage. It celebrates the legacy of Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun, often remembered as one of Scotland’s true patriots, by recognising significant contributions made to Scottish culture.
Previous recipients include Tom Fleming, Donald Dewar, George Davie, Dolinna MacLennan, Robin Jenkins, George Mackay Brown and in 2013, William McIlvanney.Nominations for the award are made by the Saltire Society Council who this year decided to broaden the scope to now include three different categories and thus three awards so as to recognise a wider range of achievements and to engage wider public interest. These categories are: Arts and Humanities, Public Life and Science.
The categories for the 2014 Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun Award are:
- Arts And Humanities – awarded to Dr Ann Matheson, member of the Board of the Scottish Poetry Library, for her lengthy and continued championing of Scotland’s literary and linguistic culture;
- Public Life – awarded to Great Britain’s most successful Olympian and most successful Olympic cyclist of all time, Sir Chris Hoy and;
- Science – awarded to Professor Sue Black, Director of Dundee University's Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification.
The ceremony took place at an intimate reception at Edinburgh’s City Chambers on Saturday afternoon where winners were presented with a bespoke award by Convenor of the Saltire Society, David Ward.
Commenting on the Saltire Society Council’s selection Mr Ward said, “As a Council, we are thrilled to have been able to award one of our most prestigious accolades to three undisputable Ambassadors of Scottish culture.
“This year in particular Scotland finds itself in a spotlight on the world’s stage and we felt it appropriate that we should honour as wide a range of achievements as possible in order to truly be able to reflect the rich and varied cultural heritage that Scotland has to offer and that we support.
“2014’s Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun Award recipients do that and more with their remarkable achievements highlighting some modern day examples of Scottish achievement.”
2014 award recipient Professor Sue Black of Dundee University said, “It is both an honour and a privilege to be selected as a recipient for this award, particularly when I see the calibre of fellow recipients past and present.
“I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to the Saltire Society Council for electing to bestow this honour on me.”
Commenting on her award, Dr Ann Matheson said, “I am deeply honoured to receive the Fletcher of Saltoun Award from the Saltire Society. It has been a privilege to have had the opportunity to be associated with Scotland’s literary culture, past and present, and with all those who work so steadfastly on its behalf, during an inspiring period in the nation’s history.”
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Notes to editors
About the Saltire Society
The Saltire Society seeks to encourage everything that might improve the quality of life in Scotland. It works to preserve all that is best in Scottish traditions and to encourage new developments which can strengthen and enrich the country’s cultural life. It acts as a catalyst, celebrant and commentator through an annual programme of awards, lectures, debates and projects. Founded in 1936 is a non-political independent charity with membership branches throughout Scotland.
Membership of the Saltire Society is open to all individuals and organisations that support the aims of the Society.
Further information about the Saltire Society and the Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun Award, can be found at http://www.saltiresociety.org.uk/
Biographies for 2014 recipients of the Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun Award
Category: Arts and Humanities
Dr Ann Matheson
Quietly and unobtrusively, with both immense diplomacy and passionate commitment, Dr Ann Matheson has worked throughout her life to improve the quality of the cultural and academic life of Scotland. She conjoins deep knowledge of Scottish history and culture, particularly, but by no means exclusively, in relation to Gaelic and the Highlands and Islands, with a thoroughly international outlook and a selfless ability to work with others on committees and the boards of cultural organisations. Her work for and on behalf of the Saltire Society is of course one example of this service.
As well as her membership of numerous advisory bodies, in which her forensic attention to detail and her high ethical and professional standards have been greatly valued, she has enjoyed a long career and held several significant positions, including Keeper of Printed Books at the National Library of Scotland, Secretary-General of the Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche (LIBER) and Chairman of the Advisory Committee of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Library, University of the Highlands and Islands, Isle of Skye. She is currently a member of the Board of the Scottish Poetry Library.
Dr Matheson has championed Scotland’s literary and linguistic culture and without her dedication and hard work, for which she has received very little public recognition, Scotland would undoubtedly be a poorer place.
Category: Public Life
Sir Chris Hoy
Sir Chris Hoy MBE is GB’s most successful Olympic athlete of all time, with six gold medals and one silver.
Chris won his first Olympic gold medal in Athens 2004 in the Kilo – an event that was dropped from the programme for Beijing 2008. Chris took this in his stride and switched his focus to three other track sprint events – the Keirin, Sprint and Team Sprint. He went on to win a gold medal in all three at the Beijing Olympics, cementing his name in the history books.
Following his historic hat-trick of gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, Chris was voted 2008 BBC Sports Personality of the Year. He was also awarded a Knighthood in the 2009 New Year Honours list, capping an extraordinary year for the track cyclist from Edinburgh.
In 2012 at his home Olympic Games in London, Chris won his fifth and sixth gold medals- in the Keirin and Team Sprint- becoming Great Britain’s most successful Olympic athlete of all time with six gold medals and one silver.
Chris retired from competitive cycling in 2013 and his achievements throughout his career make him Scotland’s most successful Olympian, the first Briton since 1908 to win three gold medals in a single Olympic Games, and the most successful Olympic male cyclist of all time.
Following his retirement, Chris remains passionate about bikes – and has successfully made the transition into the business world following the launch of his bike range HOY Bikes.
Professor Sue Black
Professor Sue Black’s work in rigorous physical and forensic anthropology, which is clearly highly regarded judging by her Fellowships, combined with her ability to communicate through her television and radio makes her a more than worthy candidate. She represents science at the service of humankind not least through her work in ex-Yugoslavia and Syria where she brings, if not relief, understanding to those who have suffered immense suffering and loss.
Professor Black is one of the UK's leading forensic anthropologists, and is director of the University's Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification. She teaches forensic anthropology, anatomy and human identification, and has recently been appointed as Deputy Principal for Public Engagement.
Prof Black is no stranger to the media, and you might have seen her on the BBC's History Cold Case, a series of programmes in which she and her team used forensic science to shed light on the past. These included the case of 'Ipswich Man', an apparently African skeleton which was unearthed near a medieval monastery.
She's also authored 9 text books, has 28 chapters in other textbooks, and 93 published papers. Her 2010 class of graduates even wrote their own texbook for future students.
Professor Black is currently leading the 'Million for a Morgue' campaign, which aims to raise £1 million to build a world leading forensic centre at the University. A number of top crime writers have joined the campaign and the centre will eventually be named after the writer who receives the most votes. You can also follow the campaign's progress on Facebook.